SMBs Weighing their Cloud Computing Options May want to think Hybrid
There’s been a lot of talk over the past year about cloud computing solutions, and more recently the talk has centered on which cloud computing option makes the most sense for an organization – private clouds or public clouds?
The answer will undoubtedly vary based on the size of your company, the industry in which you operate, and the product or service that you sell. For SMBs, the answer may be both – a hybrid cloud computing solution that takes advantage of the benefits of both the private and public cloud offering. In fact, Gartner predicts in its Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012 that, “Hybrid cloud computing which brings together external public cloud services and internal private cloud services, as well as the capabilities to secure, manage and govern the entire cloud spectrum will be a major focus for 2012.”
Private cloud computing through virtualization and automation can provide SMBs with the ability to store and protect critical data while still providing scalability. Depending on internal IT bandwidth, SMBs can maintain this private cloud internally or within a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that provides dedicated equipment, giving the SMB the ability to outsource a private cloud to a trusted source.
For SMBs without the internal resources for private cloud configurations, public clouds can also provide scalability. The costs associated with a public cloud are OpEx versus CapEx plus the internal staffing requirements, so you can literally pay-per-hour for computing needs. However, public clouds do have three significant downsides: 1) increased risk associated with data exposure, 2) system control is minimal at best, and 3) uptime is usually not guaranteed.
Until public clouds address security in earnest, a hybrid cloud computing model may be the best deployment option for SMBs. An SMB can use a public cloud to run applications, reducing the need to maintain software internally. SMBs can manage data and other critical computing needs in a private cloud environment, secured with minimal exposure.
Here are some additional resources you may want to peruse before choosing your cloud computing solution: