A whole host of questions surrounds the issue of cloud computing. With most businesses migrating at least some of their services to the cloud, it is important to formulate satisfactory answers. One point of contention centres on whether businesses should opt for a private cloud service or a public cloud alternative. There are positive and negative aspects to each, depending on the individual business, as well as a third option that hybridises private and public cloud provision into something distinct. Hopefully, a closer examination of the facts will simplify the issue.
Private clouds are best for businesses operating in industries where regulations are particularly stringent when it comes to data. A good example, outlined by KPMG’s Rick Wright, is that of companies who work in pharmaceuticals, because here a tightly controlled, internally maintained private cloud will provide the least headaches. Companies will still need to cover the costs of the server hardware and maintenance of a private cloud, but will still get the benefits of scalability and data accessibility that are hallmarks of cloud computing.
In less strictly governed sectors, the adoption of a public cloud platform can be more desirable. The benefits of going public are that you can enjoy relatively low set-up costs and a fast-paced rollout of associated systems when you want to get to market as quickly as possible with a new service or feature. This can come at the expense of integration across other areas of the business, which might be a problem in some situations, but is unavoidable if speed is of the essence.
Public cloud platforms have the added benefit of wide-ranging availability, often allowing anyone with a web-enabled device access to services from a browser. This means software and hardware requirements are minimal and migration can occur quickly.
Until recently, there was a great deal of concern over security levels within public cloud services, although KPMG has measured a marked decline in the number of people citing concerns about data protection. This indicates that it is closing the gap with the private cloud in this respect, if only in terms of opinion.
KMPG found that 41 per cent of companies are opting for private-cloud support compared to 30 per cent who favour the public option. However, for most businesses it now seems as if the decision between the private and public cloud is not a binary one, because the hybrid route is increasingly popular.
Scalability is seen as the key reason for employing both private and public-cloud services by industry experts. If an application is run on a private-cloud system which lacks the capacity to handle a sudden increase in the demands of usage, then companies can use the public cloud to take up the slack and deliver consistency across the board.
In short, the best way to prepare for cloud adoption is to look at the requirements of your business and fit them to the model which is going to offer the best experience. The pros and cons of each option do not detract from the idea that the cloud is an evolutionary improvement over traditional IT services.
Whether you choose a public, private or hybrid cloud solution, it seems as though the ultimate result will be the growth of cloud computing across the business world. 81 per cent of executives surveyed by KPMG said that they were either up and running with the cloud or were in the process of consulting on what route they should take with this technology in the future. Compare that to the ten per cent of respondents who claimed that the cloud held no pressing benefits for their company and you can see that expansion of the industry is inevitable.
This article was written by Daisy Group plc, who offer a wide range of business hosting services including dedicated and virtual environments, and associated services including storage, security, back-up and disaster recovery solutions. Daisy are leading providers of cloud computing and managed hosting solutions to business customers across the UK. Our 3 UK Data Centres in Manchester, London and Southampton provide 24/7 support 365 making Daisy the natural choice for business hosting solutions.