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The hybrid cloud model tends to get used today mostly for cold storage -- or backup and disaster recovery purposes.
Certainly that situation is evolving. People are using cloud storage and hybrid cloud storage for more use cases than ever, such as experimenting with partition data for big data analytics, or looking at some applications that were born in the cloud and figuring out how to make them work with data that's on-site.
But today, they're using it by and large as a cold storage tier. Using the hybrid cloud as a backup site is really a great thing because you don't have to build a complete second data center or another off-site repository. If you just have one data center -- or primary data center -- you can take those backup images and put them into a public cloud.
After that, you can pull those images out at any point. But the great thing is you don't have to pull them out back to the exact same place. If you lost your primary site and you want to restore those images to a second site or a different site, you can do that. If you're careful about how you build this and you're completely virtualized, you can restore your backup images to the same cloud or even a different cloud. So now, if you lose your primary site, you can still back up and restore within the cloud.
When it comes to hybrid clouds, I think enterprises approach it from a business perspective: What do I need to get out of my IT infrastructure? And they're looking at this public cloud as an ideal model for some of their business users who just want to bring a credit card and swipe it. But they know because of reasons of data security, they can't go to a fully public model.
In addition, cost builds up in a public model. So, as a first step, they might build a private cloud to get their feet wet in cloud architectures. But to really get the best of both worlds, at some point they're going to need to integrate by moving or partitioning a workload across both the public and private cloud to really optimize it.
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