A New Cloud Model
As an IT administrator or managed services provider, how do you address the questions posed by executives that have surrounded Cloud for over a decade?
- How should we deploy our cloud solution?
- Should we own the hardware and deploy it ourselves?
- What workloads should we move to the cloud?
- How do we ensure the solution is compatible?
In today’s data-centric world, companies require a broad range of IT solutions. Advancements in the tech industry in the areas of cloud and internet-based technologies lead to specialized solutions. These solutions require a ‘context of curation’ – delivered by vendors who are prepared to offer specific and specialized services.
The Complexity of Cloud Services
As cloud evolved, “public” and “private” cloud quickly became household terms. Soon to follow was the concept of “hybrid cloud,” and enterprise and SMB leaders alike were now presented with this third catch-all option. How does this change the overall outlook on cloud?
Historically, public cloud offered businesses the ability to lower their costs and reduce complexity by hosting data on a vendor-owned platform that typically housed data for multiple organizations. Private cloud, on the contrary, is generally described as an individualized service, placing a single client’s data into a single isolated container. In the same context, “private” typically implies ownership, particularly that of the underlying hardware upon which the compute and storage rest.
In reality, these two definitions are now infinitely more complex. As the need for flexibility increases, different types of public and private cloud environments compete with each other. Often, the victor isn’t one design over the other. The victor is a new breed of “hybrid” design.
The Eternal Trade-Off
Companies of all sizes and across all industries continually contrast the benefits and disadvantages of public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms. The most prominent of these contrasts is security versus cost.
In the traditional “public” cloud model, companies have a way of easily scaling data production and expanding their available resources without the growing pains of purchasing hardware or expanding their network to accommodate growth. This achieves overall lower cost. However, the aspect foregone is the sense of control over their data.
The Evolved Cloud Model
Cloud providers have evolved by offering more complex and more specialized data environments. Improved network capacity and capability leads to on-demand scalability, opening the doors wide for IT. Virtualization is the key to many recent network improvements, since physical hardware is now detached from the compute environment. This provides IT administrators the capability to architect very complex systems.
The basics of public and private cloud have changed, as well.
For example, CloudConnect offers a form of public cloud that appeals to companies that require networking flexibility of a private cloud, with the inherent security of a dedicated domain controller. CloudConnect’s “Private Domain” architecture provides administrators with an isolated Virtual Private Datacenter (VDC), providing an isolated domain controller and dedicated Active Directory. This Private Domain provides the many security benefits and flexibility benefits of private cloud, without the cost and restrictions of owning and maintaining one’s own hardware.
Under this new model, data is housed in a private domain that rests on CloudConnect hardware. The largest reason to choose the Private Domain, aside from isolation, is to simplify migrating an existing Active Directory environment. In this instance, CloudConnect allows for domain co-existence, allowing for a risk-free and gradual cloud migration process. With domain co-existence, the environment can be migrated slowly, avoiding the hurried and stressful process of an elaborate domain migration.
Once a CloudConnect VDC is in place, whether in the mspCloud (the multi-tenant domain) or CloudConnect’s Private Domain (Private VDC), there is unlimited networking capability such as establishing VPNs, setting NAT rules, and opening ports. If a “hybrid” setup is required to network on-premise or to reach an existing colocation, the capability is there.
This results in a very interesting question… At the completion of standing up a Private VDC with an isolated domain controller, would one describe this as a “Private Cloud,” a “Public Cloud,” or a “Hybrid Cloud?” You decide.
In this case, the cloud provider maintains the infrastructure and systems are closely networked with hardware at the client site. This solution is essentially a private cloud deployed on CloudConnect’s platform, with integrated on-premise hardware.
The industry is realizing that this type of solution circumvents the traditional trade-offs associated with private vs. public cloud. It’s a win-win for the IT administrator and their clients. The administrator is less burdened by maintaining infrastructure and managing the complexities of a robust cloud deployment, and meanwhile, the business owner rests knowing that essential business applications and databases remain on-premise, until he or she is comfortable taking the next step.
This architecture offers a very relevant set of menu choices, a menu designed to address the many challenges faced by nearly every business executive over the past decade.
Questions such as: “How should we deploy our cloud solution? Should we own the hardware and deploy it ourselves? What workloads should we move to the cloud model? How do we know the solution is compatible?” -Have now become obsolete.
Now that the new “Public, Private, Hybrid” cloud combination addresses the questions above, how does an IT administrator or managed services provider describe the solution for presentation to the executives?
“It’s a private domain hybrid cloud, allowing us to keep our servers on-site.”, seems to relay the message quite adequately.