The cloud will become the predominant traffic source as total datacentre traffic triples by 2017, predicts a recent Cisco (News - Alert) Global Cloud Index study. Perhaps not surprising given how mainstream cloud computing technologies are becoming, driven strongly by proven commercial benefits.
What this means is that businesses of all sizes are undergoing a migration process. When choosing a cloud model, small and medium-sized businesses tend to prefer a public cloud, where resources are shared for a lower TCO. However, businesses that deal with critical and sensitive information cannot compromise on data integrity and security. Clearly the public cloud offers highly scalable IT solutions that bring agility to business processes at reduced costs. However, multi-tenancy, RDP vulnerabilities, BYOD, data encryption and compliancy issues are major considerations that make businesses hesitate before committing to the public cloud. This is where the private cloud comes into play.
While private cloud design varies by company, one common point is the advantage of resource availability for increased performance, while maintaining the security of the networks. Consider the key drivers behind the shift to private cloud computing:
Enhanced data integrity and security
In a private cloud, you have greater control over the data management system. Data managed through your processes is securely stored behind a firewall in your company datacentre. Private cloud networks come with enhanced security solutions that are augmented by your network security. Data is securely encrypted and transmitted through a VPN tunnel so that unauthorised people cannot access it. Moreover, data retention issues are prevented.
Greater process visibility and control
Cloud computing technology offers high-end virtualisation tools to optimally utilise resources. With private cloud there is a greater level control. You can customise the functionality of the virtualisation server, enforce security at network level or virtual machine level, and customise virtual machines and application delivery systems to meet your business requirements. Furthermore, you can use the hypervisor interface to make changes to virtual server settings, while in a public cloud options are much more limited. One important benefit is that the IT department is happy to regain control and management over the datacentre.
As the data processed within your networks is stored in your datacentre, compliancy issues are resolved. The private cloud overcomes any hurdles relative to the various regulations on the storage of data in different locations.
Private Cloud challenges
While companies initially started with public clouds, they are rapidly moving towards the private cloud due to its personalised optimisation of resources and security. However, this highlights certain challenges. First, private cloud implementation requires a larger investment. Though the cloud provider offers the infrastructure, you still need to purchase new software and hardware. Secondly, traditional business processes might not suit the private cloud setup. You need to work on new processes and security measures that require expertise and knowledge of the technology – i.e. extra human resources.Using the private cloud for virtualisation
While private cloud computing provides efficient, scalable and reliable systems, its full potential lies in the virtualization of applications, desktops, files and folders that can be delivered to various devices. The goal is to allow an administrator to manage their technology infrastructure from a single point and assign resources as needed. Owning and managing a private infrastructure may be less cost-effective for a business, but it increases its ability to manage and protect data.
Hybrid Cloud Computing
In practice, most businesses are using a hybrid cloud solution. The reason is obvious: in the initial days of cloud computing technology, enterprises used public clouds extensively for VDI, RDP and BYOD requirements; however, over the last few years, security issues, operational challenges and data compliancy issues have become a growing concern. This is why businesses started shifting to the private cloud. While the private cloud offered more control and visibility over business processes, huge investments and infrastructure management still remained a concern.
With shrinking IT budgets and rising business demands, companies are looking for an intermediate model of cloud computing technology – enter hybrid cloud. By integrating the public cloud with the private cloud, businesses get the flexibility to isolate sensitive data while still benefitting from the many advantages offered by the cloud.
Hybrid cloud technologies are still developing at a rapid pace. One of the biggest challenges posed by a hybrid cloud is the dependency on IT infrastructure. With complex networking solutions running in an environment, you need to efficiently manage both private and public clouds - . Choosing the right provider for your cloud computing solutions can prevent outages and improve redundancy issues, while offering the highest performance.
The growth in cloud traffic is accelerating and businesses need to have a clear strategy to optimise business advantage. Be it a public, private or hybrid cloud, choosing the right model depends on the nature of your business environment. Analysing your business requirements and choosing the right cloud infrastructure is the key to maximizing the benefits from cloud computing.
Charlie joined 2X (News - Alert) Software in January 2013, bringing with him more than ten years of senior leadership experience in both the business to business and business to consumer technology markets. Before joining 2X, Charlie served as Head of Sales with Uniblue Systems and held senior marketing, sales and business development roles at Channel Source (News - Alert) Direct. At 2X, Charlie will be responsible for the global go-to-market strategy of the 2X product line. A graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, Charlie earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management & Marketing with a certificate in International Business.