5 Tips for Choosing the Right Cloud Platform

November 30th, 2018
George Malec
George MalecCloud Server & Infrastructure Manager

The rate of data migration to the cloud has been epic in the past 10 years. IT leaders who may have once thought they’d use their earth-laden servers forever quickly realized that cloud solutions offered practically everything they could want and then some.

Once a company decides the cloud is the place to be, they need to address the best way to make use of virtualization technology. If your (or your customer’s) business  plans to move data to the cloud in the immediate future, keep these tips in mind before deciding which cloud solution will work best.

Public or Private Cloud

IT leaders must decide if their company would function best with a public or private cloud model. This decision should be based on everything from budget size to privacy needs to line of business.

For example, companies in the financial or legal sector need more data protection — for them a private cloud would work best. On the other hand, firms that want to work in the Microsoft Azure cloud with virtual desktops and less hardware costs would benefit from the public cloud. To find the right solution, IT leaders must decide what the business will look like in the future. Here is the nitty-gritty:

Public cloud: services and infrastructure are provided offsite over the Internet. These clouds offer the greatest level of efficiency in shared resources.

Private cloud: services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. These clouds offer the greatest level of security and control.

win with the cloud

1. Find the Happy Medium

Scalability is on the tip of everyone’s tongue today, as business profits wane and wax with the times. If a cloud organizational structure isn’t prepared for an influx of customers, a business can end up compromising the efficiency of their entire enterprise.

Conversely, if a business over-prepares by adding too many resources, they can waste money on functionality and benefits that they never end up using. The just-right approach takes time and research to find.

2. Determine Desired Level of Control

Typically, business leaders may be skeptical of a public cloud. They may think that it limits their progress while handicapping access to their proprietary information. However, it’s not that companies in a public cloud can’t access their data, only that they’re giving it to another company to store and make available.

The host company has the resources to organize, house, and protect data that most companies could only dream of. It’s in the hosting company’s best interests to maximize their efficiency so they can pass those savings down to their many customers.

Not only is a public cloud a cost-effective option, but it’s also easy to scale when you set it up. Businesses can start small before ramping up the capabilities as they grow.

3. Factor in All Costs

A private cloud gives owners full power over all of their information — where it’s stored, how it’s stored, and what the system can do. It’s the ultimate in flexibility, as it can be custom-built to match the needs of a company.

Because public clouds are multi-tenant, they can’t always support certain applications. This is especially true if the company has to comply with a specific regulatory framework. A private cloud meets regulatory standards, and it’s practically unlimited in terms of what it can offer.

consider your options

4. Get Help Making the Move

If a business has a variety of systems that need to be migrated, it may make sense to choose an expert to help with the process, especially if a business is planning to phase out some or all of their legacy systems.

The security of the public cloud’s security is typically sufficient for the vast majority of companies. It’s only the truly mission-critical applications that need to be housed under a private umbrella. Private clouds typically require additional trained staff to handle both the day-to-day responsibilities, as well as any emergencies that may pop up. Using a managed IT platform for the private cloud eliminates the need for additional staff.

Small companies may assume that they only have the option of a public cloud if their resources are limited. And while the public cloud is most often recommended for smaller companies, there are ways to choose a private option that fit the organization’s needs. The key is to find a hosting company flexible enough to scale their virtualization tech to your current systems.

5. Meet End-User Expectations

Finally, consider the software you’re currently working with. Does it need to be drastically customized in order to fit the needs of the end-users? If so, then the private cloud can make it easier to move legacy systems over. SaaS can be great, but some companies struggle with configuring the software to actually do what they need it to do.

When it comes to data migration strategies, most companies choose total business transformation, overhauling their systems so they can keep in line with the times. But there are a fraction of companies who are choosing the lift-and-shift approach, moving their legacy systems to the cloud with as little disruption to the business side as possible. A private cloud can accept and integrate these legacy systems without a hiccup.

For most companies, it all comes down to who you’re partnering with to make these tough decisions. Finding a trustworthy partner makes all the difference; they will examine how your organization operates from day-to-day, and what it’s likely to need in the future.