Cloud computing is here to stay. The Apple’s, Google’s and Amazon’s of the world have staked out their own pieces of real estate in the virtual troposphere and the benefits of moving away from traditional, physical IT architectures are not being lost on UK business, with more and more switching to virtualised set-ups in the Cloud.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CLOUD?
For many businesses thinking about a move into the clean, fresh, virtual air of the Cloud and away from noisy and slightly messy in-house server rooms (they’re not all like this but we’ve all seen a few), there are still some unanswered questions about this IT panacea for the masses.
All businesses are different. Some will have very similar IT requirements but often they have very specific needs, which is why they have a dedicated on-site infrastructure currently in place. Perhaps you deal with very sensitive customer or business data that is governed by strict legal guidelines – can the cloud support the protection and security required to manage that safely and legally?
The answer to that question is that Cloud Computing is a bit like real clouds, same basic underlying structure, but they can all look and act a bit differently. The Public Cloud set-up that you use to back-up your Neil Sedaka Greatest Hits on your iPhone is not the same as a custom-built, Private Cloud for your business.
A Private Cloud solution is, as the name suggests, a solution using Cloud Computing technology built with your specific needs in mind, on separate infrastructure. You don’t need to share your Cloud with anyone else; it is dedicated to your requirements. You can work with your host to ensure it contains all the relevant protections and systems you need to secure your data and your business.
For many, this layer of privacy would remove many of the concerns about their business data being publicly accessible on a Public Cloud and make the switch to a virtual infrastructure much more appealing. But Cloud customisation does not end there.
A Hybrid Cloud model can offer businesses the best of both worlds, combining all the strengths of both virtualised Cloud Computing and physical dedicated systems, which are still a necessity for many bespoke applications operated by companies.
Many sources believe that the Cloud is the death knell of dedicated services but the custom blend of security, performance and scalability offered by a combination of the two can create a truly high-performing, bespoke, service for a company.
The physical equipment can still be located offsite at your host, removing the need for expensive outlay on equipment and support and preserving all the benefits of the Cloud model.
The Cloud should not be viewed as a bit of an informational free for all, that will have your business systems and data rubbing shoulders with ‘My Top Ten Death Metal Thrash Lists’ and season 18 of Desperate Housewives: yes it does offer those sorts of services but it can be shaped and designed to meet your exact needs as well, with a secure robust solution.
The right combination of Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud architectures can help improve your IT infrastructure, maintain its integrity and decrease your IT spend.