In the past decade, ‘the cloud’ has emerged as one of the most popular solutions in the IT industry. While you most likely have heard different discussions about cloud storage options and benefits, you may not be exactly sure how cloud technology can impact you or your business.
The simplest way to explain cloud technology is that instead of storing files and programs on your computer’s hard drive, you are accessing the software, data, and files over the internet. Keep reading below to learn more about how cloud technology can benefit businesses as well as what the difference is between public, private and hybrid cloud models.
Cloud Technology 101
There is more to cloud technology than simply just moving servers and the software stored on them to a remote location. Cloud technology, for many businesses, represents a major shift in organizational IT strategy. Historically, businesses were involved in a procurement cycle of purchasing new hardware every few years to accommodate changing technology and needs. By moving the workload to a cloud environment, organizations can better manage resources and typically see significant savings.
The cloud isn’t one-size-fit-all either. There are three types of cloud environments, which are public, private and hybrid. Each is explained below.
A public cloud service is when an outside organization offers several packages and hosting services to individuals and organizations. A couple of the most recognizable companies are Microsoft’s Share point and Office 365 programs and Google Drive.
Benefits of using a public model are that businesses can simply pay for the resources they need at the time and scale up or down as required. It is very quick to deploy resources on an as-needed basis with a public cloud model. However, selecting a public cloud service, it is recommended that a business partner with a reputable managed service provider to create a solution that will ensure your business needs are met and are scalable for the future.
Certain businesses may have industry regulations that dictate where and how their data is stored. This is common in government and health organizations as well as companies that may require a higher performance environment than what a public cloud service can offer. In these cases, private cloud service is typically used. Any business that falls under certain laws or regulations in regards to regulatory compliance or data sovereignty, using a private cloud is most likely a necessity.
A private cloud is more aligned with the traditional, client-server on-premises IT model that has been used for many years. A private cloud service provider in addition to storing all data and applications will be responsible for all aspects related to procurement, hardware, strategy, disaster recovery, and communications. A private cloud solution can also be ideal if your organization has recently made a significant hardware investment or utilizes legacy applications for daily essential operations.
Sometimes certain aspects of a private cloud and other aspects a public cloud may make the most sense for your business. One of the major advantages of using a hybrid cloud system is the flexibility it offers. In-house IT infrastructure is expensive to manage and adding capacity requires planning and resources. Hybrid clouds can provide on-demand scalability and temporary use of public clouds when business demands may exceed resources. By having a hybrid cloud system in place, business spikes can be easily and cost effectively managed with public cloud options.
In addition to having flexibility, a hybrid cloud solution may be the best option for other reasons as well. Another example of why a business may choose a hybrid model could be that they want to confine their data on-site but also rely on multiple web-based applications for daily operations.
Making the Cloud Choice
Regardless of the type of business you own or industry you are in, there are numerous advantages to adopting cloud technology. Investing in cloud technology typically results in significant scale and efficiency improvements as well as lower IT costs. But perhaps most importantly, cloud technology gives business freedom and the capability of increasing their national or global reach.
No matter what type of business you own, there are many compelling reasons to take advantage of using the cloud, whether you choose a private, public or hybrid model.
Regardless of what type of cloud environment you choose, be sure to work with a knowledgeable and professional managed service provider, which will ensure the best return on your investment as well as a seamless transition.
About the Author
Zakary Koch has worked in the IT support field since 2004 and is fascinated by emerging technology trends. Especially keen on cyber-security, he enjoys sharing with others how to keep their information secure in this ever changing online world through informative and easy to understand blogs and advice columns.