No matter what your company or organization specializes in, it has data that needs to be stored somewhere. Before the invention of cloud computing, most companies stored their data on hard drives on-site. Additionally, some businesses may have had data stored on remotely-located hard drives or discs. But the majority of data was “in the building.”
Naturally, you can see how this would be dangerous — both for you as a business owner and your clients, customers, and investors. Sensitive data such as customer specs or financial information could be easily stolen, corrupted, lost because of a computer glitch, or even destroyed in a fire.
Today, with the advent of cloud computing, the bulk of these worries are gone. Nearly all major companies, organizations, governments, and many individuals use some form of the cloud. But, if you are planning a move to the cloud, it’s important to understand what type of cloud model you are going to choose. There are various cloud deployment models to choose from, so let’s review a few of them.
Understanding the Cloud and Cloud Computing
The first thing to know about “the cloud” is that it’s not a physical thing like a computer or hard drive. Instead, this term refers to a virtual space or a select part of the internet — the part that stores data.
Just as you can surf the web from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection, you can also access the cloud from anywhere in the world — plus whatever you store there — using the internet.
Cloud computing is the generally recognized term for all computing actions done in or via the cloud. Therefore, cloud computing refers to cloud-based data storage, but it also means cloud-based services such as:
- Data management
- Content delivery
- Access to applications and software
- Delivery of services
Should Your Business Use Cloud Computing?
Before we dive into how to choose a cloud deployment model, let’s talk about why you should be using cloud computing — and you absolutely should be.
Cloud computing provides numerous benefits that old-fashioned computing methods just can’t live up to. Specifically, these benefits include:
- Mobility and Efficiency: You can work from anywhere with the cloud. You can allow your employees, customers, clients, and investors to access the best that your company has to offer, without worrying about weighing down the system or collapsing your infrastructure.
- Ultimate Security: The cloud provides the best security available when it comes to storing your sensitive data. Even when hardware and equipment fails, you know your data will be stored safely and backed up.
- Scalability and Flexibility: With non-cloud computing solutions, you must anticipate the extent to which you’ll use your storage space and other computing needs beforehand. Cloud computing allows you to scale your cloud services up or down based on your unique needs.
- Strategic Value: Cloud computing methods are always updated with the latest software and the newest tech. This gives your company a competitive edge. Plus, there’s no need to toss outdated technology or revamp your entire network, which would otherwise set your company timeline back significantly.
Comparing Different Cloud Deployment Models
Understanding the cloud deployment model that is right for your organization will help determine your success in the cloud. And it depends on your business’s specifications, needs, and goals. There are three basic methods of cloud computing to choose from, so let’s review each of them.
Private Cloud Computing
The first cloud computing we’re going to talk about is private cloud computing. This cloud deployment model provides dedicated use to your company’s data and systems over a private IT infrastructure. A private cloud can be hosted in an on-site data center or by a third-party provider.
This is a good model to choose if you are particularly concerned about confidentiality and security. Only a trusted third-party or your company’s internal resources team should manage a private model of cloud computing, and you should only give access to those within your company.
Public Cloud Computing
As opposed to a private cloud, a public cloud provides resources that are open for public use. This means that the infrastructure your business would be using on a public cloud is shared with other businesses that are using the same provider.
A public cloud deployment model is a popular choice, especially with providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform making a public cloud model extremely accessible and still secure.
Hybrid Cloud Computing
The final cloud deployment model we are going to talk about is a hybrid cloud. As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud computing model blends a public cloud and a private cloud. This option is growing in popularity because it allows companies to use public clouds for day-to-day operations and private clouds for more sensitive information. This integration of both models into one overarching system is often seen as the best of both worlds.
Choosing the Right Cloud Deployment Model
So, with these three options to choose from, how do you make the right decision? It’s important to take some time to evaluate your organization’s needs and goals in the cloud. But, here are a few pointers to help you get started.
If you’re looking for a cloud solution that is easy to implement, cost-effective, and reasonably secure, a public cloud model might be a good place to start. On the other hand, if you’re looking for maximum control over your infrastructure, you should look into a private cloud deployment model. Or, if you want a little bit of both, a hybrid option is always an option. This way, you can get everything you want from your cloud environment.
Resources in the cloud are easier to access, manage, and recover after an equipment malfunction. By switching your business to one of the cloud computing models outlined above, you’ll have a competitive edge and complete control of your company’s data and systems.
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