Making Strategic Cloud Decisions

Advantages Industries wants to help business owners and managers like yourself to better understand how to strategically harness the benefits of the cloud.

Making Strategic Cloud Decisions

Have you harnessed the power offered by the right cloud service yet?

Day by day, more and more business leaders are recognizing the advantages offered by the cloud. If you do not catch up soon, you will fall behind. 

Hesitation is understandable, however, because the cloud can be extremely complicated. From the nature of the cloud to its many applications and features, you could spend weeks trying to evaluate options for your organization and still be lost. 

Advantages Industries wants to help business owners and managers like yourself to better understand how to strategically harness the benefits of the cloud. In our latest webinar, Mike Shelah talked with Ankur Patel, Dell EMC, about the many cloud considerations today’s businesses have to address:

Understanding The Cloud’s Role In Your Business

Over the course of the webinar, Mike and Ankur explored a series of important cloud topics — primarily, the different models of cloud services, and what they have to offer businesses and their users. 

First, they covered the most direct cloud model, also known as the public cloud. These are the services offered by big-name providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. 

Azure is Microsoft’s enterprise-grade cloud computing platform. You and your team can rely on this solution to help you cut costs by hosting off-site, as well as benefit from a totally scalable configuration that fits your needs.

Google Cloud Platform, the public cloud service offered by Google, is among the youngest of the cloud industry’s major players. In 2019, they grew to offer service in 20 geographical regions. And while it may have limited reach and less experience than giants like Microsoft and Amazon, it compensates with undeniably impressive scale and advanced capabilities.

AWS offers one of the most expansive and popular cloud computing platforms in the world, delivering 175 fully-featured services to millions of customers. It offers an extensive toolset that continues to grow and innovate for the good of its users. 

However, for certain types of businesses, public cloud services will be either too general or lack the specific controls (in terms of security, compliance, and governance) that they require. Many of these businesses will opt instead for a private cloud. 

Why Do Some Businesses Choose Private Cloud Services?

The fact is that, if you want to start using the cloud, you don’t necessarily have to work with a cloud giant like those we’ve talked about so far. 

Private cloud services are offered by smaller providers. And while, yes, this could mean a smaller economy of scale and not quite the same resources, there are plenty of benefits available to those who opt for this model of cloud services. 

In general, working with a private cloud allows you to dictate all of the above areas of comparison. It’s as big or small, secure or generalized, compliant or simple, as you need it to be. 

The primary differences between major cloud services and private cloud services that you need to understand include:

  • Access, Control, And Security: Major cloud solutions have no geographical restrictions, which makes access easy, but does not provide the same level of security as a private cloud solution. These clouds’ servers could be in a different country, and therefore, governed by a different range of privacy and security regulations. Furthermore, these providers often do not give warnings as to when instances are shut down for maintenance, affecting your control over your data. The private cloud is more secure and provides more direct control over the storage of your data. With a smaller private cloud vendor, you will know exactly where your data is. Your private cloud platform will be configured for optimum performance, with the appropriate security options required by your industry regulations and state privacy laws, all within a manageable and predictable budget.
  • Reliability And Resilience: In situations where the database is not located in the same data center, big cloud services clients can encounter lag and availability issues. On the other hand, private cloud options offer a greater level of reliability, with a more resilient network that can account for individual failures.
  • Cost And Use Of Resources: Major cloud services largely use a per-user pricing model, which can be effective for small businesses with simple requirements. However, it should be noted that these services only offer infrastructure and application maintenance — any deployment and setup is the user’s responsibility, which usually means having to hire another third party for migration and management. Furthermore, big cloud virtual machines are not independently load-balanced, requiring someone to monitor and adjust as needed. Private cloud options maximize the use of available hardware through virtualization, keeping costs as low as possible. You also benefit from having direct contact with the team maintaining and managing your cloud, as compared to the impersonal support you would get from a massive provider like Microsoft, Google or Amazon.
  • Personal and Customized Service: With major cloud services, users must fit into a predetermined service that has been designed for thousands of types and sizes of businesses. There is no uptime guarantee, and there is no consistent point of contact or account manager. By opting for a private cloud service instead, you can dictate how your cloud is configured and operates. Anytime you need support, you can directly contact your account manager, providing an unbeatable level of consistent and personal support. 

However, if neither the public nor the private cloud model seems right for you, there is a third option — a hybrid cloud, the best of both worlds. 

What Is A Hybrid Cloud?

Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. 

In private clouds, data and applications that require tighter controls are hosted either internally or privately in an off-site facility. Meanwhile, public clouds are managed externally by third-party providers with the express purpose of reducing a company’s IT infrastructure. Similarly, multi-clouds are hybrid combinations of two or more cloud services. 

Using a hybrid cloud gives you the freedom to choose which applications and resources you want to keep in the data center and which ones you want to store in the cloud. This flexibility is critical for management, cybersecurity, and compliance, along with the many other benefits offered by the cloud. 

There are three significant advantages of hybrid cloud environments.

  1. Adaptability: Having the ability to choose between on-site or privately hosted cloud servers and public ones let you pair the right IT solution with the right job. For example, you can use the private cloud to store sensitive files while utilizing more robust computing resources from the public cloud to run resource-intensive applications.
  2. Cost Efficiency and Scalability: Does your business struggle to meet seasonal demands? With a hybrid cloud solution, you’ll be able to easily handle spikes in demand by migrating workloads from insufficient on-premises servers to scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud servers whenever needed, without incurring extra hardware and maintenance costs.So if there are last-minute computing demands that your hardware can’t support or if you’re planning for future expansion, hybrid cloud solutions allow for on-demand increases or decreases in capacity.
  3. Security: Last but not least are the security advantages of a hybrid cloud solution. You can host sensitive data such as eCommerce details or an HR platform within the private cloud, where it will be protected by your security systems and kept under close watch. Meanwhile, routine forms and documents can be stored in the public cloud and protected by a trusted third party.

The main takeaway is that with a hybrid cloud solution you have control and flexibility over where your data exists. You can choose which data and systems stay on-premise and which move to the cloud. A hybrid cloud is a good fit for organizations that have a skilled IT staff who want maximum control, as well as large organizations looking to begin a move to the cloud.

Advantage Industries Will Guide You To The Right Cloud Solution 

Advantage Industries offers expert cloud consulting services and has extensive experience in helping clients harness the many benefits offered by the cloud.  No matter where you are with the cloud, our team of IT specialists can provide troubleshooting assistance or strategic advice, helping you to leverage the power of these cloud technologies to their benefit.

If you are not sure which solution is right for you or how to migrate all your workstations, we’ll walk you through the entire migration process, handling each step along the way to make sure it goes smoothly. We also offer onsite and remote support to help you resolve any sort of configuration and/or troubleshooting issues right away. If we are not able to remotely resolve the issue, we will come onsite to help you out.

Schedule a consultation with the Advantage Industries team to determine what type of cloud solution is the right fit for you.

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Keith Heilveil

In 1999 Advantage Industries was created to protect and promote our client’s success through the use of innovative technology. Our company is a full services technology firm that provides computer network support and solutions, managed services, cybersecurity, and custom application development for small and medium businesses in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia areas.

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Tim Happel

Tim Happel

Sr. Director of Sales, PMP

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