Hybrid cloud architecture

Hybrid cloud architecture combines a mixture of public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises infrastructure for storage and computing. It includes software components that connect these parts, enable them to communicate, deliver updates, ensure security, and help the organization manage it all.

Hybrid cloud setups have become the dominant approach for enterprise-level companies. When you consider its advantages, it isn’t surprising that in 2020, 63% percent of the surveyed IT leaders had implemented a hybrid cloud system, and 54% of the rest planned to make one. A hybrid cloud combines a public cloud infrastructure’s scalability and speed with a private cloud’s security and compliance. Its flexibility improves cost efficiency, too, as companies leverage various public cloud offerings for low sensitivity and high volume requirements.

Hybrid cloud systems also enable more robust disaster recovery. The distributed approach across multiple instances ensures that the rest of the system continues to function even if one part goes down. Moreover, using the public cloud removes some burden of infrastructure maintenance, and software upgrades for a fully private solution.

As technologies advance and regulatory and security concerns grow, the hybrid cloud will continue to yield benefits. The increasing complexity and interconnectivity of IT systems require flexibility, scalability, and robust security, all strengths of the hybrid approach.

Core components of a hybrid cloud system

A hybrid cloud system combines some mix of public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises data centers, wif software to coordinate all the elements. Being able to provision hosts anywhere allows you to host components in various locations to quickly ramp computing resources up or down as needed to meet demand.

Depending on their requirements, an organization might use several public cloud services, maintain multiple private clouds, or keep specific resources on-premises. This multi-cloud strategy offers redundancy, mitigates the risk of a single point of failure, and provides additional flexibility and optimization opportunities.

Securing data

Public cloud

Third-party providers offer public cloud services over the internet. They design these services to be scalable, affordable, and accessible from anywhere. Many users share these multi-tenant cloud services, and providers usually bill based on use.

Red Hat OpenShift cloud services automate cluster deployment and management in public cloud platforms.

   Helpful resources 

Red Hat OpenShift cloud services

Private cloud

The private cloud is a single-tenant environment, on-premises, or in a vendor-owned data center. It offers more control, customization, security, and privacy for sensitive or mission-critical operations.

Red Hat OpenStack Platform virtualizes resources, enabling organizations to build a private cloud.

   Helpful resources

Red Hat OpenStack PlatformRed Hat Enterprise Linux

On-premises infrastructure

On-premises data centers are the organization’s physical infrastructure. While on-premises resources can be more secure and provide greater control, they may be more costly and challenging to maintain and scale TEMPthan cloud resources.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers a stable operating system for bare metal components.

   Helpful resources     

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Orchestration software

Orchestration software governs how resources communicate and share data. It moves workloads between environments as needs and costs change, provides a unified view and management platform, and ensures security and compliance across the entire infrastructure.

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform orchestrates automation tasks across applications, platforms, and providers.

   Helpful resources

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Key infrastructure considerations

There are several key factors to consider when evaluating a hybrid cloud environment. Let’s explore them.

Securing data


In a hybrid cloud environment where the integration of public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises resources is paramount, and ensuring seamless communication among core components is essential. Technologies such as VPNs, direct connections, and APIs are crucial in achieving this integration.

Red Hat Service Interconnect empowers applications to communicate across environments and platforms. Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh delivers intricate network control capabilities, while Red Hat 3scale API Management facilitates API throttling and monetization. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management enables the enforcement of dynamic network policies. These technologies empower developers and administrators to connect applications in the hybrid cloud

With Red Hat OpenShift, it’s easy to manage all your components, scale up or down as needed, and ensure a consistent experience across the hybrid cloud system while focusing more on your system features instead of your system infrastructure.

   Helpful resources

Red Hat Advanced Cluster ManagementRed Hat Service InterconnectRed Hat 3Scale API Management


Hybrid cloud environments should balance various storage types to suit disparate data requirements. Block storage offers high performance and flexibility for databases and demanding applications. File storage lets multiple applications and users read and write information concurrently. 
Object storage handles  unstructured data like media files, web content, and backups with a unique identifier and metadata for efficient data management and analytics.

Red Hat Ceph Storage is engineered to scale private clouds and seamlessly integrates with products like Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation for container storage.

   Helpful resources     

Red Hat Ceph StorageRed Hat OpenShift Data Foundation
Securing data

Compute infrastructure

Each application or workload needs specific compute resources in a hybrid cloud. Virtual machines (VMs) optimize resource use and provide a high level of isolation. Serverless computing enhances flexibility and efficiency by using resources only when necessary. Containerization packages applications with their dependencies, ensuring  efficiency, flexibility, portability, and consistency across environments.

Knative project for serverless computing runs on any Kubernetes platform without vendor lock-in. Podman and Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine help package containers.

   Helpful resources

Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes EnginePodmanKnative

Multi-cloud Communications

Multi-cloud communication refers to the ability of different service clusters to work with each other. Multi-cloud communication is integral to hybrid cloud deployments, particularly when clusters spread across various environments, such as public and private clouds and on-premises infrastructures.

Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh Federation enables meshes located in different clusters to securely share and manage traffic between meshes. Red Hat Service Interconnect empowers applications to communicate effortlessly across diverse environments and platforms.

   Helpful resources

Red Hat OpenShiftRed Hat Service InterconnectRed Hat OpenShift Service Mesh - Federation Overview

Software and management tools for hybrid cloud environments

In addition to infrastructure, your hybrid cloud environment needs a robust set of software and management tools for effortless integration across varied infrastructure components and secure, efficient operations.

Securing data

Container orchestration and CI/CD software

Container orchestration software is crucial for automatically deploying, scaling, configuring, and managing containerized applications. It enables efficient operations, high availability, and straightforward scalability across diverse computing environments. Orchestration tools also help with sophisticated operations like service discovery, load balancing, and health checks.

Red Hat OpenShift offers an enterprise-grade Kubernetes environment to manage containers at scale using automation. It also enables and encourages developers to build cloud-native continuous integration, delivery, and deployment (CI/CD). You can automate the building, testing, and deployment of your applications on-premises and in the cloud, making working across your hybrid environment more efficient. Red Hat OpenShift works well with tools like Argo CD, which monitors and manages create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) processes in a Git repository, and Tekton, which runs tasks to handle the development lifecycle.Helpful resources.

With Red Hat OpenShift, it’s easy to manage all your components, scale up or down as needed, and ensure a consistent experience across the hybrid cloud system while focusing more on your system features instead of your system infrastructure.

   Helpful resources     

Red Hat OpenShift

Cloud management platforms and tools

Cloud management platforms and tools are also critical for hybrid cloud operations. Hybrid cloud systems are complex, sometimes with layers of components spread across various cloud providers and in-house systems. Cloud management tools help you keep all the moving parts moving with a broad view of your entire system. This birds-eye view into resource management, security issues, and feature usage helps you make the necessary adjustments to keep your system in top shape while understanding cloud and network spending.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes offers comprehensive management capabilities across the entire hybrid cloud system. It lets you manage, govern, and automate multiple Kubernetes clusters across disparate environments from a single control point. It offers consistent policy enforcement and governance features, providing insights into clusters’ health, performance, and availability while automating routine tasks. It also lets you place application workloads across the entire estate, enabling targeted placement of specific workloads and ensuring applications remain available in case of lost clusters.

   Helpful resources     

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes

Security and compliance tools

A hybrid cloud’s distributed nature makes it challenging to maintain data integrity. Each cloud component has unique security characteristics and vulnerabilities. Your cloud environment must enforce robust access control, encryption in transit and at rest, regular vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection, and robust incident response to protect data from unauthorized access, corruption, or loss.

At the same time, your organization must adhere to regulatory requirements. So, it’s critical to implement detailed auditing, logging, and reporting functions to ensure compliance with various standards, which could be industry-specific, regional, or even global. These regulatory needs can compound the complexity of running a hybrid cloud setup.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security (ACS) for Kubernetes provides container-centric security capabilities to address these challenges. ACS enforces security policies, detects potential anomalies, and isolates threats in real-time. It also offers in-depth visibility into your container activity, helping identify and mitigate risks before they impact your environment.

   Helpful resources    

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security (ACS) for Kubernetes

Latest articles on hybrid cloud architecture

Feature image for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Jun 24, 2024

Leverage Red Hat Satellite for Insights reporting and automation

Jerome Marc

Learn how to use Satellite automation to schedule and perform repetitive...

Kubernetes + OpenShift featured image
Jun 19, 2024

Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation topology considerations

James Force +1

Learn about key topology considerations for setting up OpenShift Data...

Featured image for Red Hat Developer Hub.
Jun 10, 2024

A platform for building developer portals

Hans-Peter Grahsl +2

Explore the concept of internal developer platforms (IDPs) through the lens...

Featured image for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
May 23, 2024

Testing frameworks for images built via Insights image builder

Gianluca Zuccarelli +1

Explore the benefits of building images for cloud deployments or on-premises...