Avoiding downtime is one of the most critical factors when considering implementing cloud services. Unplanned downtime can cause enterprises hundreds of thousands of dollars, and evidence suggests the average cost per instance is increasing each year.
The cloud is a potential solution for enterprises seeking to curb the increasing problem of downtime losses. In addition to offering uptime and resiliency guarantees, the cloud provides other operational efficiencies and competitive advantages.
Cloud offerings come in three major categories, each with their own pros and cons.
- Private cloud services are often housed and maintained on the company’s premises and provide a high level of control with minimal (if any) sharing of resources. This is ideal for enterprises that transmit highly sensitive data that requires a high degree of security. But private cloud services don’t benefit from the cost efficiencies of sharing, and are typically a more expensive option.
- Public cloud services, on the other hand, are offered by third-party providers, typically use the internet, and exploit the efficiencies and cost savings of sharing by spreading costs over multiple users. The drawbacks to the public cloud include less control over data and infrastructure.
- Hybrid cloud services combine the best of the private and public cloud options and can be offered as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS) models.
Creating an Enterprise Cloud
Whether the enterprise uses one or more of these models, creating an enterprise cloud requires following a few steps. These include:
- Determine in-house competencies. Determine whether existing personnel have the skills and knowledge to design and deploy a cloud service, or whether outsourcing is the best option. Often partnering with a third-party cloud service provider who can provide guidance based on experience is the best option.
- Consider bandwidth constraints. The amount of data moving from place to place means it is crucial to determine how much bandwidth will be required to adequately handle the company’s needs and simultaneously assess how much bandwidth is currently available. Take into account important factors like redundant links and management components that add to bandwidth requirements.
- Plan for costs. Consider the costs for components and whether the provider has them in stock or can procure them. Understand what costs might be associated with an unexpected burst in activity.
- Understand security and compliance requirements. If the company’s data is bound by compliance rules, it is important to learn if the third-party provider meets security regulations. This also includes refreshing personnel about being vigilant, as the majority of cloud security breaches are attributable to the customer.
- Outline performance standards. It is important to determine metrics that will decide whether the cloud solution or service is living up to expectations. Companies may choose network monitoring solutions to track performance and ensure availability standards are met.
- Ensure service requirements are met. Create service level agreements at the outset that provide guarantees that certain service expectations will be met. Be wary of agreements that incorporate hefty penalties or change fees if the SLA is modified.
A successful hybrid cloud deployment requires attention to each of these six considerations. Proactively working to make sure all of the basic pieces are in place in the formative stages will help to ensure that the deployment is ultimately successful and beneficial for the enterprise.
Contact us to learn more about building an optimal enterprise cloud environment.