Over the last several years, you have probably heard about “the Cloud”, and how people are moving to “the Cloud”. But what is “the Cloud”? What is the difference between public and private cloud? And why would you want to move to “the Cloud”?
Simply, the Cloud refers to any services delivered by the internet. This includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Some familiar providers of IaaS and PaaS services include Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Platform. Familiar SaaS offerings include Microsoft Office 365, SAP, Salesforce, Adobe, and many others.
Cloud is further differentiated as Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud. But what are the differences?
A private cloud is when an organization builds and maintains its own infrastructure, providing services to internal users. They might use technologies such as VMware or OpenStack on their infrastructure, to help minimize the hardware footprint.
The public cloud consists of third-party providers that deliver services over the internet. These services can include CPU, storage and bandwidth, and are sold on demand, paying for consumption of the service.
In some instances, Hybrid cloud is used; the organization might run mission critical or sensitive applications in their own private cloud, while taking advantage of public cloud for other features, or to handle bursts in demand.
These cloud services can offer many benefits, and because the cloud environment is managed by the provider, your users only need a computer and an internet connection in order to access it. This can result in tremendous cost savings, as it eliminates the need to purchase physical hardware (servers, racks, etc.) which would require facility space, utilities such as electricity and cooling, and the added potential cost of unexpected downtime. Cloud providers have redundant services in place in order to provide resilient workloads across the globe, resulting in little to no downtime. SaaS providers update their applications and hardware regularly, so you will not have to. You will always be on the latest version of your cloud delivered application. Cloud services are easily scaled, you use as much or as little as you need, paying only for the services you use. In addition, many SaaS and IaaS services allow for self-service provisioning, if desired; end users can start up resources on demand without waiting for IT Staff to provision for them.
Compare this to owning and operating the infrastructure. Because physical space is expensive, you must also consider the cost of securing your physical environment. Your IT staff will have to manage the infrastructure, keeping hardware and software patched and updated, updating business applications as needed, responding to critical events that may or may not result in downtime, while your end users are waiting for resources to be provisioned for them. When it comes time for a hardware refresh, you must plan not only for what you need now, but also anticipating growth over the next several years, until the next refresh (replacing hardware that is out of warranty). Neglecting to take that into account, or larger growth than expected, can result in budget busting events. In these scenarios, costs can easily skyrocket.
Every organization is different, as are their needs. Cloud offers even the smallest organizations and start-ups the ability to have the best-in-class services at reasonable costs, while offering them the flexibility to grow as large and as fast as needed. If you have any questions on how moving to the cloud can benefit you and your company, reach out to us here at iuvo Technologies. We’d be happy to work with you to make your business grow!