Choosing The Right Cloud Environment

How to Choose Between Colocation, Private cloud, Multi-tenant, or Public Azure
Moving to the cloud is an important step, but it’s just the start. Once you begin making the move, the focus shifts to ongoing refinement and optimization. Launch your cloud journey with a strategic and thoughtful approach so you’ll be able to build the right cloud infrastructure to handle your enterprise’s specific workloads, database storage, compliance needs and more. We have compiled some of the advantages of each type of cloud environment (see chart below).

Colocation 
Colocation is often the best choice for legacy systems with self-sufficient IT and security staff. It’s even better when they have strong processes and procedures. Colocation is an appealing option for companies that want to shift to the cloud without relinquishing control. They can retain complete ownership of all their storage, compute, networking and information security. Colocation providers often guarantee power, cooling, and internet bandwidth backed by SLA, which helps clients get the most out of their existing assets. Compared to other cloud options, colocation allows companies to save on OPEX costs. However, they have to take responsibility for patching, monitoring, alerts, hardware upgrades, security, and compliance. Existing IT staff rarely need any additional training to transition to a colocation model. If they do need help, some colocation providers offer Remote Hands service so technicians can take on tasks on behalf of clients. While operational costs are low, colocation does require businesses to manually update and refresh hardware on their own timeframes. Colocation is not a scalable cloud solution and typically isn’t suitable for large enterprises.

Private Cloud 
private cloud works best for companies with large virtual environments, heavy security needs, or strict compliance requirements – but a small enough security staff that they prefer to share some of the risks with a third party, such as Atmosera. Setting up a private cloud gives a business an extremely granular level of control in terms of computing, storage, and networking – similar to colocation. Private cloud environments have the distinct advantage of predictable performance since no other environments are competing for their specific compute and networking resources. Typically, existing IT staff can transition from on-premises to a private cloud fairly easily. A private cloud solution provider’s technical staff handles patching, backups, monitoring, and troubleshooting, taking some of the burdens off your team. There’s a shared responsibility relationship between clients and providers. Providers take on the burden of meeting industry regulations and standards with infrastructure that is highly available, high-performance and compliant. Overall, private cloud solutions tend to be the most expensive. Compared to a public cloud, these environments are less scalable and less disaster resilient.  

Multi-Tenant Cloud 
Companies with static workloads and predictable growth patterns often look for multi-tenant cloud solutions. This option is great for companies that are cost-aware, have a smaller IT or security staff, and want to share responsibility with a third party – but don’t have particularly burdensome security or compliance needs. Similar to a private cloud setup, multi-tenant cloud environments offer no control over underlying infrastructure. Resource competition can have an impact on performance when compared to a private cloud. However, CAPEX demands are low in this model because the service provider is responsible for refreshing hardware per industry standards, and maintaining high levels of performance, availability, and compliance. In a multi-tenant model, professional engineers are available to work directly on infrastructure to handle patching, backups, monitoring, and troubleshooting. Thanks to the shared responsibility model, the performance and security requirements are offloaded to a third party. Companies with traditional IT skillsets usually find it easy to transition to a multi-tenant environment. Like the private cloud option, multi-tenant environments are less scalable and disaster resilient than the public cloud.

Public Cloud 
Public cloud is best for dynamic companies, especially those with highly seasonal workloads or demanding testing and release management needs.   Of all the cloud computing options, the public cloud comes with the lowest CAPEX demands. It also offers a much more granular level of cost control. VMs and other resources can be spun up, shut down or rightsized in real time, so companies only pay for what they use. There is often a high learning curve for IT staff moving to the public cloud, which can present a skills gap for most organizations. Fortunately, enterprise-level support staff are usually available through providers such as Microsoft, or third-party service providers. Following the shared responsibility model, service providers take a large part of the burden for securing data and keeping infrastructure highly available. Companies using a public cloud also don’t have to worry about patching, backups, monitoring or troubleshooting. Cloud platforms such as Azure offer cutting-edge technology, including PaaS, containers, cognitive services and more. The public cloud also gives companies the ability to deploy worldwide at scale, integrate with CI/CD pipelines, and gain high disaster resiliency.

So, with all these options, which is best for your specific business requirements?

Try the Atmosera Hybrid Approach 
Our team of cloud computing experts helps organizations determine the perfect fit for their business needs. That includes figuring out where to make tradeoffs to achieve maximum returns while minimizing costs – both in the short term and long term. Contact an Atmosera expert to get a free, personalized assessment of your cloud environment. 

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