Cloud computing is the world’s technologie du jour for good reason. It lets businesses:
- Enjoy increased data storage and processing capabilities without having to invest in and manage new or additional IT infrastructure
- Downsize their IT department or move IT staff from upkeep tasks to projects that directly contribute to the bottom line
- Pick and choose the IT services they’ll subscribe to so that they won’t have to pay for services they’ll rarely or never use
- Substantially and/or quickly increase or decrease the computing power they’re using to match projected or current requirements
Given that companies’ IT requirements are not the same, there are different types of cloud solutions to choose from. To help you choose the right one for your business, we’re providing you with a brief overview of each cloud type and who their intended customers are.
A fantastically large restaurant can be a pretty good metaphor for the public cloud. The restaurant owner is responsible for hiring and training the staff who’ll operate, maintain, and upgrade the kitchen equipment. The kitchen is the data centre, and the dining area is open to thousands of patrons. Subscribing to public cloud services is akin to signing up for the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day (with the occasional dessert when you’re feeling extra hungry) — and requesting a one-off service is like ordering a snack in between meals.
Public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure cater to many different types of businesses, such as:
Organisations that build their own applications
Large retail chains that develop their own inventory management system apps and manufacturers that craft and manage their own process management programs can use the public cloud’s Platform- and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (PaaS and IaaS).
PaaS provides cloud service subscribers with IT resources for developing, testing, and running their apps, whereas IaaS lets clients have a virtualised version of an on-premises data centre.
Getting IaaS is like having your very own networking, storage, and computing infrastructure, but you access them over the internet. And just like with an on-site data centre, you’ll get to install your choice of operating system (OS), middleware, and data security solutions (such as those for cybersecurity, backups, and disaster recovery), as well implement controls for maintaining application performance.
Organisations that need data storage
Companies store data for three basic reasons:
- Archiving records
- Backing up current data
- Dynamically storing data for use by cloud-based apps
While firms can and do store data in their own servers, many allocate data storage to the cloud to free up their servers and optimize these for primary functions, such as storing select critical files and running OSs and important programs.
Organisations that need to build their own databases but don’t have the resources to do so
Companies that run their own applications often require databases to efficiently access and use data related to the apps. A database is a more sophisticated and structured form of data storage that requires particular hardware and software, so for businesses that do not have such resources, public cloud providers offer Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) and usually bundle it with PaaS and IaaS.
If a public cloud is like a restaurant where thousands of diners benefit from the same kitchen, then a private cloud is like being in a restaurant that is dedicated to one patron or is shared between a handful of customers only.
Thanks to the high availability and customizability it affords, the private cloud is perfect for organisations that need one or more of the following:
- Massive computing power
- A specific location for their data and the infrastructure they’ll be using
- Exclusivity (i.e., they want everything that the cloud has to offer but cannot have their data and systems be placed in a shared cloud environment)
- The ability to comply with specific industry regulations (this often requires bespoke cloud solutions)
- Extra layers of protection for sensitive and/or proprietary data (such as intellectual property)
- The capacity to maintain and integrate legacy apps and systems with newer ones
- Flexibility in service level agreements (SLAs) that public cloud providers can’t accommodate
This integrates public or private cloud computing with on-premises IT infrastructure. Organisations that need to enlarge their current data storage and processing capacities often opt for the hybrid cloud approach because of one or more of the following reasons:
- They don’t want to invest in new hardware and software
- They don’t want to hire more staff to operate and care for the new infrastructure
- They don’t have the physical space for additional machines
- They want to reduce their capital expenditures and shift towards more predictable operating expenses
Companies that have not yet built a sizeable infrastructure or developed complex IT processes can go straight to the cloud. These firms are usually start-ups and small companies on the verge of significant growth.
Eager to migrate your organisation to the cloud? Let Austin Technology help you make the right moves! Talk with our cloud consultants to receive expert guidance on choosing the cloud that’s best for your business.