As cloud networks and the Software as a Service (SaaS) model begin to take hold in the IT industry, small and mid-sized businesses are looking at a wealth of new infrastructure options for their networking.

For a variety of reasons – including disaster recovery, security, and existing investments – many businesses are hesitant to move all their data and networking to a cloud-based environment. The solution, posited by NetworkWorld as the direction of 2013, is a hybrid network, combining the best of both worlds.

The Hybrid Network

The hybrid network provides an ideal solution, simply because it enables the SMB to have the flexibility and mobility of SaaS, cloud data access, and easy addition of users, combined with the on-premise control of critical data, and the continued use or repurposing of the servers and other infrastructure already purchased and developed. Additionally, many critical business applications offer a cloud-based option, and the hybrid network model allows the business to use the application of their choice without migrating everything off-premise. (Our clients use industry-specific cloud-based software such as ComputerEase, Procare, RecTrac, Sage Financial Software, Xactimate, and others.)

Hybrid Challenges

As ideal a solution as a hybrid network may sound, it still offers its challenges. While it combines the best of both worlds in terms of a solution, it can also present challenges from both sides. Like the traditional cloud, the hybrid network requires consistent and reliable bandwidth to access the applications and data stored in the cloud environment. It requires very careful security measures, and careful disaster recovery planning to prevent cloud network downtime from affecting business operations. Like the on-premise network, hybrid computing requires creativity in balancing accessibility and security, and regular in-house monitoring and management. An experienced engineer is necessary if you want to design a hybrid solution that will truly be efficient and advantageous.

The Hybrid cloud prevents more headaches than it creates.

With the hybrid cloud, you have built-in redundancy in your business operations – if the cloud goes down, you still have on-premise infrastructure to maintain your business. You have the flexibility to secure your data on-premise, and to access it from anywhere via SaaS mobile applications. It looks as though hybrid computing will be the future for many in the SMB market, and there is good reason to be optimistic about this solution to the ongoing question of how to store data and applications in an efficient, accessible and secure environment.

To learn more about how AIE can help you implement a hybrid computing solution for your network, contact us to schedule a network assessment today.