But Really, What Can the Cloud do for YOU?

Saturday, July 26, 2014/Categories: Business Cloud Services

The Cloud covers a lot of territory. At one end, typically for large enterprise-size players, is the private cloud. It’s complex and labor-intensive to build and entails a lot of up-front cost. In exchange it gives you total control, is secure and reliable, and you don’t have to share it with anyone. It might look like a traditional data center, but it meets the essential requirement of the cloud: it is “self-service” for users, allowing them to acquire resources as they need them, without delay or involvement of a middleman.

At the other end of the spectrum is the public cloud. That’s quick and easy to implement with virtually no up-front cost. It meets the self-service requirement, but as a shared resource it can get crowded and slow. Since the user has very little control over the implementation it may not be very flexible in accommodating special needs, and there may even be questions about its security.

The private cloud option may be ideal for the heavily-resourced enterprise user, and the public cloud is fine for the casual user, but what about the rest of us? In today’s fast-moving business world, who wouldn’t want to offer users self-service access to resources? And it would be great to have privacy and reliability, especially if the operation could be tailored to your need, and even better if it didn’t require a large, specialized staff or capital expenditure. But neither the private cloud nor the public option fits that description. The good news is that there is such a thing, and while it can take you a long way from where you are today, getting there doesn’t have to feel like getting shot from a cannon. So what does this "solution for the rest of us" look like? It is impossible to say because your cloud solution depends on your circumstances: your current systems, their lifecycles, the applications you run, your in-house expertise, the regulatory issues you face, your financial resources, and future plans.

A major component of this “just right” solution is the virtual private cloud. If the private cloud is a limousine and the public cloud is a crowded city bus, the virtual private cloud is a private compartment on the Orient Express. You are on a shared conveyance, the public cloud, but you have your own unshared resources in the form of dedicated virtual servers. You get the low cost and ease of entry of the public solution and the guaranteed service level of dedicated resources. But that’s just part of the potential solution. For some of your applications you might want to implement a full-on private cloud; for others, the plain vanilla public cloud might be perfectly adequate. They can be mixed and matched to address your needs. And you can still keep your in-house data center as part of the mix.

The transition can be relatively painless as well. You might want to start by keeping everything you currently use and just going to the cloud for new applications. You might choose to keep leased, in-house systems through their defined lifecycles and transition the applications they run to the cloud as they reach end-of-life. The change can be incremental with course corrections as you go. And while you are looking at the computing aspects of the cloud you can also consider its possibilities for unified communications and connectivity services like Wifi. If you’d like to look at the options give us a call; we’re here to help you find your “just right” cloud solution.

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