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Cloud Choice is the Right Choice

Cloud Choice is the Right Choice

November 04, 2014 0 Comments

It’s odd that cloud, which offers so much freedom to IT, has started to seem very un-free.

Obviously the public cloud is an amazing option. It’s flexible, agile, cost-effective – in short, almost all the things IT has always wanted. But it isn’t the right choice every single time. In fact, for a variety of reasons, flexibility should be the name of the game. In two big areas, security and privacy, and control, public cloud has ‘issues.’

Cloud Security and Privacy Issues

When it comes to critical concerns related to both privacy and security, public cloud sometimes falls short.

  • Regulatory requirements. A large number of frameworks, such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley can mandate data handling practices which can be difficult to guarantee using a public cloud.
  • Data privacy. Likewise, some data privacy regulations are not easily met using public cloud.
  • Data residency (such as in-country regulations in the EU). Because public cloud providers may choose to store data across locations in multiple jurisdictions, public cloud may conflict with some relevant laws. For instance, European law strictly mandates the treatment of EU private citizens’ data—which can conflict with the requirements of the U.S. Patriot Act.

Control in the Public Cloud

Similar issues involving the public cloud arise relative to control. Although less discussed than the security and privacy issues of public cloud, the reality is that you no longer control the infrastructure. That means you may not have input or even visibility regarding upgrades to applications, operating systems, hardware, and more. Of greatest concern is the way you may lose a large degree of control over your data.

  • Control over when you take upgrades to the application. If you are on the public cloud, you have no choice. You get upgrades when the vendor applies them.
  • Control over the data. In a public cloud access and control over your data can be limited by vendor-specific APIs, access rules, etc. This makes data much harder to migrate back to an on-premise location or to another cloud provider.

SONY DSCFlexible Hybrid Cloud

Public cloud is a viable option for many uses. However, a flexible private cloud delivers many of the benefits of cloud architecture, including agility and scalability, without some of the risks or inconveniences associated with public cloud. The flexible cloud leverages the private option when and where appropriate.

The private cloud is your cloud—with hardware, operating systems and applications that you select and control. You can create and remove servers as you wish. That means it’s all predictable with more control over your data, the end-user experience and more freedom to control the future of your applications and data. Crucially, private cloud doesn’t have to be on premise; it can be a private cloud on the infrastructure (IaaS cloud) of your choice, using your preferred provider.

Cloud in one form or another is obviously the future of IT. But the private cloud option deserves more thought and attention—either as a viable standalone option, or in a mixed, hybrid solution. For many organizations, a private or hybrid cloud is the right choice.

Michelle Tackabery

An experienced content and social media marketing professional, Michelle writes frequently about the practical applications of information technology.

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