There is no better time than right now to start using clouds for your business. Cloud integration is on the rise and businesses are quickly discovering the tremendous benefits that come with it. In fact, 92% of companies have at least a portion of their IT department in the cloud. Compared to 2020, revenue from public cloud will grow by 16% in 2021, and another 15% in 2022.
If you are considering making the switch or incorporating clouds into your infrastructure, this article will help you learn a few crucial things before proceeding, namely:
Cloud technology has changed the way we live. In our personal lives, we watch our shows on Netflix, collaborate writing projects in Google Docs and save our files in Dropbox. For many, this is the extent of their understanding – remote storage of information on the internet. There is truth in this, as the definition of ‘cloud’ is, simply put, a remote computing environment.
However, clouds are utilized by businesses for much more than just data storage. These uses include:
Public clouds are, by definition, public, and multi-tenant. This simply denotes that more than one entity has access to the shared servers of cloud providers. These are usually pay-as-you-go, and the three primary platforms are AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP (Google Cloud Platform) and Microsoft Azure.
Private clouds are ideal for businesses with proprietary information, and are used, for example, by government agencies, financial institutions, etc. for enhanced security. Private clouds are single-tenant, which is to say only one entity can be connected at a time. This may be over the internet or contained within a company’s internal network. The two primary private cloud providers are VMware and HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise).
Businesses are interested in moving to the cloud for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most common is the fact that public clouds afford businesses a tremendous amount of external, remote resources at a remarkably lower cost than it would take to implement physical infrastructure of the same scope. Connecting to the public cloud can technically be done in an instant, while physical implementation of the same amount of computing power would require planning, ordering equipment, receiving the order, unpacking it, setting up by the IT team, and then ongoing maintenance.
In the same sense, many operations are choosing to shift their infrastructure away from their current physical setup and into the cloud, cutting the costs of owning and maintaining physical servers and other hardware and, at the same time, increasing their virtual bandwidth.
Service providers specializing in cloud migration understand the ins and outs of such a monumental shift and know how to leverage migration tools to help businesses migrate to cloud computing. They know the difference between the platforms and can, in process, distinguish between the cloud migration steps involved in AWS cloud migration vs. Azure cloud migration, for example.
Here are a few more benefits of public cloud migration:
Pay only for the services you actually use. No overpaying for services you may or may not use.
Their job is to make sure you are up and running at all times and satisfied with the solution you have employed. Plus, you no longer have to wait for IT to arrive on site.
Providers can potentially create a practically infinite amount of computing power for your business, if necessary, meaning you will never be limited by your resources and that you can quickly scale up or down as needed.
The cloud offers comprehensive APIs to allow for easy integration, connectability and functionality. This makes the process of connecting and integrating complementary software simpler.
Take advantage of the capabilities of the cloud to win in the marketplace with better, more efficient workflows and the improved ability for your teams to innovate, collaborate and adapt.
With your business on the cloud, the information is backed up and safely kept, no matter what happens to your physical systems.
Not everything about the public cloud is perfect. The two major disadvantages are security and lack of customizability. In essence, the public cloud is shared tenancy, which means multiple entities are sharing access to public servers. While this was a problem at the advent of public cloud technology, this issue has been addressed as the cloud has evolved over time, and nowadays there are very strict ISO standards subject to frequent security audits. For businesses that need the strictest security standards private clouds are ideal. Public clouds are subject to third-party capabilities, which refers to the lack of customizability that would be present in a private cloud configuration.
Private clouds can be hosted by cloud providers or contained within a company’s infrastructure. This shifts much of the burden to its in-house IT department but also comes with a few important benefits, including:
Since only a single entity can log on, there is no possibility of simultaneous multiple tenant access. Only people within the business can access the systems, backed by a firewall for the highest amount of security.
More tenant control signifies the cloud environment can be more tightly adapted to the business needs through customized configurations and workflows. This typically cannot be done as fast as in the public cloud, but your business would have more control over the process where the public cloud would be subject to more limitations.
Yes, lack of third-party support means more work for your IT department, but some will argue this is preferable to retain as much control over the processes (and information) as possible. Private clouds are typically not deployed as quickly as public ones, and private clouds are always more costly, but such are the tradeoffs for protecting highly sensitive information.
As with migration to public cloud, service providers that specialize in this service also understand the implementation of private cloud infrastructure. For instance, such a provider would be able to make your VMware cloud migration as smooth as possible while maintaining your high security standards.
Companies utilizing more than one cloud technology are taking advantage of what’s called ‘multi-cloud infrastructure.‘ This may consist of private clouds, public clouds, or a combination of the two, which is referred to as ‘hybrid cloud infrastructure.‘
Hybrid clouds are ideal when there is some proprietary information that requires the security of private clouds combined, and usually integrated, with public clouds. This way, the sensitive information is protected but the business also enjoys the functionality, support and cost reduction that comes with public clouds in the other areas of business.
Either way, the migration process and subsequent management of the cloud (or clouds) is intricate, which is why many experts strongly recommend working closely with a cloud migration specialist. They handle the complicated process of cloud migration and provide customers with secure and fully-automated migration without any data loss and downtime from any source to any target platform.
Please, feel free to find more details about private and public clouds options in the article ’What cloud to choose’ here.
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