Real-World Outages Make the Case for Hybrid Cloud
March 28, 2017

Jim Rapoza
Aberdeen Group

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The amount of data, research and case studies on the benefits and effectiveness of hybrid cloud keeps growing. Yet some people are still skeptical, thinking that it’s just a play to keep data centers relevant in a public cloud age.


Well, sometimes it takes a splash of ice-cold water to wake people up to reality. And some recent outages of cloud-based systems may be just the thing to bring hybrid cloud skeptics around.

Probably the biggest example of this was the outage of Amazon’s S3 service in late February, which left many sites down or performing poorly for hours. In the public cloud business, there’s no bigger name than Amazon, and they are definitely the safe choice; Amazon is probably the closest thing the cloud has to the old adage of “no one ever got fired for buying IBM.”

There were a lot of lessons to come out of the outage, one of them being that a service mainly used for cloud storage was still able to bring down so many sites. But that’s for another article.

But one lesson I found particularly interesting had to do with the benefits that came to businesses taking a hybrid cloud approach.

Typically, businesses turn to a hybrid cloud to add more reliability to their on-premise systems. With public cloud integrated with their on-premise infrastructure, they are able to add extensive disaster recovery and backup capabilities, while also leveraging the public cloud for a performance boost or to meet peak traffic demands.

However, the recent public cloud issues have shown that sometimes on-premise can become a backup for the public cloud. That’s because when the public cloud has had issues, organizations with a hybrid approach have been able to leverage their on-premise infrastructure to essentially provide backup protection for their public cloud services, allowing them to keep their services up and running in cases where businesses that were 100% public cloud were stuck waiting for the outage to end.

That seems to be a pretty good argument for how hybrid cloud delivers even more benefits than many expect. Businesses adopting a hybrid approach don’t have their heads in the cloud when it comes to understanding the benefits it provides. For them, hybrid cloud is making sure that they see nothing but blue skies in performance and reliability, even when the public cloud is experiencing some nasty storms.

Jim Rapoza is an Aberdeen Senior Research Analyst.

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