A study released today by cloud firm Rackspace suggests that IT managers want a mix of public and private cloud in their enterprises.

The Rackspace research – conducted by independent market research firm Vanson Bourne – found that 60 per cent of the 400 UK and US enterprises surveyed see the hybrid cloud model as the way to go.

It also found that 60 per cent of respondents have moved or are considering moving certain applications or workloads either partially (41 per cent) or completely (19 per cent) off the public cloud because of its limitations.

Rackspace VP of technology, Nigel Beighton, told Techworld that companies usually begin with a public cloud, a private cloud or dedicated servers, before realising that they need the benefits of a hybrid cloud environment.

He explained that the survey reflects where Rackspace is headed at the moment but was unable to say how much margin Rackspace is generating from each of the various cloud models.

Rackspace’s study also found that the hybrid cloud approach was used by 72 per cent of respondents for at least a portion of their application portfolio, with US organisations (80 per cent) more likely to use it than UK organisations (64 per cent).

Respondents said they are using the hybrid cloud model to gain more security, more control and better performance or reliability.

Beighton said that some companies shun the public cloud in some instances because of issues around uptime and data sovereignty. “They don’t have the guaranty they need for part of their business,” he said. “Some need greater control.”

Beighton added that the public cloud is more suitable and cost effective for companies that get an occasional spike in traffic, while the hybrid cloud is better aligned to customers that that need to offer 24/7 uptime.

Barry Parkin, IT manager at online florist Bunches.co.uk, said his company used to run all its applications on dedicated servers, before realising some were better suited to a public cloud deployment. “We chose a hybrid cloud solution from Rackspace, using the public cloud to handle seasonal peaks in online demand, and dedicated servers to ensure adequate control over other parts of our IT infrastructure,” he said.