To keep IT infrastructure up-to-date, operational and secure, enterprises today must manage a perfect balance of IT economics, application performance and security controls. In this Thought Leadership, we consider how businesses can thrive only if they are truly agile, leverage highly automated infrastructure, and incorporate real-time data analytics when making critical-business decisions.
For these reasons we see many organisations choosing a path to drive a ’cloud first’ strategy and in particular the use of one or more public clouds, known as ‘multi-cloud’.
However, whilst public cloud may deliver these objectives there are still many reasons why an organisation should invest in their own private cloud as part of this overall strategy.
We will explore the reasons and will re-evaluate the case for why the economics may actually be better to use private cloud as part of their hybrid cloud strategy
We will actually make the case that these private clouds often provide levels of agility, automation, and efficiency as well as cost models that are comparable to those of public clouds without forcing users to give up control of data or risk outages related to lower availability of service-level agreements (SLAs).
Basic Principles of Cloud
To understand the principles of choosing a private cloud we first have to reconfirm our understanding of the key cloud technologies and terminology before exploring the deployment options.
All types of cloud are based on next-generation datacentre technologies that often support a completely virtualised and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). These types of solutions collapse core compute, storage, and network services onto a highly virtualised and potentially automated cluster of shared or dedicated compute resources.
There are a large number of options from various vendors and cloud providers to choose from. But common is they all use cloud virtualisation/ HCI technologies and therefore the adoption of this technology will be a key principle to support a future hosting IT strategy.
In this way all types of cloud can reduce infrastructure spending, reduce complexity, and increase the agility of IT staff.
The next step is to choose the right approach for application hosting and for building the underlying physical infrastructure that supports it.
We see that:
Private cloud is ideal for predicable workloads and custom SLAs for critical business applications (e.g. data backup and internal databases). Then to plan accordingly to add resources as needed to accommodate expected growth. Private cloud can therefore provide a controlled, predictable forecast on cost for defined workloads.
Public cloud is better where greater elasticity/ burst-ability is needed for unpredictable workloads (e.g. digital and IOT applications) where applications can be standardised to run on commoditised platforms with common SLAs. Often the challenges with a public cloud service is that forecasting cost per workload is challenging especially if the cloud provider frequently changes their price structure.
Traditional data centre or co-location environment for when there is no “cloud” migration option. i.e. when legacy IT compute and storage platforms are running key business applications.
Using these definitions, the location and type of cloud will largely be chosen on the predictability of the workload. This will provide the reassurance that the volume of cloud resources required are the correct ones.
Using poorly suited cloud services for application requirements that end up underutilised or not used at all needs to be avoided.
To read about inter-operability and security and our advice to organisations looking to update their cloud architecture, keep an eye out for our next blog or read the full private cloud article. Alternatively, contact us for more information.