If you asked the layman on the street about cloud computing, you may get some surprising answers. Some people may actually believe that the computing resources are stored in the clouds in the sky. Obviously, that isn’t the case, but one thing is certain: not all cloud strategies are understood by the people that use them. This month we will take a look at the different types of cloud computing and how they can actually work for business.
When you see advertisements in magazines or on television for cloud computing, it is likely a public cloud that they are talking about. The public cloud is simply a cloud platform that uses shared virtualized computing resources. Public cloud resources are readily available from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox, Adobe, and a slew of other providers. Essentially, you share the computing hardware with hundreds of thousands of other users. That’s not to say it’s available to anyone else, as it is protected by a login platform, but overall public cloud resources have the highest risk of being insecure. The price is generally a small, per month, per user fee. For that, you get the storage/applications you need at a price that is advantageous for any business.
If a business is looking to take advantage of remote access of data, but needs that data to stay as secure as possible, they will build a private cloud. Essentially, a private cloud is hosted on hardware that is dedicated to that lone organization and has a significant amount of security and customizations available to keep the data behind the organization’s firewall, and therefore secure. It allows an organization to completely control how sensitive data is distributed, and is the most secure cloud platform a business can have. Costs are usually substantial as you will need to either buy and maintain the hardware on-premises or purchase dedicated space in an enterprise data center. There are ways to minimize the cost a bit, but ultimately you will be on the hook for large capital costs, with smaller operational costs.
The hybrid cloud is part-public cloud and part-private cloud. It is also well-known to be harder to manage as there are considerations about where data is stored and called from. The main draw is that an organization can take full advantage of the cost savings that public cloud services provide, while also keeping sensitive information secured on a dedicated private cloud server. The integrations needed to make a hybrid cloud work properly are usually in place, but can also be developed by the organization looking to use hybrid cloud architecture. An orchestration layer, as it is called, connects public cloud resources to an organization’s private cloud servers. This provides end users a seamless experience, with no extra work needed to access data from public or private cloud interfaces.
The million-dollar (or multi-million-dollar) question is: what works for your business? For the average small business, a private cloud solution makes the most sense as it gives you complete control over your data and applications--and keeps your data and infrastructure onsite--generally thought of as a best practice for smaller businesses. If you want to use public cloud resources for your business, to cut costs, or because your company’s needs don’t call for building a dedicated private cloud, you will want to understand just how your business’ data is stored and accessed, and if you will need more security at the end points.
There are cloud resources for all types of business processes, so finding one that will work for your business won’t be difficult. They include:
...and much more.
If you are trying to determine what type of cloud computing architecture makes the most sense for your business, why not consult with the experts at SMART Services? We can help you with every step of the process, from picking the right provider, to virtualization and migration, and much, much, more. Reach out to us today at 586 258-0650 to get the cloud platform that is right for your business.