By Sue Poremba
Sue Poremba is a freelance writer focusing primarily on security and technology issues and occasionally blogs for cloud service provider Rackspace Hosting.
As an enterprise company, it’s important to make sure your needs don’t outgrow your cloud provider’s capabilities. And there are a lot of other advantages of having flexibility with a cloud provider. A custom hybrid solution gives you the ability to own your own hardware while having the flexibility to grow as much as you need.
The value in having a flexible solution falls in two areas, according to cloud expert Morris Tabush. First, there is management and setup – provisioning a new cloud infrastructure is typically much simpler and much quicker than purchasing and installing new servers. The second is financial. “Most cloud solutions that I provide or consult on have a very clear ROI for the client,” Tabush said. “Additionally, the cloud service is scalable, and you pay for what you need, so if your project involves a new business application you can buy a small and inexpensive cloud solution for the initial setup and testing, and add capacity as needed over time.”
The right cloud provider will also create a customized solution for your company’s current needs, a solution that will combine a concerns ranging from scalability to security.
“Many customers that we speak with have classified their data and applications into different tiers, said John Menkart, CEO with CloudBolt Software. “In a hybrid environment structured like this, administrators have the ability to deploy non-sensitive applications anywhere in the hybrid cloud environment, while certain more sensitive applications will be certainly deployed internally.”
Any good cloud provider inherently takes the necessary security measures to ensure each of their customer’s cloud services are isolated from one another, Tabush added. “The scalability, economics, and added reliability of a good cloud solution generally outweigh dedicated gear.”
Flexibility isn’t only necessary as the company grows. Even on a day-to-day basis, most companies do not have a constant usage amount. This is where the flexibility of the cloud truly comes into play, according to Tyler McIntyre, CEO with Lucid Technologies, an IT solutions company. Your cloud provider has to be able to handle the ebb and flow of server demand.
As IT organizations build cloud-aware IT environments, making implementation choices that afford flexibility is important.
“When properly designed and well-managed, public cloud-based applications that are managed internally can be a great asset to IT organizations,” explained Menkart. “In scenarios where a customer needs some special or one-off capabilities, it is important to be able to choose the best location for deployment, on their own IT assets or in Public Cloud, a flexible on premise cloud manager allows for that in a consistent and reportable manner. Ideally, the Public Cloud provider will choose to use standard APIs, like those presented from OpenStack or AWS, so that the customer can then interface with both internal and external assets by using a cloud manager unifying the management of the two environments.”
In the end, no one can see into the future and know their future cloud needs, but you can anticipate your company’s growth, as well as the business cycles. Different cloud providers have different strengths, and it is up to you to thoroughly vet your cloud provider to make sure it is able to handle your needs.