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Today IT departments must manage applications across multiple environments in a vast array of overall IT architecture. In addition they must continually evaluate whether their unique mix of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud infrastructure is in line with their business goals.
Migrating applications to the public cloud in a cost-effective way is no small feat. Dozens of applications built at different times, in different languages, by different development teams need to be evaluated before they can be migrated. This process requires a deep knowledge of existing IT infrastructure as well as the public cloud resources that could potentially replace it.
Businesses must determine the hosting solution that best suits each application: private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid cloud. To help in the decision making process, Venturi’s Voice have outlined some basic points that businesses should keep in mind when weighing up their options.
Public Cloud Solutions
Public cloud was the first type of cloud-based solution that was developed. It revolutionised the way the world conducts business. Public cloud services like Dropbox and outsourced email providers are now ubiquitous in virtually all business environments.
If the service is provided off-site, over a public network it is considered to be a public cloud service. This provides adaptability and flexibility as you only pay for what you use. The system can be specifically tailored to meet business needs and can be easily changed as the business develops and grows.
However, since these systems use a public network, they are by far the most vulnerable to cyber attacks. For this reason, it is never appropriate to host critical business processes on public cloud.
When using public cloud services businesses must be prepared to relinquish control of their data. They have to trust the service provider has the necessary protocols in place to keep their data safe and secure.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that public cloud options are bad. They are a great solution for everything from human resources to customer relations management. But it is important to make sure the provider has solid backup and recovery as well as data security solutions. These issues should be discussed with the provider before signing up to the service.
Private Cloud Solutions
The security concerns associated with using public cloud services created a demand for private clouds. For companies that are very data-oriented, whose primary concern is data security, private cloud solutions are often the best option. The same is also true for all businesses in sectors with pressing security concerns such as banking or military.
The downside is that all the scalability and adaptability of the public cloud is lost. Also businesses have to handle all the software and hardware themselves – this means a lot of extra work. Furthermore, a huge investment is needed to set up and maintain a private cloud. This requires an educated and capable IT department that will be able to set everything up and ensure the whole operation runs smoothly.
Given these expenses, not many companies can afford a public cloud. But fortunately, private clouds are not needed within most business environments. For the vast majority of small to medium sized businesses, there are better alternatives to a private cloud solution.
Given the rate of progress within the tech world it did not take long for a solution to emerge which combines the benefits of both public and private clouds. In a hybrid cloud, a mix of public, private, or on-premises infrastructure is used to support a single application.
Hybrid cloud solutions balance out the issues of having local, on-site cloud computing with benefits of having a cloud services provider. In the current market, many businesses need a private cloud for storing sensitive information and data, but at the same time use a public cloud for less critical tasks like interacting with their customers.
Hybrid solutions aim to provide users with the scalability and flexibility of public cloud solutions, while at the same time having a higher data security. Unsurprisingly, they have become hugely popular in recent years.
Hybrid architectures are especially attractive for large organisations that want to explore the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud. An audit will not always reveal how an application will perform in the public cloud, so businesses will often choose to test a single tier of the app in the public cloud while maintaining key infrastructure on their private cloud or dedicated infrastructure.
Maintaining veteran IT staff and legacy applications on legacy infrastructure while opening new lines of business in the cloud is a cost-effective solution that also minimises risk.
In summary, finding the right fit for the business is the key. As each company has a unique set of needs, there are many factors that must be considered before making a decision. Before signing up to a service, make sure that the provider is reliable and willing to invest time and effort to create a cloud-based package that will fully satisfy your company’s needs.
It is also worth seeking out a second and third opinion. Don’t be afraid of shopping around and taking the time to pick the right choice. A little more effort at the beginning will certainly pay off in the end.