Cloud computing can be difficult to understand at first, but there are many advantages to accelerating your cloud journey such as gaining greater visibility, control and enabling better security and compliance across your IT environment. If you’ve been put in charge of implementing cloud computing, this straightforward blog clears up the confusion and helps you get your plan in place.
The cloud model comes in three forms: public clouds, private clouds, and hybrids clouds. All three scenarios provide similar benefits. You will witness better performance, reliability and scale as well as running a greener IT infrastructure, and have access to technology-enabled services from the cloud without having to understand, manage or invest in the technology infrastructure that supports them – but which deployment method you choose depends on your business needs and the type of data you are working with.
For small businesses who may not have the internal IT resource, one of their biggest challenges is knowing which applications to host where and then making sure that they are all secure wherever they reside and that the data within them is accessible and backed up.
What is a public cloud?
Public clouds are the most common way of deploying cloud computing. The cloud resources (like servers and storage) are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivered over the Internet. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider. In a public cloud, you share the same hardware, storage and network devices with other organisations or cloud “tenants”. You access services and manage your account using a web browser. Public cloud deployments are frequently used to provide web-based email, online office applications, storage, and testing and development environments.
A public cloud is the obvious choice when:
> Your standardised workload for applications is used by lots of people, such as e-mail.
> You need to test and develop application code.
> You have SaaS (Software as a Service) applications from a vendor who has a well-implemented security strategy.
> You need incremental capacity (the ability to add computer capacity for peak times).
> You’re doing collaboration projects.
> You’re doing an ad-hoc software development project using a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering cloud.
Advantages of public clouds:
> Cost effectiveness – no need to purchase hardware or software, and you only pay for the service you use.
> No maintenance – your service provider provides the maintenance.
> Scalability – on-demand resources are available to meet your business needs.
> High reliability – a vast network of servers ensures against failure.
What is a private cloud?
A private cloud consists of computing resources used exclusively by one business or organisation. The private cloud can be physically located at your organisation’s on-site data centre, or it can be hosted by a third-party service provider. But 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 organisation. In this way, a private cloud can make it easier for an organisation to customise its resources to meet specific IT requirements.
A private cloud is the obvious choice when:
> Your business is your data and your applications. Therefore, control and security are paramount.
> Your business is part of an industry that must conform to strict security and data privacy issues.
> Your company is large enough to run a next generation cloud data centre efficiently and effectively on its own.
Advantages of a private cloud:
> More flexibility – your organisation can customise its cloud environment to meet specific business needs.
> Improved security – resources are not shared with others, so higher levels of control and security are possible.
> Scalability – private clouds still afford the scalability and efficiency of a public cloud.
What is a hybrid cloud?
Often called “the best of both worlds”, hybrid clouds combine on-premises infrastructure, or private clouds, with public clouds so that organisations can reap the advantages of both. In a hybrid cloud, data and applications can move between private and public clouds for greater flexibility and more deployment options.
For instance, you can use the public cloud for high-volume, lower-security needs such as web-based email, and the private cloud (or other on-premises infrastructure) for sensitive, business-critical operations like financial reporting. In a hybrid cloud, “cloud bursting” is also an option. This is when an application or resource runs in the private cloud until there is a spike in demand (such as a seasonal event like online shopping or tax filing), at which point the organisation can “burst through” to the public cloud to tap into additional computing resources.
Here are a couple of situations where a hybrid environment is best:
> Your company wants to use a SaaS application but is concerned about security. Your SaaS vendor can create a private cloud just for your company inside their firewall. They provide you with a virtual private network (VPN) for additional security.
> Your company offers services that are tailored for different vertical markets. You can use a public cloud to interact with the clients but keep their data secured within a private cloud.
Advantages of hybrid clouds:
> Control – your organisation can maintain a private infrastructure for sensitive assets.
> Flexibility – you can take advantage of additional resources in the public cloud when you need them.
> Cost-effectiveness – with the ability to scale to the public cloud, you pay for extra computing power only when needed.
> Ease – transitioning to the cloud doesn’t have to be overwhelming because you can migrate gradually – phasing in workloads over time.
More and more small businesses are adopting the cloud – and for good reason. It is cheaper, easier to manage and an overall safer option, compared to the alternatives.
Hosts Unlimited are experts in the provision of cloud based hosting and security services. Talk to us today about how to tailor a cloud solution that best meets the needs of your business.