One of the benefits of cloud computing is that you do not have to operate and maintain the applications you need on your own dedicated server. As web applications become more robust and complex, this feature of cloud computing is particularly useful to small websites and small businesses.
Hosting your own websites and applications, however, gives you the flexibility and ability to customize as needed. You also do not have to worry about any limitations or restrictions that a cloud service provider might place on you, and you can rest assured that your data will always be yours and not dependent on the stability of a third party.
A hybrid model for cloud computing combines both in-house servers and cloud services. While some cloud offerings may include the entire operating system, like the Windows Azure Platform, others may only offer specific software services. In the case of the former, a hybrid situation would have the user’s locally-hosted applications interface with the remote cloud platform. In the latter case, locally-hosted applications would interface with cloud applications. In both cases, there is a mix of cloud and traditional software.
The advantage of a hybrid model is that you still have your dedicated server and all of the flexibility that it gives you, but you also reap the benefits of having access to hosted services and applications from cloud hosting providers. This allows you to expand your web presence and still maintain some level of autonomy and privacy.