Bridging the Cloud Model and Working with the Right Solution
The technologies and concepts around cloud computing have come a long way. Consider this, Gartner recently stated that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years. This will make cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.
What started out as a confusing buzz term is now an accepted technological platform with accelerating rates of adoption across all types of businesses. However, the idea behind the cloud isn’t an all or nothing mentality. Really, it’s quite the opposite. Cloud computing provides great flexibility to the organizations that deploy it right. In some cases, this means utilizing the entire cloud solution; while in other instances only a part of the cloud service is necessary.
Throughout the decision-making process, it’s important to understand where the cloud fits in and how this technology is only a piece of the entire platform puzzle.
Understanding the cloud models (and services)
- Private, public, hybrid, and cloud services
- Private clouds are great solutions for organizations looking to keep their hardware locally managed. A good example here would be application virtualization technologies requiring a local and private presence. These private clouds can be located either on premises at an existing datacenter, or remotely at a privately held datacenter location. Either way, this private cloud topology is typically on premise—not outsourced—and directly managed by the IT team of a given organization.
- Public clouds are perfect for organizations looking to expand their testing or development environment. Or, if there are some core apps or workloads that need to be migrated – public cloud is a good option for the right candidates. This is where the “pay-as-you-go” model really works out well. With a public cloud offering, businesses can take advantage of 3rd party providers and use non-corporate owned equipment only as the IT environment requires.
- Hybrid clouds are being adopted by numerous organizations looking to leverage the direct benefits of both a private and public cloud environment. In a hybrid cloud, companies can still leverage 3rd party cloud providers in either a full or partial manner. Augmenting a traditional private cloud with the resources of a public cloud can be used to manage any unexpected surges in workload. If an organization has peak usage times, they are able to offload their user base to cloud-based computers which are provisioned only on demand.
- Cloud Services help organizations leverage specific elements of the cloud. For example, instead of outright hosting services, some companies might leverage backup, disaster recovery, security, ITSM, or even application monitoring services. Looking at cloud services to resolve pain points is great for a company which has specific or customized requirements. Or, if you’re looking to offload a service which was once on premise, leveraging cloud services is a great way to go.
Remember, as we mentioned earlier – cloud isn’t the end-all technology platform out there. It’s always important to work with the right solutions and partners who can help you get to the right infrastructure path; as it specifically relates to your business. The right data center partner can help you launch the right type of cloud solution. This means creating a dynamic cloud environment based on your organization’s direct needs. This could include initiatives around:
- Achieving cloud control, agility and efficiency.
- Responding immediately to resource needs and scale on demand.
- Lowering TCO by utilizing pooled resources and virtualized components.
- Removing over-subscribing challenges by deploying a pay-as-you-go model.
- Creating intelligent business continuity and disaster recovery strategies.
A big part of this process involves de-coupling the cloud solution. Most of all this means understanding that the cloud doesn’t always have to be a part of the entire answer. Although powerful, cloud computing is just another solution that an organization can leverage to achieve business goals. As discussed earlier, there are numerous different cloud options and data center scenarios to deploy.
In working with those various options to deliver your environment, understand that cloud computing can’t often solve all of your business challenges. For example, to deliver a powerful disaster recovery solution – the cloud doesn’t really need to be involved. For example, data center providers can offer disaster recovery solutions as a service. This is important because they are customized to your needs and run without capital investments. The data center provider is able to handle everything from near-instantaneous continuous availability to simple offsite data backup. Furthermore – if needed – you can flexibly integrate cloud services into your disaster recovery solution to save money.
Reliance around the modern data center will only continue to grow. As more services, cloud options and data center solutions arise – you, the end-user, will need to know which platform works best for you and your organization. This means understanding both current and future goals and aligning those needs with the capabilities of your data center partner. And today, you may find that a hybrid solution that encompasses elements of cloud, hosting and colocation delivered in an integrated fashion is the right way to “right-size” your infrastructure. Whichever way you decide to create your own strategy – always look at the big picture and working with your partners to design a solution which helps directly impact your business.