Hybrid Data Center Definition & Meaning

A hybrid data center includes physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure. Traditionally, data centers stored physical servers and computers in a warehouse where IT staff managed the processes and data. In a software-defined data center, software controls hardware, running data management processes physically, virtually, or in the cloud. Many organizations now have physical and cloud environments – these hybrid infrastructures are essential for most enterprises. Hybrid cloud is similar in meaning. 

Hybrid data centers combine data management needs; as businesses require the flexibility and capacity of the cloud, they need both physical servers in their office or region and expansive cloud resources. Hybrid data centers deploy workloads across multiple environments, helping to transfer data, applications, and containers from cloud to cloud or from cloud to on-premise server. They’re extremely flexible.

Hybrid data center security

Unfortunately, with the flexibility and scalability also come challenges. Because hybrid data centers contain different and distant environments, they’re very difficult to secure. Data is deployed across many servers, making its transfer and safety harder to manage. Also, much security software and hardware are designed only for physical servers or only for the cloud. They can’t comply with security requirements for data protection if they only secure one aspect of a business’s data infrastructure.

Appropriate security has struggled to keep up with software-defined networking and software-defined data centers, and that challenge is compounded for hybrid cloud solutions. Some software solutions do exist, however. McAfee, for example, provides an extensive set of security features for hybrid data environments, including quick threat response and a platform for security between virtual machines and virtual networks. Trend Micro’s Cloud One secures servers, containers, private clouds, and on-premises computing systems.

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