When we talk to our customers about virtualization or cloud computing, their answers to the question, “private or public?” are somewhat cloudy. Public clouds have raised some security and compliance concerns while private clouds often require new operational processes. Both cloud computing models have their strengths and weaknesses therefore most organizations will likely use both or a hybrid cloud architecture.
Private clouds or virtualized data centers reside on-premise or virtually outside of the enterprise data center. Users can access the private cloud via a secure HTTP browser or if outside the firewall via VPN. Private clouds are inherently more secure than other models because data resides in the enterprise data center. IT remains in control and can maintain regulatory compliance. There are some operational process changes that can be challenging. With the integration of server and network operations in data center, the distinct roles of a server administrator and an IT administrator now overlap.
A public cloud is a model where a service provider makes resources, infrastructure and applications, available to one or more organizations over the Internet for a fee. This model allows an organization to handle resource peaks and valleys but security and control become concerns with critical data being transmitted over the internet into the cloud.
The hybrid cloud takes advantage of both models and allows organizations to maintain secure sensitive or critical applications on their private cloud and utilize the public cloud for additional resources in high peak periods. While a hybrid cloud sounds ideal, there are still challenges with interoperability and with management that can monitor both platforms. Many organizations are waiting until standards are developed before embracing a truly hybrid cloud infrastructure.
There are many considerations when deciding whether a private cloud, a public cloud or a hybrid cloud best fit your organization. Building a cloud infrastructure is a journey and often an organizations first step is virtualizing the enterprise data center and building a private cloud infrastructure. AMS.NET can help you evaluate your current infrastructure, discuss your applications and business challenges and help recommend a solution that will meet your current needs and allow for an integrated hybrid cloud in the future.