What is a Hybrid Infrastructure and Why Do You Need One?

The growth of cloud and the decline of the data center is an enterprise reality. By 2020, Gartner predicts companies will spend about the same amount of money on cloud, hosting, and traditional infrastructure services. Organizations want agility and flexibility, and don’t need the hassle and expense of maintaining tailored, on-premises data centers, which is why most organizations will want some sort of cloud solution. 

 

But for a variety of reasons, including compliance, data security, and delivery models, not every company can move entirely to the cloud. That is why Gartner sees hybrid infrastructure – a mix of cloud and on-premises application deployment – as the future. If you are thinking about moving some or most of your applications and systems to the cloud, or a hybrid cloud, a hybrid infrastructure is the right choice. 

The Composition of a Hybrid Infrastructure 

A hybrid infrastructure is composed of a combination of on-premises data centers, private clouds and/or public clouds. Enterprise systems and applications can be deployed on any of these environments, depending on the strategic business need, the tactical requirements, and the required outcome. For example, an organization might want to save costs by moving the majority of its business processes to the cloud, or a hybrid cloud infrastructure. An organization with a rapidly scaling workforce might want to implement a cloud-based employee management solution, which will be powered by data housed in legacy systems. Or an organization might recognize that it needs to make certain applications available to employees to access on their personal devices (BYOD). In these scenarios, it becomes important to think about how to manage systems and applications across a hybrid environment. 

It is very rare for businesses, particularly ones who have operated for several years, to exist entirely on-premises or entirely in the cloud. The rise and proliferation of best-of-breed SaaS applications means that even the most traditional of organizations are going to adopt these best-of-breed software solutions. And it is nearly impossible for most medium-to-large organizations to have all of their systems deployed in a public cloud. The business reality for most companies is that there needs to be a hybrid infrastructure. Given the role of enterprise integration in making all these systems work together, any integration solution that a company adopts will have to work across all of these environments. 

Integrating a Hybrid Infrastructure 

Today’s enterprises must have an integration strategy that seamlessly unites applications and systems deployed anywhere; on-premises, in a private cloud, a hybrid cloud infrastructure, or in a public cloud. Hybrid integration brings together any on-premises systems you might have, SaaS applications, B2B (partners and suppliers), B2C (customer engagement), BYOD (enterprise mobile), and the data that all these systems generate. Integrating these systems across a hybrid infrastructure allows companies to quickly pivot to changing customer behavior and emerging business trends, while leveraging the data and functionality of on-premises legacy applications.

This also means that there can’t be multiple platforms to deploy applications and systems on. In order for a hybrid infrastructure to serve the needs of a business, integration has to happen on a unified platform that allows for seamless hybrid integration across any environment. It also needs to have a secure data gateway which allows for protected communication the different managed or public cloud, hybrid cloud infrastructure, and on-premises environments–– allowing the development of a secure, controlled hybrid infrastructure where the data passed between specific applications can be monitored and secured. 

Anypoint Platform Helps Build a Hybrid Infrastructure for the Enterprise

Anypoint Platform’s hybrid cloud functionality, built into the Mule runtime architecture, allows organizations to run the same APIs or applications across multiple cloud environments or on-premises.

Anypoint Platform enables the creation of a hybrid infrastructure with the following capabilities:

  • Run apps on-premises, on MuleSoft's CloudHub or any other public or private cloud
  • Manage runtimes across a hybrid IT environment from a single management view
  • Move apps between cloud and on-premises environments without rewriting code
  • Reduce operational costs by deploying apps and APIs in Dockerized containers

For organizations beginning a DevOps practice and seeking a flexible environment, MuleSoft provides both a fully hosted, fully managed cloud solution as well as Dockerized containers for running and managing Mule apps. This gives organizations the ability to encapsulate functionality, easily shift deployment targets, and respond to demand by elastically expanding resources.

For more about hybrid infrastructure strategy, take a look at our resources on application deployment, or Gartner’s report on how to implement a hybrid integration platform.