What type of cloud (private, public or hybrid) do I choose?
When the choice to move the IT environment to an external datacenter has been made, the questions about what type of cloud to choose arises. Which parts of your environment will remain in the private cloud and which applications could be housed in a public cloud?
We speak of a private cloud when it concerns an infrastructure that has been assigned specifically to one organization. Such a private cloud can be housed within the office building, but a secured datacenter is preferred. The management of servers, applications and network connections remains the responsibility of the business itself. The great advantage is that an IT manager has complete control of the cloud applications and they can choose the hardware and the respective capacity themselves. In addition, the IT department will choose when and how many backups are made. The biggest advantage of a private cloud is that you know exactly where your data is located, so you can prove that you are compliant. Many businesses need to adhere to privacy laws and regulations, and those happen to state that privacy-sensitive data cannot be stored outside Dutch trading borders.
Disadvantages of the private cloud
When choosing a private cloud, you need to take into account that you will be investing in hardware. This hardware will need to be replaced ever so often, and is of course vulnerable to power outages and malfunctions. Maintaining a server park takes time, money, and energy. of course you could outsource this to a specialized partner, but especially when the organization handles privacy-sensitive and confidential data, it is essential to ensure an IT partner with the right certifications.
Advantages of the public cloud
many organizations already use public cloud services. Think for example of Office 365, Dropbox, and Evernote. With public cloud the businesses makes use of the technical infrastructure of the cloud provider. You pay for services you can use over the internet. The providers have their own server park that runs the online applications for their customers. The big advantage of public cloud services is that you don’t have to invest in hardware and you don’t have to invest money, time, and effort into developing an online application. In addition, you can easily scale up or down.
Disadvantages of the public cloud
The public cloud also knows some drawbacks. For example, you do not have complete control over your business data, and it’s not always clear in which country the server that stores your data is located. The decision to move certain existing applications to the public cloud heavily depends on things like security, availability, performance, scalability, and laws and regulations. Applications that lend themselves to running in public clouds particularly well include:
- Development and test applications
- Applications for personal productivity
- Collaboration tools
- Applications that require a lot of computing power
- Virtualized applications
- Disaster recovery applications
- Big data applications
Business critical systems
Although increasingly more large organization are placing their business critical systems into the public cloud, the migration of these kinds of systems always needs to be carefully considered. take for example an ERP application. These are often transaction-intensive, with a high throughput speed that should not experience delay. In addition, they contain sensitive data, large data sets, and they set high performance standards for availability. Data in such a system needs to comply with laws and regulations that cannot be guaranteed within a public cloud.
Which applications should go to which cloud?
How will you select the applications that you can place in the public cloud, and which modifications are necessary to facilitate this? Questions you need to ask yourself include:
- Has the application already been virtualized and can it run on the cloud provider’s infrastructure?
- Does the cloud provider comply with the strict needs and demands set by your business in the area of data security?
- Which level of SLA is required for the applications? What availability guarantee and quality options are offered by the provider?
- What requirements do you put on the network and its management? Can these things be easily duplicated in the cloud environment?
Hybrid cloud solution
Organizations almost never suddenly switch entirely to the public cloud. Often they choose to involve one or two services from the public cloud, and place the rest in a private cloud. This is what we call a hybrid cloud solution. Depending on the demands and requirements of an organization, a mix of public and private cloud services can be compiled. Compiling such a list always begins by taking inventory. Criteria that play an important role in this are costs, laws and regulations, security, reliability, availability guarantees, and the location your data is to be stored.
The expectation is that this hybrid mix will become the standard in the coming years, if it isn’t already. Would you like to know how we could help with your private cloud? Do not hesitate to contact us for a non-committal meeting and a tour of our datacenter.