A hybrid cloud solution is an interconnected environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house while others are provided externally. The hybrid approach allows businesses to take full advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that an external cloud environment offers without exposing all their data and applications to a third-party provider.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
Accessing Secure Intranet Information on Mobile Devices
The Human Resource department requests from IT to provide a mobile app for employees to be able to submit leave requests from their own mobile devices. HR should also be able to approve leave requests while on the go via a mobile app. The company intranet portal already provides such functionality, but it is only accessible through the portal, which requires a VPN connection outside the office.
The above example is a simple business case, but it is definitely not a simple request for IT to fulfill due to multiple technologies involved and potential exposure of the entire company intranet to the world. In this case hybrid cloud solution can help eliminate the complexity of multiple technologies and allow the IT department to selectively expose just the leave requests data to mobile apps with the help of cloud services.
IT can address the scenario from Figure 1 with the help of Sitefinity. We would assume that Sitefinity Module Builder was used to create the leave requests management functionality on the company intranet portal that now needs to be exposed to mobile apps. The IT team can expose just the data for the “Leaves module” to the cloud by using the Sitefinity Cloud Services connector, which provides an automatic two-way data synchronization with the Telerik Everlive Cloud through RESTful web services. Then the IT Team can use the Sitefinity Mobile App Builder to easily create a hybrid mobile app based on the Leaves module. The mobile app will then be able to talk to the cloud services and all leave request submissions will be synced back to your company intranet (Check out FranklinCovey Company Intranet, winner of Best Sitefinity Intranet of the Year award).
The IT department could submit the mobile app to the different app stores or they can distribute it directly to employees, bypassing app stores, by publishing it to Sitefinity Box.
What is Sitefinity Box?
Sitefinity Box is a mobile app available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store. When users login to the app on their mobile devices, they would be able to access all apps published to Sitefinity Box. The IT department has the ability to push app updates instantly and control who has access to the apps. Also, developers can use Sitefinity Box to test how a mobile app would perform on the actual device.
Scalable Mobile Apps for Your Website
Let’s explore another scenario using the company from the previous example and assume that it operates hundreds of retail stores across the world. This time the marketing team wants from IT to build a website section where they can manage information about each retail store. In addition to the website functionality marketing wants from IT a mobile application called “Stores” that helps customers find information about nearby stores based on geo location services.
In this case the IT team could also rely on Sitefinity to quickly build a custom module called "Stores" using the Sitefinity Module Builder and then use the Sitefinity Mobile App Builder to create a hybrid mobile app for this module. That way all information and new stores that the marketing team publishes on the website will automatically be available on the mobile app, which uses the same data source. This is all great and the IT team predicts that the mobile app will quickly become popular and cause a heavy load on the website traffic. One way to plan for this is to buy additional website hosting infrastructure that is hard to scale and every expensive. Another option they could choose is to use the Sitefinity Cloud Services connector, sync the Stores module with the cloud, and point the mobile app to the cloud services. In this case the hybrid cloud solution helps to separate the mobile app traffic load from the company website servers and direct this load to the cloud services, which are designed to scale and optimized for ultimate performance.
Oh, and if the data in the above examples was stored and managed in SharePoint, it can still be exposed in a mobile app through the Sitefinity Connector for SharePoint.
Make sure to watch the 9-minute Mobile App Builder video tutorial. You can also find details on how to configure the Sitefinity cloud services in my previous blog post Synchronizing Sitefinity Data with the Cloud.
Where would a hybrid cloud solution help your organization?