As the CIO or IT manager of a medium to a large company you will most certainly have heard the term Cloud Computing on numerous occasions, you’ve also probably heard the variations, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and In-House and wondered which is the correct application for your company’s needs.
While each has its own advantages there may be situations where some form of Private Cloud is the only option, specifically if you need to know where your data is stored geographically in accordance with internal policies, legal security, and data protection, requirements.
In a computing context, ‘cloud’ refers to “storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive,” according to PC Magazine. The servers storing the data and running the programs are usually hosted by a cloud service provider.
Public cloud computing is described by Gartner as a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are provided as a service to external customers using Internet technologies—i.e., public cloud computing uses cloud computing technologies to support customers that are external to the provider’s organization.
Using public cloud services generates the types of economies of scale and sharing of resources that can reduce costs and increase choices of technologies.
Using public cloud services implies that any organization (in any industry sector and jurisdiction) can use the same services (e.g., infrastructure, platform or software), without guarantees about where data would be located and stored.
On the other hand, Private cloud computing is a form of cloud computing that is used by only one organization, or that ensures that an organization is completely isolated from others.
No two companies are the same and many companies have varying demand for computing resources throughout the year depending on the nature of their business.
For example, Christmas time would generally be a busy period for the Retail Industry. It doesn’t make sense for a company to support computing server resources all year round when it is only required for a short period of time, but with on-site servers, this is, unfortunately, the only option.
The Private Cloud offers a more flexible approach with virtualisation. The ability to spin up and tear down a server in a matter of minutes is an incredibly powerful feature of Private Cloud. Disk space, RAM and CPU resources can be allocated in minutes without having to source a physical server.
Virtualisation enables multiple applications and operating systems to operate on the same physical machine. Resources can be adjusted to meet the requirements of individual applications. This helps improve application performance and reduce costs as resources are “Rented” on a needs basis and can be scaled up and down depending on your immediate requirements.
Private Cloud services are more reliable than in-house services.
Private Cloud service providers offer extremely tight security and data integrity. Data can also be backed-up to additional remote servers to add an extra level of data protection.
On a Private Cloud, your data is secured behind a firewall within your own pool of resources accessible only to you via dedicated leased lines and not the public internet. The latest up to date anti-virus software is utilised to prevent viruses or malware from affecting your data.
Stryve is an ISO27001 accredited Private Cloud service provider offering two physically secure data centres accessible only to approved, qualified, personnel running state of the art Hardware and Software. Unlike the Public Cloud, you will know exactly where your sensitive data is stored and who to speak to.
Stryve’s Private Cloud service is ideal for backup and disaster recovery of your sensitive company data.
Customer information is considered to be highly sensitive user data that businesses need to have great control over.
Companies need to know where their data is stored geographically and who has access to it in addition to ensuring data privacy. In the case of a data breach, it may be difficult to access security logs from a public cloud, but not a problem if you’re utilising a private cloud.
Businesses need to comply with national laws and internal policies. The flexibility of a private cloud is an ideal option in this case. It can be deployed in accordance with any retention and access-control policies.
Setting up and maintaining servers can be an expensive exercise. Hosting servers in house attracts many hidden and indirect costs, physical security measures, floor space, cooling, electricity, UPS, HVAC, maintenance, upgrades and support personnel pushing up the TCO, Total Cost of Ownership.
Start-Up companies can greatly reduce initial CapEx by immediately implementing a Cloud-Based computing strategy and completely avoiding the expense of in-house servers. Existing companies can also quickly start to realise savings by transitioning to the Cloud.
In house servers need to be resourced to handle peak demand in computing power, Hard Drives, RAM and CPU resulting in underutilized resources during quieter periods, private cloud services can be scaled up and down in minutes according to demand.
Unlike the Public Cloud where costing is calculated on usage basis which is unknown until a monthly invoice is received the Private Cloud operates on a “pay by resource model” enabling you to budget in advance according to your needs.
Private Cloud makes use of virtualisation** which significantly increases the efficiency of your server hardware. Instead of having multiple servers running at low CPU usage you could virtualise the servers into one and share the resources as required.
This further enables you to duplicate servers for backup purposes or resource management. With the proper resource management tools, resources can be allocated to a server when it needs it or turned off during quiet periods to save on power.
** According to VMware: Virtualization is the process of creating a software-based, or virtual, representation of something, such as virtual applications, servers, storage, and networks. It is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility for all size businesses.
Loss of data is not a case of “If”, but “When”. All hardware is fallible. A hard drive will fail eventually, even a Solid State Drive. A computer can be lost or stolen. Fire, flood or other natural disasters can wipe out all your on-site data, even if it has been backed-up on multiple devices internally.
Some devices may be fine for performing basic back-ups, but totally inadequate as part of a professional Business Continuity Strategy owing to poor RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objectives). You need to ask the question:
In the event of a catastrophic data loss how much data are we prepared to lose and how long can we wait to be up and running again?
Cloud storage enables companies to store vast amounts of data off-site and in multiple locations. In the event of a disaster, they can simply engage their recovery protocol to get back to square one.
But you might be asking If all hardware is fallible won’t a Private Cloud service eventually fail?
The short answer is No, a professional Private Cloud Service Provider builds in layer upon layer of redundancy and protection against external influences.
These capabilities enable Stryve to provide service level agreements (SLAs) with 100 percent guarantees for all private clouds.
There are still places in the world where the public cloud is not accessible. Moreover, if your business operates in different countries, the compliance requirements may vary greatly according to the location. In these cases, the private cloud would definitely be a better option.
It may also be a good idea to have your data backed up to a geographically remote data centre in case of regional disasters that may affect a large geographical area, it’s not always possible to know where public cloud servers are geographically situated which could lead to compliance issues.
At Stryve we offer data centres locally in Cork and geographically removed in Warsaw.
It can be difficult to predict how your company will grow in the future. If you’re operating an on-site server network, you’ll need to forecast how much hardware you’ll need so you can be prepared for growth.
If you purchase too much hardware and it doesn’t get used, that’s a lot of money wasted, if you purchase too little hardware your server performance may suffer.
Private Cloud computing solves the scalability problem by letting you scale on demand.
Services are available at a monthly fee including Hard Drive space, RAM and CPU resources. All of which can be scaled up or down accordingly to allow for fluctuating periods of demand.
Remote work is a rapidly growing trend. Small businesses are benefiting from the networks of contractors across the globe enabling them to offer services previously only larger companies could. For companies to remain competitive they must employ talent wherever talent can be found, whether it’s in the same city or on the other side of the planet.
Cloud computing enables businesses of all sizes to engage their remote workforces and stays mobile because cloud applications are accessible from anywhere there is an internet connection, there’s no need for employees to work onsite to access the resources they need to do their jobs.
Most cloud service providers include analytics resources in their service packages. These enable you to optimize your usage and leverage cost-savings efficiencies.
However, access to cloud computing can also give your business the opportunity to take advantage of cloud analytics.
Cloud analytics is a service model in which business data analysis processes are provided through the public or private cloud. Using all the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing, you can extract information from massive data sets and present them in a way that is comprehensible.
There are six components of cloud analytics:
Cloud analytics is the implementation of all these components in the cloud rather than on a local computing network.
Gone are the days when colleagues had to email files back and forth to get anything done. Now, everyone uses cloud storage solutions that update files in real-time as they are edited.
This is because cloud computing is made for collaboration and file-sharing. Cloud computing lets your team edit files in real-time and access them from anywhere in the world.
Your team can be anywhere in the world and still work together.
Companies who move their systems to the Cloud are able to do away with their internal servers and data centres either partially or completely thereby reducing their need for floor space, climate control, and electricity costs.
The flexibility of Private Cloud service enables a more synergistic use of resources reducing the amount of hardware and other resources required to service multiple clients compared to each client providing their own servers and services.
The ability to collaborate and share files further reduces the need for additional storage space and printing. Good for the environment – Good for the Bottom Line.
Work is what we do, not where we are. The cloud enables your staff to collaborate on projects like never before from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection, the cloud is always on.
Flexible – Remote working or working from home reduces office and infrastructure costs for the company and also reduces the amount of time off required by staff for unexpected events, like a sick child that cannot go to school.
Cloud computing creates a better work-life balance for your employees and provides the employee with numerous benefits.
No commuting, which is not only good for the environment but reduces peak hour congestion on the roads, this also gives the employee valuable time they can use more productively.
Work from home families can manage more easily with just one car and save money on many other “work” related expenses.
Your employees get to work in a more relaxed comfortable environment of their choosing. Happier employees make for a better more productive workplace.
To truly understand how a Cloud-Based system can simplify and secure your companies data let’s take a look at the Old Way of doing things:
Example: HR has a sensitive document that needs to be distributed to all 100 employees for signature, the document would be generated and Emailed to all 100 employees. Each Employee would then download the form onto their local Hard Drive, now there are 101 copies of this document distributed over many devices and locations.
Next, each employee would print the document and sign it. (If it couldn’t be signed electronically.) Now there are 100 printed copies of the document in circulation, a security nightmare. These printed copies would then be scanned and Emailed back to HR, that’s 100 local copies of a large image file on each device and 100 emailed copies of the same files downloaded by HR for record-keeping, that’s a lot of storage space.
The company has generated 401 copies of this document in various non-secure formats distributed over numerous devices and locations that could easily fall into the hands of the wrong people.
With a Secure Private Cloud, the document would be generated once and stored in a secure location, a link could be provided to each Employee with a Secure Login, the document could then be signed electronically by each employee and once the process is complete the original document could be moved a secondary secure location for safe storage. So instead of 401 copies distributed over numerous unsecured devices and locations, we have only one document that is shared with approved personnel and kept secure throughout the entire process.
Cloud computing allows you to easily select which documents can be viewed, shared and edited by which users. It also allows for real-time collaboration where users are working on only one version of a file so you don’t have 100’s of versions of the same file floating around.
One copy is much easier to control, secure and delete if necessary.
It’s a common misconception that moving your organisation to a Private Cloud may be a complicated procedure.
It’s actually easier than installing a brand new local server and because it behaves in a similar fashion to a Local Area Network (LAN) it’s something that most organisations are already familiar with.
Organisations migrating from a legacy on-site system find it easier to deploy their systems to a Private Cloud owing to the fact that it can be customised to support any application.
Dealing with a highly specialised Private Cloud Solutions Provider like Stryve makes your transition to Private Cloud an extremely smooth process.