Cloud platforms are no longer only about access to inexpensive servers and data storage. In 2018 it was the best way to turn extraordinary ideas into fantastic software quickly. When you stare up at the clouds, most people are immediately struck by how limitless the heavens appear. Cloud platforms built by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google feature vast computing infrastructures that provide higher capacity and efficiency than most companies could dream of creating, so they rent out their ability to other companies like yours. Cloud platforms open up a myriad of storage, tools, and services without building your computing infrastructure, but determining which cloud platform to use for your small business can be daunting. Here are several essential questions to answer that will help you decide which cloud platform is right.
Understanding Cloud Basics
Most cloud providers offer two different types of layers of cloud computing. The first is Infrastructure as a Service, also referred to as “IaaS.” IaaS is the basic service most companies need to set up virtual servers and data storage in a cloud provider’s data center. Platform as a service or “PaaS” offers a platform that provides a suite of tools and services that allows companies or individuals to develop, manage and run applications without building and maintaining the Infrastructure usually needed to launch an app.
Assess Your Cloud Needs
One of the first things you need to do is determine what type of cloud platform you need for your small business. Can you utilize a public cloud, or do you need a private cloud, or can you use a hybrid cloud? For example, if your business deals with a high volume of sensitive or confidential data, you would want a private cloud. In contrast, you could use a public cloud if your company information is not proprietary, and you do not deal with confidential information.
Public clouds are good if all you need to do is access various applications through the internet. Public clouds service multiple clients, and they utilize a shared infrastructure. They work best for doing collaborative work, email, and storing non-sensitive data. The benefits of a public cloud are that you do not need to manage your servers to cut down on IT resources. Another advantage of public clouds is their scalability and flexibility. The downside to a public cloud is that it can be challenging to meet compliance requirements in specific industries such as healthcare and security. Public clouds may also suffer from reliability issues.
Private clouds use proprietary Infrastructure that serves a single client. They work best in situations where your business model is changing rapidly and for companies that require very high security and reliability. Companies that have mission-critical workloads and regulated industries are the best candidates for a private cloud platform.
Hybrid clouds combine a private cloud with public cloud services. As a business owner, it provides the flexibility to shift work between your private cloud and the public cloud as your business demands change. The hybrid cloud platform provides the best of both worlds and offers the ultimate flexibility and scalability to meet any business need.
What software will be in the cloud?
Inventory the software programs that you use. What type of data and software does your company deal with? Is security an issue for any of the data or software programs you utilize?
How many people and devices will be connected?
The higher the number of people in your company, the less secure information will be. You may be able, to begin with, a public cloud, but if your company is expanding in size or expanding into new markets or disciplines, make sure your cloud provider can scale your cloud services to meet your needs.
What’s your budget?
It is essential to know what your budget is when looking for cloud services. There are free public cloud services that may be perfect for your start-up or growing business as long as your company does not deal with sensitive data. Private cloud services are considerably more costly, but it may be necessary to invest in a private cloud if you are part of a regulated industry or dealing with highly sensitive information. If your budget is restricted, you may want to consider a hybrid cloud that can scale to your current and future needs.
Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to, and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus. Our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.