Cloud computing is a topic of major popularity for businesses of all sizes recently. As cloud computing becomes more accessible and affordable, more and more organizations are making the move from on-premise to the cloud. As your organization begins to consider making the move, here are some considerations to keep in mind.
Public Cloud Vs. Private Cloud
Public clouds are the most common type of cloud computing deployment. In a public cloud environment, all of the cloud resources (like servers and storage) are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider who delivers these services over the internet. The cloud provider owns all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure.
When utilizing a public cloud all hardware, storage, and network devices are shared with other organizations who also use the cloud service. Public cloud deployments are used to provide web-based email, online office applications, storage, and testing and development environment frequently.
Advantages of a Public Cloud:
Lower costs - no need to purchase you own hardware or software and you only have to pay for the services you use
No maintenance - the cloud service provider provides the maintenance and updates
No scaling issues - resources are on-demand and can scale with your company as you need more or less resources
High reliability - a vast network of servers ensures against failure
Private Clouds are a less common method of cloud computing deployment. They are composed of cloud resources used exclusively by one business or organization. Your organization can have the cloud physically located at your organization's on-site datacenter or it can be hosted by a third-party service provider. In a private cloud the services and infrastructure are always maintained on a private network and the hardware and software are dedicated solely to your organization.
A private cloud can, in some ways, be easier for an organization to customize its resources to meet specific IT requirements. Private clouds are used most often by government agencies, financial institutions, or other mid-to-large size organizations with business-critical operations seeking enhanced control over their environment.
Advantages of a Private Cloud
Increased Flexibility- there are many customization options that can be used to meet specific business needs
Increased control - there is no sharing of resources so technically higher levels of control and privacy are possible
Even more scalability - there is often no limit on scalability because the infrastructure is on-premise
Common Concerns Organizations Have When Considering Cloud Computing
If we lose internet service, how will anyone access our software/applications?
A cloud infrastructure, whether public or private, needs an internet connection so that users can access the applications and software that are hosted on it. This becomes a concern for some organizations as they worry about an internet loss or outage that could potentially effect their staff's ability to access needed files, applications, and programs.
The good news is that access to the cloud is not limited to internet connection within the 4 walls of your organization. If you were to experience an outage at your location, staff can easily access anything they need by finding a different way to get an internet connection. This means you can send staff home if an outage occurs to work from home, send them to a location with public wi-fi available such as a coffee shop or lounge, or have them connect to a mobile hotspot.
My data isn't within my 4 walls, how do I ensure it's secure
A main concern for many organizations when moving to the cloud is how they will ensure their data is secure. The good news is that organizations who provide public cloud infrastructure have entire teams focused solely on security. While it may feel inherently safer to have your servers and storage equipment on premise, you can rest assured knowing that public cloud companies have invested the highest levels of resources available to them (often much higher levels than you have available at your own organization) to ensure that data stored on their equipment is secure and stable.
What are the main differences I'll notice when moving to the cloud?
You will no longer need to worry about refresh costs. You pay one monthly flat fee.
There is no need to update your equipment as it becomes obsolete or outdated. You no longer have to worry about the costs of updating your equipment and are always using equipment that works and it proficient.
For those who have offices with more than one location, the cloud makes it possible to easily connect those location's data, software, and applications that are hosted on the cloud.
Updates can be centrally managed. With the press of one button you can update everything without the need to do it manually by device.
Grow as you go - get exactly the storage, memory and even processing speed that you need today without having to worry about where you'll be in a year or 2. You can instantly add or take away storage or memory as your business grows and increase or decrease your monthly cost.