Whether a business is completely new to cloud-hosted services, or is already an early adopter of cloud-based technologies, the more knowledge about the cloud that a business has, the better. For those in the market to purchase a cloud solution, it’s helpful to review the pros and cons of the basic cloud types, public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the context of the specific business need.
Before selecting a cloud model, it’s useful to think through a few main points:
- Budget – Does the business favor capital expense over operating expense?
- Staffing – What IT resources and competencies are currently in-house? Are stakeholders prepared to invest in additional human capital if necessary?
- Regulatory compliance – Many compliance standards call for additional steps in cloud security to be taken in order to meet requirements. Since this may make the investment much greater than initially planned, compliance requirements should be investigated early in the process.
The public cloud is a great choice when an all-inclusive model is ideal, because the vendor manages all of the hosting.
- Pros: Public cloud solutions are cost-effective, have minimal management overhead, and can typically be set up very quickly.
- Cons: These solutions can be tricky to license if your business has fluctuating headcounts. Also, standardized offerings may be difficult to customize fully.
A private cloud solution is a great choice for organizations that need more customization options and IT teams with the resources to either manage a data center or liaise with a third party data center team.
- Pros: The private cloud is very customizable from the perspective of infrastructure, security, and functionality. Private cloud customers have more control over processes such as upgrade schedules.
- Cons: The private cloud is more expensive than public cloud options and requires more intensive involvement on the part of internal stakeholders and IT resources.
For some business needs, one choice is simply not enough. Many organizations deploy hybrid solutions, where some data is hosted on-premise, and some in the cloud.
- Pros: While hybrid cloud infrastructure may sound complex, users will barely know the difference when they are working in tools hosted on-premise vs. in the cloud. Another advantage of the hybrid cloud is that organizations with moderate security needs can securely host only the most sensitive data onsite.
- Cons: Hybrid cloud customers may want to invest in some additional technologies, such as Single Sign-On, to streamline the user experience. Furthermore, IT teams will need specific guidance around where to host certain kinds of data.
IaaS allows companies the enhanced customization of a more private cloud, without the management expense since a third party provides all of the hosting infrastructure as a service.
- Pros: IaaS customers benefit from greater management flexibility, without as much internal investment. IaaS is easy to increase or downsize storage. Also, all of the administrative heavy lifting is outsourced to the third party.
- Cons: Organizations still cede some control to the third party hosting provider. Tasks such as user monitoring may be tricky with an IaaS solution.
Make the Right Choice
Every cloud option is different. The benefits and downsides of each cloud type are important factors to consider when choosing the right cloud for your business need. By considering the specific business case from perspectives like security and flexibility, stakeholders can rest assured of choosing the right option for their business.
See how eXemplify can help you find the right cloud infrastructure for your business; contact us today.