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The Hybrid Cloud: When Two Clouds are Better than One


Cloud computing comes in two basic types. There’s the public cloud embodied by remote data centers run by Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. They’re open to anyone willing to pay for the storage they need. Private clouds, on the other hand, are only accessible by certain companies and organizations. For instance, Emerge owns and operates a private cloud solely for the benefit of its customers.

“There are pros and cons to each cloud type, but it’s not an either/or choice,” says Richard Brown, CEO of Emerge. “Many companies find that a ‘hybrid cloud’ approach—one using both public and private clouds services—makes the most business sense.”

Under what circumstances should a company ponder embracing the hybrid cloud? The answer to that question is found in other questions: What business applications or software are you using? How long can you go without access to critical business data and apps? How much does it cost you to be down? How does downtime impact your brand?

Some applications, such as ERPs, are better suited for private clouds since they’re generally more flexible and accommodating of customized applications than public clouds. Business-critical data is often better suited to a private cloud for business continuity purposes.

“If you ever need to restore your IT systems and business in a timely fashion, the private cloud provides unique value and often offers a speedier and more cost-effective path to business recovery,” says Clark Earick, COO of Emerge.

When critical data sits on a private cloud, particularly one as sophisticated as Emerge’s, it can often be restored and operations back up and running within hours, if not minutes. “In many ways, the hybrid cloud is as much about business risk management as it is IT,” says Clark.

In a hybrid cloud approach, noncritical business data, such as archival documents that regulatory agencies may require, is often stored on a public cloud, where it’s less expensive. “We work with customers to create a cloud strategy unique to them, and that helps clarify what to place in the public cloud and what to place on our private one,” says Richard.

Can companies create an on-site data center to operate their own private cloud? Yes, but it’s expensive to purchase, maintain, and keep current. Not only is the hardware pricey, but building the proper physical environment with power, cooling, fire suppression, and security adds significantly to the cost, not to mention the efforts required to care for it all.

“Freeing yourself from managing your own data center also allows you to shift capital expenses to operational ones, which has many financial benefits,” says Jesse Kegley, CRO of Emerge.

Not all private clouds are created equal. Emerge’s private cloud is enterprise-class. The primary site sits in downtown Cincinnati in a secure building that’s monitored 24/7. The facility has multiple paths for power and internet access. In addition, backup generators, with fuel contracts to ensure the tanks never run dry, stand by should they be needed.

The Emerge private cloud is SOC 2 compliant, which means the facility adheres to a specific security framework that protects data from unauthorized access. Emerge maintains a second data center at its headquarters in Northern Kentucky, where it can replicate information and servers if needed.

“This level of redundancy and resiliency provides unmatched peace of mind,” says Clark.

Another reason to consider the hybrid cloud is if your company or industry has specific compliance issues that the public cloud can’t accommodate.

The hybrid cloud has its challenges. “Moving data from one cloud to another takes some management,” says Jesse. ‘Of course, an MSP, such as Emerge, can do this for you.”

If you’re intrigued by the hybrid cloud and want to learn more, contact Emerge via this website or at 859-746-1030.