Since adoption for the cloud is on the rise, let’s take a look at all three cloud types. What is the best solution for your organization? Hosted private cloud, public cloud, or a hybrid combination of the two?
Private cloud hosting consists of hardware (servers, networking, storage) owned by the same company consuming the resources. This is typically hosted in a data center and connected by the company’s network infrastructure. The challenge here is the management and overhead that comes with a private cloud. You need employees or managed services to maintain, update and provision resources. Additionally, you must worry about refresh cycles of the hardware, hardware maintenance contracts, software licensing and physical space requirements. All of this can add up quickly from a cost perspective. Provisioning of services can take time as well, as resource limitations have to be considered, and outgrowing your infrastructure could cause another increase in capital spend.
The biggest difference here in relation to private cloud is that with this type of hosting solution, you and your company aren’t responsible for any of the physical hardware management. Rather than being hosted on-site or on a private network, your data is stored in your provider’s data center and they are responsible for all management and maintenance. This is an attractive option for many businesses, especially small businesses, with limited IT resources and staff. The downside is that some feel that security can be lacking—depending on your provider. Many public cloud offerings outside of the hyperscale clouds also offer managed services and software maintenance.
A hybrid cloud is actually a mixture or combination of private cloud and public cloud, and it’s a nice middle ground for companies that are more comfortable storing sensitive data on a private server but are okay with using public cloud for daily operations. According to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report, a surprising 69 percent of enterprises are using a multi-cloud strategy, while hybrid strategy grew to 58 percent in 2019 from 51 percent in 2018. So, it is probably a pretty good assumption that more SMBs and other organizations will follow this path in 2020.
Cloud implementation is fairly straightforward. In just two steps, you can maintain business continuity and availability across cloud environments. The benefits are abundant (agentless backups, deduplication and compression, inexpensive offsite backups) and there also isn’t a need for an additional hardware appliance. Keep in mind that while cloud does require additional resources on the VM that’s running it, you’ll experience better control of the resources deployed when a restore is required. This can help organizations leverage the growing demand for modern data protection and also equip them with the resources needed to reduce expenses, mitigate risk and fully realize the promise of virtualization. This does require some technical knowledge and know-how, however.
If you just aren’t up to the task of migrating your company to the cloud, consider managed cloud services. The same Gartner report referenced above predicts that by 2022 up to 60 percent of organizations will use an external service provider’s cloud managed service offering. This is double the percentage of organizations from 2018. The report also notes that cloud-native capabilities, application services, multi-cloud and hybrid cloud comprise a diverse cloud ecosystem that will be important differentiators for technology product managers.
Whichever cloud option you decide upon, such migration is a solid step forward for your business. With all the security concerns, having one server to do it all just isn’t feasible anymore. The cloud offers the ability to have multiple servers, redundancy and the flexibility to scale up or scale down as needed. It also provides you with additional capability to expand without making significant changes to your network. Overall, both the demand and strong support for strategic cloud services herald a shift toward a digital business environment, something that’s an obvious trend for 2020. What does the cloud hold for your organization in 2020? The choice is yours.
Tiffany Bloomer is the President of Aventis Systems, Inc., a leading provider of information technology hardware, software and services. Learn more by visiting