Explaining the Hybrid Cloud

A public cloud environment is open to anyone with an Internet connection. In contrast, a private cloud environment is available only to the owners of that service environment and other entities they choose to share it with, such as business partners or customers. A hybrid cloud, on the other hand, offers the ability to integrate and connect to services across public and private clouds and data centers to create a virtual computing environment — a fluid mix of on-premises physical infrastructure and virtualized infrastructure that may be located on- or off-premises. However, before getting into more detail about how this environment actually works, you need to understand the continuum from public to private clouds.

Obviously, all cloud environments aren’t the same. In fact, because the computing needs of a business aren’t static, but change frequently, the best way to determine the type of environment that meets your needs is to think of a cloud as a continuum. It might be straightforward to assume that all public clouds are the same and all private clouds work in the same way. But in reality there are shades of gray. For example, you might have a public cloud service that is only available to customers who sign a long-term agreement. You might have a public SaaS service that offers a private version of the same application. You might have a private cloud that is actually part of the data center. Some public clouds might offer a sophisticated level of ...

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