What is Hybrid Hosting?


posted by Paul Peeler

The word hybrid in conjunction with another tech buzzword like hosting generally means that you are simply combining different types of hosting services. We first heard the term Hybrid Hosting rattling around hosting related conferences a few years ago. At that point people were hoping to combine Colocation services and Dedicated Servers in the same solution. That has now expanded to include Public and Private Cloud services.

For different services to be combined in the same solution, they must all be a part of the same network. In order to provide Hybrid Hosting you must have a well designed network where all of these services can be part of the same VLAN and IP ranges, regardless of their physical location within your data centers. As cloud technology has risen in popularity this has expanded to include the ability to move workloads and applications between service types as well.

Click Image to Enlarge

Hybrid Hosting Diagram

How could Hybrid Hosting benefit me?

When you have a full rack in a colocation facility things can get tricky when you need to expand. You may not need an entire new rack of space or need the extra space for a long period of time. This becomes an even bigger problem if you don’t have the upfront capital needed to purchase new equipment.

Having the ability to quickly bring cloud or dedicated servers into your infrastructure on a permanent or temporary basis can solve a multitude of problems. Specifically, Hybrid Hosting can help mitigate the cost of development, QA, migration, or the need to scale up during busy periods or special events.

At Caronet we provide all of the above on a managed, unmanaged, or partially managed basis. Your rack of colo equipment will appear as if it is next to your temporary cloud servers or your managed dedicated application servers. The same VLANs and networks, whether public or private, will be available to all services and can appear behind the same load balancer or firewall.

How is Hybrid Cloud different?

Hybrid Cloud generally describes a situation where a company utilizes both private and public cloud, moving workloads between the two infrastructures seamlessly. Some choose to run portions of their infrastructure on an in-house or colocated private cloud, and utilize public cloud to temporarily scale during busy times. Public cloud can also be used for development or QA of a new application.

The largest difference between Hybrid Cloud and Hybrid Hosting is that the former is completely virtualized and the latter has some bare-metal in the mix. Disaster Recovery is less painful with Hybrid Cloud as compared to the days before virtualization. Opening a new office or data center no longer requires you to start from scratch.

Know what you’re buying.

It’s frustrating to watch communication break down because the same term is used to describe different things. As a customer, the last thing you want to say is “but you said you had hybrid” or “you said you had cloud”. The best thing to do is ask service providers specifically what they mean by Hybrid Hosting or Hybrid Cloud, and then determine if their service offering meets the needs of your company and application.

Comments? Questions?

Have you had an experience with a service provider or vendor where you were both using the same terminology but talking about two different things? Tell us about it!

I hope this was helpful and would love your feedback. Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I will respond as quickly as possible.


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