Secure data backup, greater reliability, improved collaboration, and better growth management are only a few of the reasons to take advantage of cloud computing today.
Understanding the choices you have can help you avoid some VERY costly mistakes which you might seriously regret later. To help you move forward with confidence, here are some important points to consider.
Three “Flavors” Of The Cloud
Not all cloud models are the same. For example, a cloud environment that works well for a dental practice with a half dozen locations may not be well suited for a law firm with just a single office.
When determining the best cloud model for your organization, it’s important to know how cloud services are structured.
Basically, there are three types of cloud: Public, Private and Hybrid.
Public Cloud Services Offer Flexibility And Lower Cost
A public cloud comprises a collection of data storage and software services that can be accessed on a flexible, as-needed, monthly basis, somewhat like an electric utility. Your data resides in a data center outside the corporate firewall and you typically access it through an Internet browser without having to make any initial or ongoing capital investment.
Well-known examples of public cloud services include Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive. They provide shared data storage and, in many cases, web apps like e-mail, Word, and Excel.
Public clouds are best used where a high level of privacy or data isolation is not required. They can provide access to a growing pool of newer technologies that would not be affordable if developed individually.
Private Clouds Support Highly Specialized Apps
A private cloud resides within an organization’s firewall but is often hosted in a 3rd party data center. It is typically managed and supported by the IT support provider for the business.
Private clouds can support highly specialized applications or privacy restricted data like medical records for a healthcare organization concerned about HIPPA requirements, for example.
Private clouds can be more expensive to set up initially, but may deliver a higher ROI in the long run since you’re not paying for ongoing shared services. However, Private cloud networks are generally less flexible in that they cannot easily scale up or down as you can with a Public cloud.
Hybrid Clouds: Balancing Complexity With Flexibility
Hybrid cloud solutions merge the flexibility of public cloud services with the control of a private cloud, and can provide the ideal infrastructure for some organizations.
A hybrid cloud enables you to put some of your apps and data – archives and e-mail, for instance – in a public cloud, and the remainder in your private cloud. This provides the cost savings and benefits of the public cloud while retaining the customization and security advantages of a private cloud.
While it can be more complex to deploy and manage than a pure public or private cloud, a hybrid cloud may deliver the best blend of control, flexibility and cost-effectiveness for some organizations.
So Which “Flavor” Is Right For You?
There is no perfect solution – each type of cloud has its own pros and cons. That being said, here are a few key factors to consider when determining the best approach for your particular business:
Public cloud solutions are often best suited to the flexibility and budget requirements of smaller businesses that want access to the kind of IT resources that bigger organizations can afford, without the cost of development and ongoing support and management.
A private cloud, managed and supported by a dedicated IT support team, may be ideal for your organization if control and privacy are of paramount concern.
A hybrid cloud could be the ideal solution for any enterprise that wants to isolate sensitive data while availing itself of third-party software and data storage for uses where the data involved isn’t as sensitive.
How To Get The Best Professional Help
While hiring a cloud-computing expert can prove extremely beneficial in the long run, it’s critical to work with a professional who has depth of expertise in all types of cloud environments.
At Zanacore, we’ve helped numerous companies set up and run cost-effective, powerful and secure cloud networks. For a Free Cloud Readiness Assessment, contact us at 404-975-4030 or [email protected] today.