Cloud computing is everywhere, so it’s about time for your business to get into the game. With all the emerging technologies, products and vocabularies, however, getting started in the cloud might be more difficult than some can imagine.
Many factors are involved in the development of a cloud strategy. For example, businesses must decide whether to use cloud hosting services or to create virtual private servers (VPS) in their own internal cloud. There is no right way to implement cloud computing in the corporate world because every situation is different. There are some tips that can guide business owners and managers that can help them leverage the cloud to their own advantage.
Make Gradual Changes
Companies that have traditional networks I place should not change completely to Virtual Private Servers in one day. Even if a well-developed strategy is in place, reality might play out differently from theory. Try to convert one server at a time and keep each one handy for a few weeks to make sure the cloud hosting solution will meet the company’s needs.
In the business world, the same words can mean different things to different companies. When signing with a VPS provider, be sure to understand their commitments under their service level agreement (SLA). What uptime means to your company may be different than what uptime means to theirs, so be sure to have a thorough discussion of your expectations before signing any deals.
Use Public Clouds Where Possible
Public clouds usually provide the most bang for the buck, so companies should plan on using them wherever possible. However, these servers share server infrastructure with other clients of the same service provider, so no sensitive or personal data should be stored there. Every cloud computing strategy must be sensitive to government and industry regulations and best practices, so don’t risk fines and lawsuits just to save a few dollars every month.
Use Private Clouds Cautiously
Most companies look to cloud computing as a way to save money. They do this by eliminating expensive in-house IT infrastructure and replacing it with VPS and other cloud technologies. They also save money by employing either a reduced IT staff or no IT staff at all. They can do this because software and infrastructure upgrades and administration are handled mostly by their cloud hosting provider.
When a company decides to host its own internal private cloud, it commits to massive infrastructure outlays and a bulked-up payroll to setup and administer the cloud. Although the private cloud idea addresses many security issues, it usually is not cost-effective unless it is a requirement for one or more customers.
Businesses can also buy external private clouds from service providers. However, businesses must make sure that the machines running their cloud are not used for any other company. This means the hosting provider must have dedicated hardware for your cloud. This infrastructure-intensive approach boosts the cost of service but can pay off if needed for one or more customers.
Don’t Go All The Way
Many corporate enterprises find that migrating all their computing to the cloud does not work for them. Sometimes specialized software and other conditions require them to maintain some of their internal networks. In these situations, they have their legacy networks operating in tandem with the cloud. This allows most mobile, home, and distributed workers to benefit from cloud resources, but allows the company to continue operating its internal networks in support of existing projects.
The choices for cloud hosting, virtual private servers and internal services can be very complicated depending on the mission of your business. After considering what goals your company has for its cloud computing initiative, you can set out to craft a customized cloud strategy that will make your company more productive and profitable in the coming year.
Biljana is a writer and a blogger researching, writing and publishing posts on cloud computing implementation by small and medium business worldwide.