Stratus, Cumulonimbus, Cirrus, Private, Public – with so many clouds to choose from, it can be hard to keep track of what is right for you and your business.
One of the biggest IT buzz words of the past few years, ‘cloud computing’ has brought incredible promise to the world of information technology. This interest has led to widespread curiosity and awareness of cloud services. Allowing you remote access to your data or software solutions, it has revolutionised modern working practices. As I have said before in my ‘Keeping our heads in the cloud‘column nearly a year ago, the business world is now truly mobile and relies heavily on data and communication capabilities being remote – filing cabinet-sized servers are a thing of the past. Cloud services provide streamlined operating environments that have allowed organisations to increase their speed, scalability and cost saving abilities. But did you know there are options when it comes to the cloud – public or private?
Private clouds ‘live’ on a company’s intranet or in a hosted data center, where the business’ data is isolated from others’ information. This is a great option for companies who have already invested in their current infrastructure and or require access to tailored cloud based software solutions. Private clouds can be managed to meet specific company requirements by redeploying capacity and resources as and where required. However onsite private clouds bring serious responsibilities. The management, maintenance and updating can become expensive. But all that said, they do offer a high level of security, flexibility and do not see resource shared with other organizations.
Meanwhile, Public clouds have a significant appeal to business, as they are is not responsible for its management. Data is stored in the provider’s date centre, alongside other companies’ information, and the provider looks after all of the management and maintenance of same, meaning your company can relinquish the worry of the costs and management of the upkeep. However, whilst it can take away the headache of management and maintenance, the public cloud does have a drawback. Some companies feel that the security of a public cloud is potentially lacking and that as they do not control its resource deployment this limits the public clouds’ flexibility, when it comes to peaks in demand or changing working processes.
What cloud is right for your business? There is no simple answer but one that requires a business to seriously evaluate its needs and decide what their priorities are.
And so, I say look to the clouds! Do your research, look at your needs and priorities realistically and ask questions, because much like in real life, no clouds are created equal but they do all have a silver lining.