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Do you have Cloud Confusion?

21 Jun 2017 by Kitty Lai

 

So you’ve decided to migrate to the cloud. While the move is a big one, you’re looking at better collaboration, flexibility, security, scalability, and a sigh of relief when this whole migration business is behind you. But before that happens, there’s one key decision that must be made: which cloud is right for you? Choosing your cloud type is a difficult decision that affects your overall business practice, and everyone in your organization, so understanding the mechanics behind each one is vital to your success. Let’s eliminate some cloud confusion with a few explanations:

The Public Cloud

Public clouds are owned and hosted by a third-party provider, who rents individual space to each tenant. The public cloud isn’t limited to businesses; individuals who need the cloud but don’t require the infrastructure and security offered by the private cloud can find extensive use in the public cloud, for example in file hosting services like ‘Dropbox’. The public cloud also tends to suit small to medium businesses or businesses with fluctuating demands.

A huge benefit of the public cloud is the speed in which IT resources can be set up, and the convenient method of only paying for the resources you use. Due to the amount of physical resources and infrastructure available, public clouds benefit hugely from large economies of scale, therefore providing a fantastic low cost, pay-as-you-go structure for all. Public clouds are also easily scalable, so cloud resources are easily available on demand.

The Private Cloud

Private clouds only have one tenant, so the benefits of cloud computing, storage, and networking are customisable to the tenant’s needs. Organizations with a private cloud have an infrastructure that is solely for the organization’s needs, and this is hosted either on-site or in a data centre. Many organizations choose to migrate their data centres to private clouds to run important business applications, such as: Research and Development, Supply Chain Porcesses, Analytics and more. The privacy, security, and single-tenant occupancy of the cloud is highly desirable for large enterprises, and organizations that must follow specific government regulations.

The Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud is a combination of both private and public clouds. It offers the best of both worlds, for example, many organizations take advantage of the Cloud bursting deployment modelwhereby an application runs in the private cloud and ‘bursts’ into the public cloud when the situation demands it. This service allows the provider to switch non-sensitive operations to the public cloud and to free up more space in the private cloud. The integration of public and private cloud means that non-vital operations can be sent to the public cloud to maximise efficiency, while important business operations can remain in the private cloud. For example, a financial institution holding very sensitive data might be required to store some data more carefully, which could affect their cloud decision. As a compromise between privacy, security, cost and flexibility, they might invest in specific private cloud resources for certain aspects of their business, while using the public cloud for non-sensitive areas. The hybrid cloud guarantees a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to allocating resources, and this can reduce costs for the business overall.

Which One Is Best for You?

While it might seem like opting for the hybrid cloud is the best option based on the descriptions above, your personal cloud needs must be examined. All three models have been widely debated, and the benefits of each can appeal to different organizations facing different scenarios. Before you decide, it’s worth asking yourself some key questions:

  • Do you have budget limitations that must be adhered to?
  • Are you happy to share your application software, hardware and data centre with other users?
  • Are you willing to rely on a third-party provider for your cloud needs?
  • Does your organization need to protect sensitive data?
  • Is your organization required to follow specific regulations in regards to data?

In our next post, we’ll go into more detail about each cloud type and what benefits each variation holds, so make sure you check back on the blog!