A consideration a business needs to make when expanding and considering the cloud is whether to go with public or private cloud services. There a lot of information concerning but some leaves you more confused, rather than clarify. Hopefully, this article can help make the fog dissipate and offer up a few questions to consider before making a decision.
The infrastructure that makes up the private cloud is owned and operated by the parent organization. There is a few ways that can be structured:
- The actual servers will be in a company data center manned by their IT department (private enterprise cloud).
- The servers are located offsite but manage by the corporation’s IT department
- The servers are located offsite and operated by third parties.(hosted private cloud).
The Public cloud is just that, an infrastructure that is used by the public or possibly a large industry group. These are services offered by third-parties who sell cloud hosting or cloud computing services.
Questions to Ask and Consider
Over the past few years, you’ve likely read about security breaches, and personal data being compromised. That’s a sad state-of-affairs, but it does happen, and we need to do all we can to protect our data. From a company standpoint, often data represents the very backbone of a company, and in that case, a private cloud infrastructure is inherently more secure.
FACTOID: While there are security protocols built into the cloud infrastructure, additional firewalls and security services can be implemented such as dedicated firewalls and Intrusion Detection.
Speed and scalability?
Because, under normal circumstances, a private cloud will be owned by a single company of the group, it will likely have a limited number of servers when compared to a public cloud system. As a business grows, there will probably come a time when performance will reach its peak. Should additional resources be needed, other servers would need to be added to the network. That would probably not be the case with a public cloud environment, already having a vast number of servers and resources available.
Moving to the cloud is something all businesses, no matter their size should seriously consider, however doing so without the proper knowledge could prove time and labor intensive. It’s vital that you or your IT department be up-to-date on the most current virtualization knowledge. If this is lacking, choosing a reputable data center to manage operations would be the prudent choice as they would be staffed with certified engineers and offer timely and informative consults.
SUGGESTION: If there is doubt concerning your company’s readiness and knowledge, take the time to speak with a third-party company offering cloud-based services.
Before implementing a private cloud, consideration should be given to the types of applications already running. High-level applications, coded to run large databases running ERP or CRM are ideal candidates. Companies should also take a careful look at associated costs involved with data storage, servers, and email exchange. If the charges are excessive, consider a hybrid option.
While a private cloud may be the perfect technology solution, there are significant costs involved which may be beyond the budget of smaller companies. If that is the case, it doesn’t mean you have to forego the cloud, just that you’ll need to look at a public cloud solution. There would be no loss of resources or storage, and your security is reasonably well protected, all done much more inexpensively than a private cloud.
Concerns About Lock-In
FACTOID: Lock-in is a situation where vendors have used proprietary software or API calls that make it difficult to move your operation to a different network.
There can be situations where lock-in becomes an issue, either because of proprietary software or inefficient use of processes, or contractual obligations.
Be sure to speak with your chosen provider before signing on the “proverbial,” dotted line, ensuring you can move without penalty or difficulty should it become necessary. In most instances, this won’t be a problem if the vendor adheres to industry standards such as OVF (Open Virtualization Format). With this format, data can easily be imported or exported in preparation for an installation on other cloud networks using Hyper V, Xen, and VMware.
There is a tremendous amount of information concerning the cloud and learning the ins and outs can be daunting. Take your time; compile a list of questions before speaking with sales and ensure you get the answer you want. If you take the time to do this, your move to the cloud will be accomplished in the best way possible.
HISTORY OF CLOUD COMPUTING:
The history of cloud computing can be dated to the 1990s and Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff, however, like most things on the web, there are differing opinions. Larry Ellison, who has gone on record as saying he does not like the term, “Cloud Computing,” is now taking credit for the concept. This is vouched for by NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, who worked with both Ellison and Benioff and another key player, Evan Goldberg at Oracle. Nelson says it was Goldberg who had the original idea of offering software as a service. Goldberg was known to be an incredible developer and that Ellison wanted to invest in him and his concepts. With ideas exchanged and modification of the plan discussed, the idea began to become a reality, and NetLedger was born. At the same time, Marc Benioff was speaking with Ellison about a similar concept, which he also financed, it would evolve into Salesforce.com. As with many great ideas, for instance, Microsoft and Apple, often the idea is bigger than any one person or company.
Cloud computing may have mixed beginnings, but it has allowed the launching of a new and better net, where even small companies can utilize the power of a vast network of computer, when and if needed. If there is any doubt as to this ability, imagine running a complex project on your local PC, then imagine that same project being run by 100 or 1000 PCs at the same time, the increase in performance would be instantly recognizable. That is the central concept of cloud computing, sharing resources with multiple servers, allowing the power and flexibility of entire data centers to be at your beck and call. Cloud computing is next-gen technology, available now.