The term “hybrid” implies a blending of different things; in this case local storage and storage in the cloud. While it may seem like a confusing term, hybrid cloud storage is actually quite straightforward: the cloud stores the overarching super set of your data, while a curated sub-set is stored locally and used as your primary depository. Straightforward from a user perspective often means that there is complicated business logic driving the decisions behind the scenes, and hybrid cloud storage certainly lives up to that expectation.
Primary Storage for Users
Users love hybrid cloud storage solutions because they’re fast, and they just work—even offline. The primary storage can either be a local cloud-based or personal cloud instances on each employee’s laptop. When something happens to a local storage location such as a hard drive crash, the remote cloud provides a real-time backup and “one source of truth” for all of the organization’s data.
Secure and Controlled Storage
Keeping your information safe is a huge concern these days, but the need to provide users with seamless and easy access to the data that they require to do their jobs no matter their location is of almost equal importance. While the speed of business continues to accelerate, security protocols have had trouble keeping up. A hybrid cloud instance offers the best of both worlds: highly secure local storage with controlled access both within and outside the organization via any computer or device with Internet access.
Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud Solution
Online anytime access to your data is critical to ensure that employees are not spending time emailing large files back and forth to each other—something that can also cause versioning issues if you’re not incredibly careful. There are several other benefits of a hybrid cloud solution, including:
• Ability to easily share files between employees, vendors and a geographically-diverse workforce
• Central location for storage with enforceable controls and a high level of visibility
• Accessible by nearly any device; even with intermittent Internet access
• Fast, local access to files you need every day
• Quick and easy ability to retrieve files that were deleted or moved accidentally
A rising trend in technology is dealing with employees who are in a BYOD situation—Bring Your Own Device. While companies may have a hard time providing up-to-date devices for each employee, there are also challenges with ensuring that each device has the correct security protocols associated with it. One way to work around this concern is through a hybrid cloud solution that allows the technology team to use audit reports, folder permissions and other options to limit access to data flowing both ways on the device. Employees love this option as it allows them to have the flexibility of working when and how they want to work while giving them access to the files that they need the most to be productive.
Truly Agile Organizations
One of the promises of a hybrid cloud is that it supports a truly agile technology team—only utilizing resources when they are needed, with the ability to add more on an ad hoc basis without significant outlay or re-engineering. The transparency of the solution is also important, as technology decision makers are able to quickly and easily see how to allocate resources and structure without having to do physical machine audits or other time-consuming check-ups. The ease of use for workers can also help free up time on the technology team for help desk as long as the solution is well implemented.
Keeping your users running means providing them with access to the tools and information that they need to get their job done quickly—and a hybrid cloud is yet another tool in the deck to help accomplish that goal.