When you are about to choose a public or private cloud solution it is good not to just seriously consider the advantages and disadvantages, but also to have a good and close look at the different players and what they offer. Not every public or private cloud is the same: prices are different, the security level can vary and also the exact services on offer may be quite diverging. Four elements are decisive when choosing:
If you use a public cloud you have to agree with the standard conditions published by the cloud provider for all its customers. But, these standard conditions are not the same for all providers. And not every customer has the same needs. An example? Some cloud providers offer everyone standard 30 days backup. For some customers this is not enough and others think they have to pay for more than they need. So, look for a provider that matches your needs and requirements. Are you unable to find anyone who offers what you are looking for or are the imposed rules not in line with your organisation’s policy? Then you are probably better off choosing a private cloud.
Do not only consider the functionality you need, but also the technical requirements and performance. Some applications need more memory or calculation power, some websites must be able to handle peaks in visitor numbers, etc. In a public cloud you will have to deal with an average performance per server or you can choose between a quicker and slower storage capacity. If that is not enough, you should consider a private cloud: it is constructed entirely according to your needs. And you will avoid storage or performance problems.
A third element to consider in your decision is of a financial nature. How about your budget? A private cloud has a higher start-up cost, but a lower cost for greater volumes. A public cloud has a low starting price, but is more expensive to scale up. That’s only logical, really, because there is a much greater variation in the offer. This means there is often a tipping point for companies which grow in the cloud. At a certain moment it becomes more interesting, for purely financial reasons, to switch from a public to a private or hybrid cloud. Make your calculations and determine the tipping point in advance. A good cloud provider will definitely be able to give you sound advice.
Certain industries have clear rules for the storage of sensitive data. Even though nowadays all storage is controlled by software – and there is actually little difference between a storage unit on a shared or own network – sometimes it may be necessary to use your own hardware to meet certain (legal) regulations. That’s when a public or hybrid cloud is not an option.
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