Last week we wrote about the benefits of server cluster vs. the public cloud. However, the public cloud is just one option — hybrid and private clouds offer distinct benefits that might fit your needs. Putting together a private or hybrid cloud? We’d love to hear about it!
Large business have been faced with a new decision in recent years when it comes to choosing how they will deploy their online services. Back in the old days it was relatively simple. You built your own data center, hired your own staff, and managed everything in-house.
In the modern IT landscape, that scenario is becoming much less common, and many are opting to take advantage of virtualization technology and the IaaS platforms that rest on top of it. Businesses can opt for the public cloud, where most infrastructure management is outsourced to a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services, they can bring the cloud in-house and build on top of their own hardware, or they can choose some combination of the two.
We’re going to have a look at a few reasons why business might want to consider the latter options. The public cloud is great for startups and other businesses that want to deploy on a flexible platform without having to invest heavily in hardware, but for established and large enterprises, and even smaller ones that have strict requirements, many of the benefits of the public cloud are somewhat less clear.
This is the major concern of potential public cloud users. Essentially, businesses are giving up business critical and sensitive data to a third party who may not have the same incentives for keeping it secure. However, with a private cloud, built on wholly controlled hardware, businesses retain complete control of their and their client’s data. For a company that wants to build a reputation for trustworthiness, retaining data securely is a must, and a private cloud provides the opportunity for complete control, thorough security and risk analysis, and the impression that the buck stops with the company in question, rather than an outside vendor.
Some industries have very strict regulatory requirements when it comes to keeping data safe. Complying with those regulations requires that data be demonstrably secure and private, and that systems are subject to thorough audit and examination. That’s very hard to do in the public cloud, where the providers often make no guarantees as the hardware or network controls they have in place.
Amazon first developed its cloud services as a way to leverage excess capacity and the expertise it had developed in running data services on a massive scale for its own internal operations.
Many large businesses already have an existing data center with infrastructure that is not used to its fullest potential. That’s money left on the table, and virtualizing those systems while using the excess capacity for new services is a great way to soak up the idle capacity.
While outsourcing hardware acquisition, management, and maintenance can be hugely beneficial, for larger companies, cultivating the sort personnel and skills necessary to run that infrastructure can lead to a stronger organizational profile. Some businesses, like media companies, want to be able to serve their content without having to develop a dedicated technical team, but for others, where the provision of highly reliable online services is their bread and butter, having people who are able to competently manage their infrastructure puts them in a stronger position.