What Is Hybrid Cloud? Definition, Examples, & Benefits

February 15, 2024

The way we work has changed dramatically in the past few years. Between meeting digital transformation demands and supporting hybrid work teams, businesses across all industries are adopting cloud solutions at record rates. In fact, worldwide spending on cloud computing infrastructure is forecast to reach $1 trillion for the first time in 2024.1

But as more companies modernize their IT environments, many find that neither public cloud nor private cloud alone can optimize performance, cost, and risk for all their workloads. 72% of businesses embraced a hybrid cloud approach in 2023,2 a solution that combines private and public cloud resources with on-premises infrastructure. This blended model allows businesses to optimize their IT investments, increase efficiency, and maintain the agility needed to stay competitive.

In this blog, we’ll explain what a hybrid cloud is, how it works, its benefits and potential drawbacks, and how to choose the right hybrid cloud provider for your business.

Public Cloud Advantages and Disadvantages

Public cloud solutions offer access to computing resources, storage, and applications over the Internet. With the public cloud, resources are hosted in the provider's data centers, not your own – so you can leverage the cloud's flexibility without needing to maintain an on-premises data center.

Here are some of the biggest advantages of using a public cloud solution:

  • Scalability - Public cloud infrastructure can easily scale up or down on demand.
  • Low Upfront Costs - By working with a public cloud provider, you don't need to purchase hardware or maintain a data center.
  • High Availability - Leading cloud providers distribute their services across multiple data centers.

However, there are some downsides to consider:

  • Less Control - Your business must rely on your cloud provider for security and compliance.
  • Vendor Lock-In - Switching providers as your needs change can be difficult.
  • Unpredictable Costs - Fees can spike as your cloud utilization increases.

Private Cloud Advantages and Disadvantages

Private clouds offer computing resources used exclusively by your business, typically hosted on-premises or at a third-party data center. Private cloud infrastructure gives you more control than the public cloud but is more expensive and requires more management.

Key private cloud advantages include:

  • Enhanced Security - With a private cloud, your computing resources are dedicated to your business alone.
  • Customization - Since private cloud environments aren't shared among multiple subscribers, you can tailor them to your needs.
  • Predictable Costs - You own the cloud technology, so it's easier to forecast and manage spending.

Some potential disadvantages to private clouds include:

  • High Upfront Costs - You have to purchase the hardware and software, resulting in higher upfront and installation costs.
  • Scalability Limits - Adding capacity may be difficult since your cloud environment is constrained by fixed resources.
  • Maintenance - Your IT team is responsible for managing the infrastructure, resulting in ongoing maintenance costs.


What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud strategy blends private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises infrastructure, connecting these environments through orchestration software. The goal of a hybrid approach is to optimize the placement of cloud workloads based on factors like security, compliance, and performance.

How Do Hybrid Cloud Solutions Work?

There are a few key elements that allow hybrid clouds to function seamlessly:

  • Interconnectivity - Hybrid clouds connect public and private cloud environments through secure networks like virtual private networks (VPNs) and direct private links, enabling fast and reliable communication between resources.
  • Virtualization - Server virtualization is used to pool computing resources from data centers and cloud providers, which allows workloads to be provisioned and moved as virtual machines.
  • Automation - Self-service dashboards and infrastructure as code techniques allow IT teams to spin cloud computing resources up and down automatically based on policies.
  • Orchestration - Hybrid cloud management capabilities coordinate resources across environments, enabling seamless workload mobility between public, private, and edge locations.
  • Unified Services - To simplify operations, hybrid cloud solutions extend common data services like identity management, security, and monitoring across all environments.

Together, these capabilities let businesses leverage cloud elasticity while maintaining control of their IT infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud Architecture Use Cases

Hybrid cloud solutions allow businesses to adjust cloud computing resources as their needs change. Here are some examples of how companies leverage a hybrid cloud architecture:

Temporary Capacity

A hybrid cloud approach makes handling spikes in computing needs during seasonal periods or special events easier by offloading workloads to the public cloud, enabling businesses to avoid overprovisioning local infrastructure.

Data Residency

Hybrid cloud environments help businesses keep data securely stored in the private cloud to meet internal policies or compliance requirements – while still enabling easy access to public cloud services for less critical workloads.

Disaster Recovery

With a hybrid cloud strategy, companies can replicate on-premises data and virtual machines to public cloud environments to ensure business continuity in case of a disaster or outage at their primary site.

Hybrid Big Data Analytics

Businesses can leverage a hybrid cloud solution to perform data pre-processing locally before analyzing large datasets in the cloud to optimize analytics performance, compliance, and cost-efficiency.

Cloud Migration

With a hybrid cloud, organizations can gradually move workloads from on-premises solutions to the public cloud environment in a staged manner to maintain legacy applications during the transition period while benefiting from cloud elasticity.

Edge Computing

Hybrid cloud computing lets businesses perform real-time processing and analytics locally in edge environments to reduce latency while leveraging public clouds for back-end services like training ML models.



What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure?

Switching to a hybrid cloud approach can offer your business several advantages, including:

Cost Optimization

The hybrid cloud lets you analyze usage trends across separate clouds and shift workloads to reduce costs. This makes it easier to avoid overprovisioning by offloading peak capacity to the public cloud instead of purchasing more infrastructure.

Enhanced Security

31% of organizations said cyber security was their top investment priority in 2023,3 making secure cloud solutions essential for staying competitive. With a hybrid cloud environment, you can keep sensitive data and regulated workloads completely isolated within your private cloud services while using public clouds for lower-risk activities. These solutions also make it easy to define granular security policies tailored to your risk tolerance.


Hybrid clouds make it easier for your business to meet compliance requirements that dictate where data can be stored and processed. You can keep regulated data in private clouds while leveraging public cloud providers for non-sensitive workloads.


With providers offering backup sites and redundancy across regions, hybrid cloud deployments build in business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities to ensure your operations can continue seamlessly, no matter what.


Over 50% of businesses will use cloud platforms to accelerate their business initiatives by 2027.3 A hybrid cloud platform provides the foundation modern businesses need to quickly adopt cutting-edge cloud services like AI, ML, and advanced analytics to enhance business capabilities without making new infrastructure investments.

Are There Disadvantages To Using a Hybrid Cloud?

While there are many hybrid cloud benefits for businesses, there are also some challenges to consider. These include:

  • Integration Complexity - Connecting multiple clouds and coordinating workloads and data between them can be difficult without expert support.
  • Talent Scarcity - Specialized skills are required to architect, implement, and manage hybrid solutions, requiring many businesses to invest heavily in training.
  • Tool Sprawl - Dealing with multiple public and private clouds and APIs from different vendors can create more management overhead.
  • Compliance Risks - Meeting regulations consistently across mixed cloud environments requires rigorous security controls.
  • Unpredictable Fees - Without the right provider, moving large volumes of data between hybrid cloud environments can result in high network charges.

To overcome these issues, look for hybrid cloud platforms that minimize complexity through unified management, maximize cloud flexibility, and provide guidance on compliance best practices.

What Should Businesses Look For in a Hybrid Cloud Solution?

To maximize the value of your hybrid cloud deployment, you need to partner with the right cloud providers. Consider teaming up with a colocation data center provider that offers hybrid cloud solutions with features such as:

Seamless Management

Look for a solution that provides centralized visibility and control across all your cloud environments through a unified management console. This single pane of glass should allow you to monitor, provision, and orchestrate services across public, private, and edge locations.

Flexible Connectivity

Your hybrid cloud provider should offer secure, high-bandwidth network connectivity between environments using VPNs, dedicated interconnects, and software-defined networking. Flexible options to integrate public cloud solutions with colocation facilities, on-premises infrastructure, and edge sites are essential for enabling seamless workload portability.

Cross-Platform Support

The ideal provider will let you integrate AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and other top public cloud platforms with your internal systems. Avoid vendors that lock you into proprietary technology stacks – the right provider will offer a truly carrier-neutral data center environment.

Compliance Expertise

Look for a provider experienced in navigating compliance requirements like data privacy, encryption standards, and access controls. They should have the expertise to advise you on designing secure architectures and help you implement best practice controls tailored to your regulatory obligations.

Right-Sized Data Centers

Your hybrid cloud provider should offer scalable, cloud-enabled colocation facilities to supplement your capacity. Seek data centers with reliable uptime, redundancy, and disaster recovery measures to support your most critical workloads.


Get Started With a Right-Fit Hybrid Cloud Solution From eStruxture

Hybrid cloud solutions give modern businesses the flexibility and control they need to grow in today's fast-moving markets. Combining the best characteristics of public, private, and on-premises environments with a hybrid cloud strategy can help your company drive digital transformation and maintain a competitive edge – without sacrificing security or scalability.

If you're ready to modernize your IT infrastructure with a hybrid cloud approach, eStruxture is here to help. With 15 carrier-neutral data centers across Canada's major metro markets, 760,000+ square feet of data center space, and over 130MW of power, we offer the space and power your company needs to scale securely. Download our free guide to learn more about how eStruxture can help your business accelerate cloud adoption, or get in touch with our experts today to get started.




  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2023/10/09/the-10-biggest-cloud-computing-trends-in-2024-everyone-must-be-ready-for-now
  2. https://info.flexera.com/CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud
  3. https://cloud.google.com/blog/transform/top-cloud-computing-trends-facts-statistics-2023


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