What is Hybrid Computing? What is the Hybrid Cloud? We've talked a lot on this blog recently about the benefits of cloud computing over traditional on-premises solutions, but what about the third option? You may remember that old English proverb that states you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but is that always necessarily true?
When it comes to an authentication solution, many IT professionals feel that they’re presented with an either/or scenario. Either you buy an on-premises solution, which requires you to install, configure and administer with your own internal IT department - or you enlist one of the many cloud providers that will host the solution on a virtual machine (VM) and remove all of the configuration and care-and-feeding that an on-premises (aka “on-prem”) solution typically requires. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages and each requires careful consideration. On-prem typically offers a high level of customization, lower price and full “within the four walls” control over your configuration. But, as noted, it also requires a good amount of care-and-feeding from a manpower and hardware perspective. Another question to consider is what is hybrid computing - and does it provide the best option for you?
Cloud Computing - What you Might Not Know
The calling card for a cloud solution is usually built around the idea of “leave the driving to us” - cloud solutions promise to get you where you want to be quickly and easily, with a minimum of configuration and aftercare hassles. You’ll also get a VM environment that is configured to offer the latest in infrastructure best practices. Things like load balancing, fail-over protection and a robust disaster recovery protocol are provided to ensure that your data is backed up regularly and kept offsite for your convenience and protection.
Of course the flip side of the cloud reveals that there is a higher cost outlay over time, with a heavy dependency on two factors: the features you are looking to deploy and how much you want to customize the user interface. With cloud solutions, you may not have access to each feature that your environment requires in one package, and your customization options are almost always limited. To paraphrase Henry Ford: you can have any font, color and layout that you want as long as it’s Arial, blue and fits within a specific set of dimensions.
In other words, it’s pretty cookie-cutter in delivery and approach.
But, what if you could have both? What the answer to the question, 'what is hybrid computing' is a configuration that allowed you to control not only what your users could do, but also how the interface looked? What if you could have a standardized UI with your organizations logo and digital identity along with all the back-room IT best practices like load balancing and regular backups? Hybrid computing could very well be the answer that you are looking for.
A Hybrid Cloud Approach
So what is hybrid computing? Well, with a hybrid cloud approach you actually do get the best of both worlds: Hybrid computing offers you the flexibility and control of installing an on-prem solution and then having that solution replicated in the cloud. The hybrid solution allows you to run the exact same software with the exact same configuration on both platforms.
PortalGuard's hybrid cloud approach provides IT organizations the best of both worlds as it allow IT administrators the ability to configure their authentication solution in a way that best suits their user base, while still receiving the many benefits provided through standard cloud computing solutions.
High Density Traffic
You may find that you have a high density of users at your corporate HQ and a smaller, more mobile sales staff located around the globe. In this example you may want the benefits of an on-prem solution for the Corporate HQ while a cloud solution makes more sense for those that are not centrally located. With a hybrid computing cloud solution, providing a cloud solution to one location and an on-prem solution to another within your organization is simple and easy to manage.
We've already touched on the benefits to uptime and backups present in cloud computing. Hybrid computing allows organizations to use the cloud solution as a backup should any issues arise in the Corporate data center. In this case, the on-prem solution runs a majority of the time but for the times of planned or unplanned downtime, organizations can switch over to the cloud to allow end-users full use of the system.
What about cost? With PortalGuard's Hybrid computing approach you get the benefit of having access to the cloud at no additional cost when you purchase our on-prem solution. Our engineers are able to work with you to make sure that your cloud solution is a carbon copy of your on-prem and that you have the ability to configure both quickly and easily.
From a value proposition, hybrid computing often makes more sense than choosing either or. With PortalGuard, you only pay for the on-prem license instead of the typical per-user per-month model that most cloud providers charge. This is also a great cost effective way of “dipping your toe” into the cloud pool without jumping in full force. In doing so, you can take your time evaluating how well the cloud can work for your organization as it provides you with an excellent proof-of-concept.
Very few vendors currently on the market offer a hybrid computing approach, and fewer still offer a full range of features within their authentication solution - oftentimes relying on other vendors to provide key missing elements. With PortalGuard, you get the ability to deploy single sign-on, self-service password reset, two factor and multifactor authentication on both platforms with one flat price. Why settle for either or when both is just as good?