For years now, Australian businesses have been leading the way when it comes to cloud computing. A survey from Infosys in 2014 revealed that 86 percent of surveyed enterprises in Australia used cloud in their production environment for more than a year. And while large businesses were the first to embrace the cloud, these days the price of the technology has decreased significantly making it a realistic option for small and mid-sized organisations.
When thinking about bringing cloud technology into your company, it is not always as simple as buying new computers or software. According to research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, less than half of Australian small businesses were using cloud services in 2014. The majority of companies were only using basic cloud applications such as storage and email. Today the adoption of the technology remains limited. There are a number of reasons why SMEs have shied away from using cloud technology but the two big ones are security or performance issues.
Security and performance
Security and performance should not hold you back from utilising the private cloud. Unlike public and hybrid cloud options where your data shares space with other users, a private cloud is all your own and essentially works as an extension of your business.
The benefits of using a private cloud compared to a public one don’t begin when it is up and running. During the migration process, the private cloud option can be more advantageous as well. For instance, if you are using a legacy application, it might not function well in a public cloud environment. However, with a private cloud you know the transition will be seamless since your cloud has been designed to host it.
And that is just one of the many reasons why utilising a private cloud can be a good idea. Let’s take a look at some others.
You’re in charge
It doesn’t matter if your in-house IT department handles it or if you hire a cloud service provider to do it for you – all aspects of a private cloud are determined by you. Everything from security and testing is set and conducted by you, not a public cloud provider. One problem that is common with the public cloud is the inability to use new hypervisor technology. Some organisations wishing to install the newest hypervisor may find themselves restricted by a public cloud provider who may not allow these to be used. The same issues also arise should you wish to monitor changes in threshold levels. However, these issues are not a problem when opting for a private cloud, since you are in complete control.
Everything is behind the firewall
Security is always a big issue and while public clouds are safe, private clouds offer that extra layer of protection that ensures peace of mind. In addition, some industries will have specific government regulations that prevent data from being stored on a public cloud. With a private cloud all internal users who are located behind the same firewall will have access to data and applications. This allows for faster transfer rates and the ability to monitor access. More importantly, everything will be compliant with regulations, giving you one less thing to worry about. This level of security is simply not possible in a public cloud environment.
Grow as you need
Scalability is a big benefit of both the public and private cloud. However, in some cases choosing the latter will give you increased flexibility when more space is needed. That’s because you can create copies of your current servers and then have them up and running in the cloud in a matter of minutes. With a public cloud you wouldn’t be able to do that with an entire server due to security and performance concerns. This can be especially helpful during times of usage spikes when additional RAM or disk space is immediately required. Best of all, this can be done without having to purchase more hardware or piece out certain aspects to a public cloud.
Set your SLAs
When it comes to service level agreements (SLAs), a public cloud will have these set in stone. In some cases the minimum standard of these SLAs is quite low and leaves you vulnerable in several areas. When you are dealing with a private cloud service provider, the SLA terms are negotiable. They can be set in a multitude of different areas such as resources threshold level and data requests threshold level. This ensures you receive a higher minimum level of performance and reliability than is possible using a public cloud.
If using a legacy or custom-built application, there is no guarantee it will function on a public cloud. This highlights one key difference between public and private clouds. When using a public cloud, you are tied down to its environment, regardless of whether it suits your organisation’s applications and performance needs. With a private cloud you set the environment to guarantee it is geared to your needs and can adjust when needs change.
Always know where your cloud is
When you use a public cloud, you would be hard-pressed to figure out where exactly your data is. Some public cloud providers do have dedicated data centres, you never really know where your data is located, nor who the space is shared with. The trade off is cheaper service, but even that incentive is not enticing enough for some businesses to make the switch. If adopting a private cloud solution, you always know where your data is stored. You will enjoy greater confidence in knowing where it is and who is looking after it. Should you find yourself concerned, it is possible to travel to the data centre it’s stored at and visit your server(s).
At Empower IT Solutions, we are a team of cloud experts proud to offer private cloud solutions hosted in our secure data centre. We offer 24×7 monitoring with mechanical and electrical support teams on standby to guarantee you the highest level of performance. We take pride in our dedicated SLAs to ensure you get the best level of service.
If you have been thinking about moving to the cloud, contact Empower IT today. We’ve helped countless Australian businesses find the cloud solution that suited their needs and can do the same for you too.