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What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud – sometimes called a cloud hybrid – is a computing environment that combines an on-premises data centre (also called a private cloud) with a public cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared between them. Some people define hybrid cloud to include “multi-cloud” configurations where an organisation uses more than one public cloud in addition to their on-premises data centre.

What are the benefits of hybrid cloud?

No matter which definition of hybrid cloud that you use, the benefits are the same: When computing and processing demand increases beyond an on-premises data centre’s capabilities, businesses can use the cloud to instantly scale capacity up or down to handle excess capacity. It also allows them to avoid the time and cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining new servers that they may not always need.

Are there regulatory issues with using a hybrid cloud model?

For industries that work with highly sensitive data, such as banking, finance, government and healthcare, hybrid may be their best cloud option. For example, some regulated industries require certain types of data to be stored on-premises while allowing less-sensitive data to be stored on the cloud. In this kind of hybrid cloud architecture, organisations gain the flexibility of the public cloud for less-regulated computing tasks, while still meeting their industry requirements.

Read more about hybrid cloud capabilities and getting started with Azure

Are there security issues with hybrid cloud infrastructure?

Organisations that use a hybrid cloud platform are able to use many of the same security measures that they use in their existing on-premises infrastructure – including security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities. In fact, some organisations find cloud hybrid security to be superior to that of their on-premises data centre because of always-up-to-date, automated data redundancy, high availability, disaster recovery and cybersecurity features.

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Related hybrid cloud Azure products and services

Azure hybrid cloud solutions

Explore examples of hybrid cloud and Azure on-premises, multi-cloud and edge solutions.

Azure Arc

Extend Azure services and management to any infrastructure.

Azure Stack

Build and run hybrid apps across data centres, edge locations, remote offices and the cloud.

Azure Hybrid Benefit

Migrate your workloads cost-effectively to the best cloud for Windows and SQL Server.

Azure VMware Solution

Seamlessly run VMware workloads across Azure and on-premises environment.

Azure Sentinel

Gain AI-enabled threat protection with a cloud-native SIEM.

Azure Defender

Protect hybrid cloud workloads against threats with streamlined security.

Azure ExpressRoute

Privately connect on-premises networks to the cloud, and enjoy high speed and reliability.

Azure VPN Gateway

Connect your infrastructure to the cloud and enable remote user access at scale.