Cloud Computing Solutions - Choosing the Right Deployment Option

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
June 7, 2011

Cloud computing solutions are getting a lot of press right now and certainly it’s becoming the ‘next big thing’, but what options are out there and which one is right for you and your organization? First, let’s examine the three common deployment options.

Private Cloud Computing – To build a private cloud, you need to supply your own hardware. Your data will sit behind your corporate firewalls, so you’ll directly control and manage the amount of data exposure. When you need to scale your cloud, you just need to add another server, and the architecture expands by adding performance and capacity. Private clouds are typically located on-premise or within the walls of your data center provider.

Public Cloud Computing – For a public cloud, you’ll choose a public cloud service provider, usually available through an Internet connection. Cloud computing as a service typically will cost you a monthly usage fee per GB in addition to bandwidth charges. However, the service providers manage the infrastructure and pool resources so you can scale on-demand, without the need to purchase additional hardware infrastructure. As far as data security, your data will sit in a publicly exposed cloud, so the security depends on the service provider’s level of security, precautions, and defenses. As you might expect, public clouds are most often located off-premise.

Hybrid Cloud Computing – Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds, located both on and off-premise. Some data resides on a private cloud, while other data resides on a public cloud. Cloud and data security depends on both companies’ internal security controls and those of the cloud provider.

Which cloud computing solution is right for you and your company? To choose which form of cloud computing is appropriate for your company, you’ll need to consider and balance a variety of factors, including:

Initial Investment – Each deployment option has initial investments that vary. You can visit one of our previous blogs that provides a comprehensive financial comparison of private and public cloud deployments and the expected ROI to understand how this initial IT investment can pay off in the long run.

Amount of Data – How much data are you planning on storing in the cloud? Remember, with a public cloud you’ll pay per GB, but with a private cloud you’ll need to purchase your resources.

Longevity of Data – How long will you need to store your data? Are there industry requirements that dictate how long you need to hold on to data?

Required Performance – What do you need your IT infrastructure to do and how well does it need to be done? If you’re in need of computing resources as a core, mission-critical business function, then each option needs to be weighed accordingly.

Access Patterns and Locations – How global is your business? This can determine where you need your resources located for optimal performance.

Security and Confidentiality – This is the big one! Cloud and data security vary tremendously across your deployment options, so be sure to understand what’s at stake.

Service Level Agreements – How important is ‘uptime’ to your business operations? The recent Amazon cloud outage affected a lot of businesses. What would it have done to yours?

In-House Technical Resources – Do you have the technical resources available in-house to operate and maintain your private cloud?

There are a ton of other questions that you can, and should, ask yourself. Here’s a previous blog post that explores 30 Questions to Ask Before Turning to the Cloud. We’re here to help you with your cloud deployment decision as well, so feel free to shoot over any questions you have.

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Cloud Computing

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