Factors to Consider in Deciding to Shift to Private Cloud Storage
Cloud computing basically represents an ideal shift from which both the service provider as well as the enterprise IT can benefit. The National Institute of Standards and technology (NIST) defines that all the IT services that get distributed in the form of cloud services offer the following:
- Elasticity, to ensure that the amount of resources consumed by users can be dynamic (less or more) according to their needs
- Pay-as-you-go approach with no or minimum initial costs
- Location independence, fault tolerance, and high availability
- Usage-based pricing, to ensure that the amount charged is based on the exact usage
- Pervasive access to all services, with which users will be able to access any service of their choice from any location and at any time
With the help of a cloud provider, an organization can obtain IT infrastructure services like storage, servers, and network services, otherwise known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); application services like databases using an application deployment platform, otherwise known as Platform as a Service (PaaS); and also software application services, otherwise known as Software as a Service (SaaS).
Public and Private Cloud
A cloud solution that is provided to an organization by a third party service provider is referred to as a public cloud. These days, all those service providers who are proficient in offering, managing, and escalating services for several customers, mainly provide IaaS services to enterprises on the basis of a pay-as-you-go approach.
In addition to this, there are organizations that choose to design a private cloud, which basically represents enterprise IT infrastructure services that will be managed completely by the organization itself, with the qualities of cloud computing such as on demand provisioning, pay-as-you-go charges, self-service, and infinite scalability.
Without regard to the type of cloud you choose as a services model for your enterprise, you should first consider the factors associated with moving all your enterprise applications to the cloud.
Before taking a look at the factors, let us see the two prominent advantages offered by the characteristics of a cloud service.
- Reduced costs: The ability offered by cloud storage to include storage, virtual machines, and various other resources dynamically simply means that you can purchase hardware depending on your usual workloads rather than buying in excess in order to save for your heaviest workloads. You will be able to perform the exact same amount of work with less number of machines. As a result, you pay lesser money to buy required software and hardware, lesser money to maintain the machines, and reduced staffing costs as you would require less number of administrators.
- More susceptible enterprises: Applications for the need of new database, machines, and other resources will take a long time to be done, in most organizations. With the help of cloud, all the required resources can be obtained whenever needed. Also, this process can be automated, without the need for any human involvement.
Factors to Consider
As most articles usually discuss about the various technical aspects you should consider when thinking about adopting the cloud, here let us focus of the non-technical issues. Following are the two non-technical factors that should be considered by you before moving your enterprise applications to the cloud:
- Organizational challenges: Like it happens with any change in technology, moving your applications to the cloud will make you face changes pertinent to the authority, mission, staffing (of different departments), and funding of your organization. There is a possibility of your staff resisting the changes, if they happen to encounter a drop in their authority on the organization. Remember that without proper support from your organization’s executives, adopting the cloud will never end up successful.
- Regulatory factors: One other important non-technical factor to be considered is the industry and government regulations that are present. For some reason or the other, most governments of different countries remain extremely concerned about the usage of cloud computing and cloud based storage by business organizations. For instance, there are several countries around the world that exercise strict privacy laws prohibiting the storage of specific data on a physical device that is located in a region outside the country. If your organization is present in such a country, then you should make sure that the cloud storage provider you choose complies with such industrial rules and regulations of the government.
In addition to the laws dictated by governments, there are also several industry and trade groups that create similar regulations. Though these regulations may not necessitated by law, you should follow them to exhibit best industrial practices.
Risks and Requirements
Migrating to the cloud, as does any migration, carries with it certain risks and requirements. In most circumstances, moving your applications to the cloud will not bring about new challenges, but will increase the complexity of the already existing ones. All these challenges generally depend upon the type of cloud you choose to use. One of the major concerns of organizations moving to the cloud is security.
Though moving to the cloud may not introduce new issues or threats pertinent to the security of your enterprise data and applications, it still escalates the number of people who contain access to the valuable resources of your organization. When you maintain an in-house server, it becomes your critical responsibility to keep an eye on the access to your organization’s sensitive data and applications. While control to access still remains crucial even with a cloud based storage solution, it is important to note that in this case, the application, platform, infrastructure, or data remains under the direct control of the cloud storage provider.
The cloud storage provider you choose must provide services that support various security controls that include securing endpoints, networks, storage, and data; and certificate and key management.