Head in the Cloud: II

Previously we’ve discussed Cloud technology, some of the benefits & drawbacks of moving infrastructure out of the cupboard in your office and into the Cloud.

The Cloud we refer to in this scenario is typically known as Public Cloud; managed by third parties (such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon) where your data resides outside the corporate firewall and to a large degree, out of your control.

Issues with privacy and control that concern the Public Cloud have meant that many IT professionals are looking for another way to capitalise on the benefits of Cloud technology, while trying to mitigate some of those risks.  How can a business get the scalability and flexibility and still retain control over the data?

Back in 2010, based on poll results, analysts were predicting that 75% of IT executives, managers and decision makers would be pursuing something known as “Private Cloud” by 2012, with plans to invest more in Private Cloud than Public Cloud throughout 2012.

From our own personal experience, we can say that we’ve made a substantial investment pursuing Private Cloud technology.  For us, the charm was maintaining control over the data.  Private Cloud is basically a computer system that provides hosted services, but rather than the services being public, they are made available to a limited number of people and operate behind a firewall.

Private Clouds are built by companies who either own or “lease” server space inside a Datacentre.  Instead of having applications running on hardware in the office, they connect to the Datacentre via internet.  By virtue of the fact that they own or lease the server space, they retain full control, however they also carry all of the costs, including maintenance, licensing, hardware etc.  The risks involved in data retention, backups and security are still present, although having much greater control over how these risks are managed is the big appeal to most IT managers.

Some of the main obstacles for Small to Medium Businesses that want to build their own Private Cloud include cost, integration, economies of scale, managing the infrastructure and dealing with the technology.  If dealing with onsite IT seemed convoluted, putting it in the Datacentre and managing it there can be even more complex.

We mentioned we’d made some investments in our own Private Cloud infrastructure…this enables us to provide our clients with server space in a Datacentre, leveraging our knowledge of the technology to implement and manage Private Cloud solutions for them.  We also work with some excellent Public Cloud service providers that we recommend for clients, the right course of action all depends on what you want to achieve and how you wish to achieve it.

If you’ve heard the buzz about Cloud and want to know more, we can help steer you in the right direction.  Next month we’ll talk about some of the services (both public and our own private cloud services) but in the meantime, please call us if you wish to discuss your interests further!