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What Is a Hybrid Data Center?

Hybrid Data Center Architecture

A hybrid data center refers to a combination of cloud-based and on-premises infrastructures that enables the sharing of applications and data between the data centers using a network. 

One of the main hybrid data center benefits is it allows a company to achieve business agility, scale on demand, and strike a balance between the flexibility of private cloud and public cloud data centers and the advantages of housing data and processes on-premises. This allows for a wide range of IT possibilities, from container orchestration to on-premises redundant servers, without having to invest heavily upfront.

Workload Placements in a Hybrid Data Center

With hybrid data center services, your organization benefits from the advantages of public and private cloud, as well as on-premises environments.

IoT Service Diagram

 

Private Cloud

Private cloud is a cloud architecture that gives you exclusive use of cloud resources. You do not share any of your infrastructure with another entity.

Public Cloud

Public cloud data centers are shared with more than one user. The data gets stored on a shared server, and a cloud service provider manages it.

Hybrid Data Center

On-premises

In an on-premises data center, the server that stores and manages the data is kept within the premises of your company. This brings the advantage of added security for sensitive data because you have the option of setting up your own physical security systems to guard the server.

Advantages of a Hybrid Data Center

There are several advantages offered by a hybrid data center, including ease of use, better support for remote workers, enhanced business continuity and scalability, and potentially lower costs.

Ease of Use

With a hybrid data center, you can simply move processes from your on-premises environment to the cloud one at a time, whenever you are ready.

Better Support for a Remote Workforce

It is easier to provision a remote workforce with a hybrid data center. Processes that need to be deployed and managed in the cloud can be migrated there, and then making them available to a remote workforce is more straightforward.

Business Continuity

Because a hybrid data center executes periodic backups, the amount of downtime you may experience is less than that of many pure-cloud architectures. It is also more resilient when it comes to dealing with situations where the demand for resources experiences a sudden spike.

Improved Scalability and Control

In the event that you need more resources to handle demand, with a hybrid data center, you can scale up by taking advantage of resources in the public cloud portion of your data center architecture. In this way, you benefit from one of the primary advantages of cloud computing.

Reduced Costs

With a hybrid data center, there is no need to pay extra for hardware you may not need at the moment or ever use. You buy what you need and scale up when and if necessary.

Hybrid Data Center Security

Securing a hybrid data center involves a combination of other data center security principles, but the process is typically more complex. The applications and data kept in the cloud will need different security than those kept on-premises. In the event a process needs to be moved from on-premises to the cloud, for example, you would need a flexible solution that keeps it protected even after it has migrated to the cloud environment. 

Therefore, security for a hybrid data center needs to be:

  1. Borderless: The simplest solutions need to work regardless of where the data or process being protected is located. This kind of borderless security allows you to choose the resources you need without having to worry about slips in protection.
  2. Unified: Everything needs to fall under the same security umbrella and be manageable using a single workstation. Even if multiple solutions are used, their management and control need to be unified so one entity can secure the hybrid environment.
  3. Simplified and automated: With the diversity of environments introduced by a hybrid data center, the need to automate security processes increases. This is because while monitoring and maintaining visibility between multiple environments increases, the chances of human error also grows significantly. Automating as many security processes and ensuring the simplicity of your security architecture would reduce the chances of something going wrong.
  4. Granular: To adequately protect a hybrid data center setup, you need to attain granular visibility into not only isolated processes but also those involving the transmission of data between your on-premises and cloud data centers.
  5. Flexible and scalable: Because cloud environments give you flexible infrastructures that can change according to need, your security needs to be able to do the same.
  6. Redundant and resilient: In the event of an outage or interruption, your hybrid architecture will need to enable resiliency, and this may require redundancy. Therefore, your security solution has to have similar resiliency and redundancy to keep your environment protected if the need arises.
  7. Dynamic: Hybrid data center security, whether it is protecting a large, hyperscale data center, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment, or a simple, on-prem/public cloud setup, needs to be able to change along with the configuration of the network. In this way, you can make changes to the network without having to worry about the alterations introducing vulnerabilities.

How Fortinet Can Help

The Fortinet hybrid cloud solution is an ideal fit for a hybrid data center environment. It gives you the freedom to maintain a combination of cloud and on-premises data centers, so you can export processes to the cloud if and when you feel comfortable—without sacrificing security. With Fortinet hybrid cloud security, you get the ability to:

  1. Scale your network on-demand with matching security automatically
  2. Normalize, adapt, simplify security and protection across all clouds.
  3. Segment, scale and enforce end-to-end security policy
  4. Complete visibility, protection and granular control over the network's security
  5. Easy to use, centralized and highly scalable singe pane of glass management system
  6. Automated provisioning, monitoring, and visibility of security for multi-layered workloads
  7. Ultra-fast, virtual private network (VPN) connectivity so you can migrate workloads from one environment to another

FAQs

What is a hybrid data center?

A hybrid data center refers to a combination of cloud-based and on-premises infrastructures that enables the sharing of applications and data between data centers.

What does a hybrid data center consist of?

A hybrid data center consists of an on-premises data center as well as a private cloud and/or public cloud data center.

What are the workload placements in a hybrid data center?

The workload placements in a hybrid data center consist of allocating workloads to private cloud, public cloud, and on-premises data processing resources.

What are the main benefits of a hybrid data center?

The main benefits of a hybrid data center include:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Enables better support for a remote workforce
  3. Supports better business continuity
  4. Improves scalability and control
  5. Reduces cost