Formulating a Strategy for Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Deployments

by July 10, 2020

Hybrid Cloud Deployments

The choice between Cloud and Edge computing is often a debated one engaging the C-Suite

The constant push to the cloud by the C-Suite to ensure business continuity has been quite popular across multiple geographies, however the choice between public, private and hybrid cloud remains still a tough choice among the C-suite. Edge computing is turning to be another option for the C-Suite to integrate the emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI).

To implement a cloud strategy, it is imperative for the organizations to make a choice between a public, private or a hybrid cloud first that would suit the volume and velocity of data generated.

 

Factors determining, how to choose a Cloud Strategy-

 Security

You want to understand precisely what your security goals are, the security measures that are offered by each provider, and the mechanisms they use to preserve your applications and data. In addition, make sure you completely understand the specific areas that each party is responsible for. In addition, consider what security features are offered free out-of-the-box for each vendor you’re evaluating, which additional paid services are available from the providers themselves, and where you may need to supplement with third-party partners’ technology. For example, both AWS and Google Cloud make that process relatively simple by listing their security features, paid products, and partner integrations on the security section of their respective websites.

 

Performance
Organisations can minimise latency and other performance metrics, such as jitter and packet loss by choosing a cloud provider with data centres that are geographically close to their customers, as performance is generally inversely correlated with the number of network hops between servers.

 

Compliance
Data governance requirements — such as the EU’s GDPR, for example – will often require customer data to be held in particular locations. Unless organisations are willing to create and maintain their own on-premises data lakes, this will often require a multi cloud approach again, depending on an enterprise’s geographical distribution and workload mix.

 

Resilience
All cloud providers — even hyperscale ones with multiple geographically dispersed, redundant data centres suffer outages from time to time, so putting all your workload ‘eggs’ in one provider’s ‘basket’ runs the risk of a mission-critical application becoming unavailable. A multi cloud strategy may bring deployment and management headaches (see below), but it should also make for better security, failover and disaster recovery in a word, resilience.

 

Architecture

When choosing a cloud provider, think about how the architecture will be incorporated into your workflows now and in the future. For example, if your organization has already invested heavily in the Microsoft universe, it might make sense to proceed with Azure, since Microsoft gives its customers licenses (and often some free credits). If your organization relies more on Amazon or Google services, then it may be best to look to those vendors for ease of integration and consolidation.

 

Manageability

You will also want to spend some time determining what various cloud platforms will demand from you to manage. Each of the services supports different orchestration tools and integrates with various other services. If you have services that are particularly vital to your organization, make sure that the cloud provider you choose offers an easy way to integrate with them (or that your organization is comfortable porting over to a similar service that is supported). You’ll also want to determine how much time and effort it will take your team to manage various aspects of the cloud infrastructure before you make a final decision.

 

Service Levels

This consideration is essential when businesses have strict needs in terms of availability, response time, capacity, and support (which, let’s be honest, almost all do these days). Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are an important element to consider when choosing a provider. It’s vital to establish a clear contractual relationship (read: legally enforceable) between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider. Particular attention should also be paid to legal requirements for the security of data hosted in the cloud service, particularly in light of GDPR regulations. You need to be able to trust your cloud provider to do the right thing, and you need a legal agreement that will back you up if something goes wrong.

 

Costs

While it should never be the single or most important factor, there’s no denying that cost will play a big role in deciding which cloud service provider(s) you choose. It’s helpful to look at both sticker price and associated costs (including personnel you may need to hire to manage your instances). Here’s a look at the pricing structure of the three major players:

Amazon determines price by rounding up the number of hours used. The minimum use is one hour. Instances can be purchased in one of three ways:

• Pay-as-you-go: Pay for what you use, no upfront cost

• Reserved: Reserve instances for one or three years, with an upfront cost based on utilization

• Volume discounts: Acquire more services as the company grows, and receive volume discounts for specific services, such as S3

Google Cloud Platform bills for instances per second used. Interestingly, Google also offers “sustained-use pricing” and “committed use discounts” for compute services that offer a simpler and more elastic model compared to AWS’s reserved instances.

Azure bills customers on-demand by hour, gigabyte, or millions of executions, depending on the specific product. They also provide the option to reserve instances, like AWS.