Working the cloud: Pros and cons of different hosted options
So you’ve decided to be proactive and move your data to the cloud. But do you have a good understanding of your options in terms of cloud data storage?
The advantages of such a move are many, which is why some 93 percent of organizations worldwide are now taking advantage. Perhaps the greatest is that you need no longer invest in the purchase and upkeep of your own expansive infrastructure, which could result in huge savings. Cloud services also offer the scale and reliability that may otherwise be out of reach for small companies.
That said, not every level of cloud usage is optimal for every company. At Server Revolution, we evaluate your needs before recommending custom solutions ranging from a fully dedicated private cloud environment to a more cost-effective public cloud offering to a hybrid version. Here, we describe the pros and cons of some of those options.
- Public cloud: Through this common, widely available version, a service provider owns and operates everything you need to join a pay-per-use revenue model, allowing you to scale as your business fluctuates. Typical services include server hosting, storage services, web mail and online office applications, and examples of providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. While cost-effective and reliable, public cloud services are often less flexible and may be more of a security risk due to the size of the overall target. Further, extra costs may be incurred when moving large data sets in and out, and interference with data transmission is possible at times the internet is under heavy use.
- Full private cloud: This version is owned and operated by an organization that may or may not offer services to others. Building and operating your own can be expensive and time-intensive, and using it may mean your data is less scalable and more difficult to access from remote locations. However, going private gives you much more control over customization. Forrester reported last year 44 percent of North American and European enterprise infrastructure technology decision-makers were in the process of building private clouds, while an additional 25 percent planned to do so this year.
- Hosted private cloud: Some think of this as the best of both worlds, since it involves your usage of someone else’s private cloud (under their hosting and management). The owner takes care of technical details so you can focus on your business. Some customization is possible, but you likely won’t be privy to the scalability or resources of a public cloud.
- Hybrid cloud: This refers to any combination of the aforementioned types, often custom-structured to meet regulatory challenges or complement the existing IT investments of the user. Some companies choose to store less-proprietary info in the public cloud but maintain their most crucial data in a private setting. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90 percent of organizations worldwide will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities.
- Cloud-based services: Some companies opt not to fully embrace the cloud, but to entrust it only with certain data sets or tools on an a la carte basis.
Server Revolution can comprehensively evaluate your computing environment before forming a customized plan for your cloud transition. Call us at (952) 314-1441