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Top Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud for Small Businesses
March 4, 2019
As more small businesses store information online that they don’t want to share with others, cloud hosting has become a popular solution for keeping large amounts of data in a single and secure place.
Knowing which cloud hosting option could be right for your small business requires looking into whether you want to choose public, private, or hybrid cloud hosting.
All types have certain benefits that can keep your data safe while allowing you to have more control over your site functions, but some may be a better fit for your small business than others.
When considering storage options and cloud hosting for your small business, a hybrid cloud solution could very well be the best option to meet your needs because it can offer the following five benefits:
- Added security
- Lower cost than a private cloud
- A hybrid cloud can handle more data
- More control than a public cloud
- Energy efficient
What are cloud hosting options?
Public cloud server
There are two main types of servers: public and private. A public server is shared between multiple businesses or individuals. If you don’t need a hyper-customized website or you’re not expecting to store vast quantities of data, then a public cloud can be a good option.
They do have their downsides, though. They’re not typically as secure as a private cloud, and any fluctuations in your site traffic - as in big jumps in visitors - could make the server crash.
Private cloud server
A private server tends to be solely devoted to one business or individual. It has its own firewall, and it allows for more technical control. They’re often used by bigger corporations that store a lot of sensitive data for their clients.
The cost for a private server can be quite high and it can require an entire team to maintain. While the extra security can be important for these bigger companies, it’s not a realistic expectation for a small to medium-sized business.
Hybrid cloud server
Hybrid cloud services offer a nice compromise. They allow for some sensitive items to be stored on a private server while less-essential information sits on a public server.
They can also be customized in order to fit the specific needs of the business or individual. Hybrid cloud hosting can be a way to receive the benefits of a private server without the associated high costs.
Why choose hybrid cloud solutions?
One of the best reasons to consider hybrid cloud computing for your business is the fact that it can be so versatile. Depending on your budget, you can pick and choose certain items you want stored in one location, while others are stored on another server.
As a small business owner, you may have quite a bit of customer data that you need to know is safe and that you should store on a private server, along with files that would be just fine located on a public server.
1. Added security
A hybrid cloud allows you to pick and choose which options work for you in terms of security. Customer trust is likely an important part of your business, and it can be essential to make sure that the client data you own doesn’t run the risk of a breach.
For items that you don’t want to be at risk, a private server can go a long way by providing an additional firewall. You also have the ability to monitor your cloud at a much higher level, allowing you to recognize almost immediately if your information has been compromised.
Also, depending on which industry you’re in, you may be required to have some kind of private cloud. If you’re storing sensitive customer data, then you’ll likely need to conform to certain regulatory requirements when handling sensitive client info.
In this case, you may not have a choice but to look into a private server and see what your options are in terms of keeping client data secure.
Although they tend not to be as secure as a private cloud, public clouds are fine when it comes to handling most forms of data. Anything that is not sensitive and not related to client data can be stored on a public cloud.
It can be easier for hackers to access this info, but even the public option will have a firewall available in order to keep information hidden.
Also, how much space you use on a public cloud will be determined by the amount of sensitive data you have and how reliant you are on it for your business.
2. Lower cost than a private cloud
Another reason many small businesses have switched over to hybrid cloud hosting is because of the cost savings. It can be incredibly expensive to house your own servers, which is why it is usually only done by large corporations.
The cost of replacing them if something goes wrong can also be quite high and an unrealistic expense for a small business. With a hybrid cloud, you get the option of having a private server for certain items, which helps keep costs down over the long run.
This can be especially helpful when you have to perform large backups of data. For instance, it’s likely that you need to have a backup of your website in case anything happens.
If your business tends to rely heavily on your website, these backups are extremely important if you experience a hack or your website is wiped out.
3. A hybrid cloud can handle more data
There may not be enough space on a public cloud to host all of your data, especially if you have larger files. This is another reason to consider a hybrid cloud as an option. You can back up your website and data regularly without having to worry about paying as much for your own server to do it.
Not all files need to be stored on a private cloud when you are running a small business. Most of the items you need to store will probably be those that aren’t sensitive. This is when having access to a public cloud can be useful.
It’s often less expensive to store data on a public cloud, and it offers a number of benefits that can be helpful for the success of your business.
4. More control than a public cloud
A hybrid cloud option also provides additional control when it comes to the security of your website and information stored on a cloud. While it may be tempting to store all of your important documents on a public cloud, the truth is that it is often much easier for a third-party to hack.
Cloud providers do offer additional security services that decrease the likelihood of a cyber attack, but you will have to activate them yourself, which can be more of a technical challenge than you want to take on.
Private clouds often come with that additional security intact. But because of the expense and the fact you might need to hire a team to make sure your cloud is constantly running correctly, it is not always the most practical option for small businesses.
This is where a hybrid cloud can come in handy since it allows you to choose which security features are right for you. And you won’t need an entire IT team to manage your cloud.
5. Energy efficient
If energy costs are also a concern, then a public cloud can cut down on that, as well. Private clouds often end up using vast quantities of energy in order to keep running, which can cost a lot of money over several years.
Transferring some of your files to a public cloud not only saves on the amount of money you may spend to keep it going, but it can also help the environment by requiring fewer resources in order to run.
How can hybrid cloud hosting help my business?
With a hybrid cloud, you get the best of both worlds. In addition to being better for your budget, you can also pick and choose the different aspects of each cloud option that works for your unique needs.
Depending on how much data you have and whether or not it is highly sensitive, you can make decisions that work for you and the growth of your business.
One of the great things about hybrid cloud hosting is that you can choose how much space you will need in order to store customer data on a private server. At the same time, you can increase the space located on a public server, as well.
If a corporation runs out of storage on a private server, it often has to invest in another, which runs up costs significantly. Hybrid cloud hosting allows you to avoid that spending by storing those files on a less-expensive, public server.
If your business happens to grow, then you can purchase additional space in the future.
Encourage customer trust
Another reason why many businesses have looked to hybrid cloud hosting as an option is because of the fact that they are storing such valuable data.
This can be especially true if your clients share personal information such as their credit card numbers, addresses, and Social Security numbers that could be devastating if compromised or lost.
When you have a more complex firewall available through the private side of your hybrid cloud, you can rest assured that you don’t have to worry about a security breach and lose the relationships with clients you have worked hard to form.
Not all of us are tech-minded, and working with a variety of servers does require a little bit of expertise. However, a hybrid cloud typically does not require you to have an entire team to make sure everything is running properly.
You might need only one or two people to monitor any changes in your private cloud or who need to be on call for any technical issues. This can potentially cost you much less than having a department dedicated to keeping your server online.
The use of a hybrid cloud tends to be more flexible than choosing one type of server over another. This can be useful if you expect your business to go through any major changes or if you’re projected to grow within a few years.
Having access to a private server can be ideal when you start to gain more customers and you need to be able to store more of their information, maintain any sensitive correspondence, and if your website needs to grow.
A hybrid cloud gives you options
Hybrid cloud hosting strikes a nice balance between offering small businesses affordability and flexibility.
It allows for a greater amount of customization than simply using one cloud type or another, and it can grow and change along with your company. This can be essential when you are operating on a strict budget but want additional security, as well.
If you are considering various cloud options and are torn between the stability of a private cloud and the cost and efficiency of a public one, then a hybrid cloud can offer you something in between to meet your needs as your business evolves.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.