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 Image: iStock

Public and private cloud offerings range from personal services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Apple iCloud to enterprise-focused services such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.

Public cloud solutions are usually subscription-based services where the hardware or software, or both, are rented and where IT departments purchase storage, compute and/or networking on an as-needed basis. Many companies have been wary of adopting public cloud services due to concerns about everything from security and reliability to regulatory compliance.

Private clouds emerged in response to these fears, and private clouds are generally on-premise solutions that use hardware and software managed by an organization's IT department.

Hence the birth of the hybrid cloud. It was created to combine the best features from both public and private clouds. It blends on-premises and off-premises solutions, which usually communicate with each other. Depending on the solutions, IT staff and end users may even use the same tools for managing, provisioning, and monitoring both systems.

Download Tech Pro Research's full report - Hybrid Cloud: Benefits, roadblocks, favored vendors.

To help business technology decision makers better understand the hybrid cloud adoption plans of organizations around the world, Tech Pro Research conducted a global survey in May 2014. Feedback was gathered from 138 respondents to examine the following:

  • Hybrid cloud adoption rates
  • Which industry verticals are considering hybrid cloud
  • Common company size considering cloud adoption
  • What is preventing and/or encouraging hybrid cloud adoption
  • Cloud vendor considerations
  • Perception of trust and reliability
  • Experienced trust and reliability

Familiarity with hybrid cloud concept

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that most are familiar with the concept of a hybrid cloud, with 93% of respondents reporting they have at least heard of it. Most of the people not familiar with the concept are from small organizations, with 13% of those in companies with fewer than 50 people unfamiliar with the hybrid cloud, versus only 5% unfamiliar with the concept in companies of 1,000 or more.

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As the report stated, "These findings aren't too surprising given that many small organizations don't have the existing hardware infrastructure needed for the on-premise part of a hybrid solution. Also, small companies that aren't burdened by legacy systems may actually find it easier and more cost effective to use a purely public cloud solution instead of buying their own hardware."

Implementation versus evaluation

Of the 128 respondents who had at least heard of the hybrid cloud, one-third said they have already implemented a hybrid cloud solution and another 37% are considering the use of a hybrid cloud option. Another 30% have no plans to implement the technology. This aligns very closely with a recent survey, The New Era of Hosted Services, commissioned by Microsoft, that said 68% of organizations will adopt a hybrid cloud model over the next two years, which is a 19% increase over the current hybrid cloud adoption rates.

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Vendors being evaluated versus those in use

An interesting comparison in the report is the list of vendors being currently used versus those being considered for future use.

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As seen in the above Tech Pro Research chart, there are more vendors being evaluated than those actually being used. And while Microsoft claimed top honors in both areas, Amazon and VMware flip-flopped between second and third place on the lists. Also noteworthy is that Amazon and Cisco have far more respondents evaluating their products than actually using them.

The report also dives into the benefits and potential problems with the hybrid cloud, and what to consider if evaluating a hybrid cloud solution for an organization. The data shows that there is plenty of interest in the hybrid cloud, and the size of the organizations using it the most.

Download Tech Pro Research's full report - Hybrid Cloud: Benefits, roadblocks, favored vendors.