Organizations all over the world are moving their IT services into the cloud and those resistant to change will suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs. The cloud comet struck years ago and transformed the way enterprise managers deliver IT services. According to Joe Weinman, senior vice president at Telx and author of Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing, “…ultimately, the cloud is the latest example of Schumpeterian creative destruction: creating wealth for those who exploit it; and leading to the demise of those that don’t.”
Choosing the cloud computing solution that meets the needs of your organization comes down to three options: public, private and hybrid. While each has benefits, they also come with a few considerations. Here are few of the pros and cons of public, private and hybrid cloud computing services.
Public clouds are commercially available, offsite solutions for hosting service models like IaaS, PaaS and SaaS over virtual networks. Public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure own and operate their infrastructures at large data centers, which are then accessed over the internet by their clients.
Increased scalability – Scaling-up is much more elastic and affordable with public clouds.
No hardware investment – All equipment is owned, operated and maintained by the public cloud provider.
Pay-per-use – Organizations save money by only paying for the computing resources they actually use.
Higher security risk – Shared resources between multiple users create more vulnerabilities and make IT security issues more profound.
Performance – Network performance is weaker and less reliable than private cloud.
Lacks customization – Public clouds restrict the customization of resources and services.
A private cloud is an infrastructure dedicated to a single organization and can be managed internally or through a third party. Likewise, equipment can be stored offsite or on premises. Private cloud providers like Cisco offer similar services and have similar architectures as public cloud providers.
Increased security – Unlike the public cloud, security is dedicated to one client, not many
More control – Private cloud offers customization over data, infrastructure and server management.
High reliability – Private clouds are more efficient at delivering service models like IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
Remote access – Heightened security sometimes creates access issues for mobile users.
Start-up costs – The initial costs of private clouds are much higher due to equipment purchases.
Operating expenses – Upgrading, maintenance and management of equipment add to the costs of ownership.
A hybrid cloud is composed of two or more private and public clouds that maintain independence, while providing advanced coordination across multiple platforms. While vendors like Amazon Web Services offer integration for hybrid users, they primarily focus on public cloud services. VMWare, on the other hand, specializes in private cloud products and services and incorporates a network of partners to deliver a hybrid solution.
Maximum flexibility – Hybrid clouds provide choice of where IT applications and data are hosted.
Enhanced agility – Organizations can mitigate outages by leveraging the public cloud during times of high usage.
Accessibility – Mobile and remote users enjoy easier access with hybrid clouds.
Complex IT Management – Managing different infrastructures requires advanced training and product knowledge.
Cost – Equipment expenses and subscription fees make the overall cost of a hybrid cloud more expensive than public or private clouds.
Security – Hybrid clouds share some of the same vulnerabilities as public clouds.
Summing It Up
Cloud technology is making it easier to provide IT services and those who embrace it are getting all the benefits. Whether your organization demands scalability, customization or security, there is a cloud computing solution to solve your IT challenges.
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