Cloud computing is not simply a fad that will soon begin to fade. It’s here to stay. More and more businesses are realizing the advantages of moving either partial or entire operations to the cloud which include cost savings, increased computational power, and inherent data back-ups. With the cloud though, there is no “one size fits all option.” In fact there are many different avenues an organization can take to migrate to the cloud.
Here are a few of the different available options for migrating IT infrastructures to the cloud.
Moving the Entire Infrastructure to the Cloud
The migration of an entire IT environment to the cloud is an option that works for many companies. With this, the entire IT infrastructure including applications, data storage, email, and computational processes are all operated and managed by a cloud service provider. This option is commonly referred to as a “public cloud” as your company may be one of hundreds of other companies running their business processes on the same server farm owned and operated by the cloud service provider.
Moving an entire IT infrastructure to the cloud has multiple benefits. One of the most prominent benefits is scalability. With cloud computing you only pay for what you use. In a traditional IT environment, companies often have server racks installed where 30 – 50% of each server is actually utilized. This means the companies are paying for hardware and utilities (such as electricity and heating and cooling) to maintain these servers but aren’t getting their money’s worth out of them. When your entire infrastructure is in the cloud, you can scale up or down as needed and only spend money on what you use.
Migrating to a Private Cloud
A private cloud is built within an organization and lies behind a company’s firewall. Private clouds are often built by virtualizing servers. For example, one physical server can be provisioned to host and run multiple virtual servers on one machine. This allows for companies to reduce the amount of hardware needed to operate their IT infrastructures. Plus virtualization allows for provisioning and fail-safes so if a virtual server goes offline, an identical copy can be activated to replace the one that went offline.
With a private cloud, data storage and computing are all performed on-site. This is ideal for organizations with highly sensitive data who are apprehensive of moving said information to another provider’s (i.e. cloud service provider) servers. Private clouds provide the scalability and efficiency of the public cloud, but they keep the information guarded safely behind a company’s corporate firewall.
Establishing a Hybrid-Cloud IT Environment
A hybrid cloud is a combination of a private and a public cloud. For example, a company may choose to keep the bulk of their day-to-day operations on their virtual servers in house as part of their private cloud. However, they also choose to store archive data that doesn’t get accessed on a regular basis in cloud storage. This way, they are able to take advantage of the cost savings of storing data in the cloud while ensuring that their mission-critical information stays in-house.
Unsure of what level of cloud migration is best for your business? Give us a call today and speak with one of our IT consultants who can help you find the cloud solution that is best for your business.