Cloud Deployments

Cloud Deployment Models

When computing and processing demand increases beyond an on-premises data center’s capabilities, businesses can use the cloud to scale capacity up or down to handle excess capacity instantly. Cloud computing also allows them to avoid the time and cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining new servers they may not always need.

However, not all cloud deployment models are the same. There are many reasons why certain types of companies cannot use cloud-based services. Banks are a great example. Due to their internal regulations, security, and privacy concerns, public cloud services are not an option within this segment. But could a private cloud tackle these challenges – and if yes, how?

This article will introduce you to 4 Cloud Models a business can choose from and present the advantages and disadvantages of each. Additionally, it will outline 7 factors you need to consider before deciding on your preferred Cloud Model.

Brief Overview of Employment Models:

  • Private Cloud: A private cloud is a cloud computing model where the infrastructure is dedicated to a single-user organization. A private cloud can be hosted either at an organization’s data center, at a third-party colocation facility, or via a private cloud provider that offers private cloud hosting services and may or may not also offer traditional public shared multi-tenant cloud infrastructure. Typically, the end-user organization is responsible for operating a private cloud as if it were a traditional on-premises infrastructure, which includes ongoing maintenance, upgrades, OS patches, middleware, and application software management. Personal Cloud Solutions offer organizations more control and better security of private cloud servers. However, it requires much more IT expertise than a public cloud.
  • Community Cloud: Community cloud computing refers to a shared cloud computing service environment targeted to a limited set of organizations or employees (such as banks or heads of trading firms). The organizing principle for the community will vary, but the community members generally share similar security, privacy, performance, and compliance requirements. Community members may wish to invoke a mechanism, often run by themselves (not just the provider) to review those seeking entry into the community.
  • Public Cloud: A public cloud is a platform that uses the standard cloud computing model to make resources — such as virtual machines, applications, or storage — available to users remotely. Public cloud services may be free or offered through various subscription or on-demand pricing schemes, including a pay-per-usage model.
  • Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud—sometimes called a cloud hybrid—is a computing environment that combines an on-premises data center (also called a private cloud) with a public cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared. Some define hybrid cloud as “multicloud” configurations where an organization uses more than one public cloud in addition to their on-premises data center.

MODEL 1: Private Cloud

1. Selecting the right private cloud platform

A traditional Platform-as-a-Service stack includes the storage, networking, servers, operating system, middleware, and the virtualized/container-based environment. All in all, PaaS provides businesses with everything required for the hosting of their data and applications.

2. Geographic dependencies

Regulations and legislation, mainly where data is concerned, largely depend on the company’s geographic location. But, this is where policy-based automation can potentially step in and mitigate any resulting issues.

3. Automation

Most, if not all, businesses are based on policies, processes, and transactions. Automation fits in by efficiently and accurately translating these operational elements into actions that support them. Automation is typically achieved through a framework that considers resource provisioning, cloud environment monitoring and management, and billing and resources lifecycle management reporting. The single, most critical automated function within the private cloud is the identification and authentication of users. Should a user request services, the system ensures they are authorized to request questions. If they are, the automation uses a workflow engine to obtain authorizations, locate and provision resources, and balance workloads to optimize performance. Automation can also significantly influence business policy and regulatory requirements by handling tasks uniformly, predictably, and policy-based.

4. Data security

The concept of data encryption as a method of ensuring its security isn’t new. That being said, the processor overhead involved where the public is concerned sometimes limits the extent to which they will cover a customer’s database and everything in it. There are also issues with understanding customers’ cloud provider’s encryption policies and customers they can cover an organization’s needs. Additionally, because private clouds are a growing part of the hybrid cloud, organizations are becoming significantly more critical to organizations on the enterprise side.

5. Platform convergence

Virtualization has become a must-have for cloud deployment flexibility and cost benefits for private clouds. Most companies are in the market for hyper-converged platforms regarding the foundation for their private clouds, as they include computing, storage, and virtualization capabilities. Hyper-converged platforms are also a solid choice for organizations that, while having a decent investment in virtualization, are having difficulty with data protection, storage complexity, and cost.

For those companies that have selected a private cloud, opting for a hyper-converged platform can mitigate some of the complexity involved with managing a less integrated infrastructure, enabling them to focus more on the business aspects of their IT.

6. Choosing the right vendor

It’s easy to see how choosing the right private cloud platform vendor is crucial to an organization’s success. Additionally, requirements will undoubtedly change over time, which will be necessary for the company’s private corporations. This may result in transitioning your organization’s cloud or adapting to a company station or workload requirements.

MODEL 2: Community Cloud

Community Clouds address industry-specific requirements while delivering the cost-effectiveness of a Public cloud. So the answer to the question “What is a Community Cloud?” will depend on the individual needs of the collaborating organizations.

Suppose you are looking for a cost”practical approach that deals with fewer complexities in a cloud environment and simultaneously ensures the security of your applications. In that case, Community Cloud computing is the way to go.

However, there are certain things that you should clarify before moving on to this model:

The economic model of the cloud offering concerns the payments of the maintenance and capital costs.

  • Availability and Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • How tenants handle security issues and regulations when sharing data among participating organizations
  • Service Outage information
  • Cloud deployment models.

There is no guarantee that this Cloud computing model will be as popular as Public Cloud. However, the beauty of the Community Cloud model is that it can cater to the needs of a specific group of users.

However, it is promising to see that cloud computing is expanding as technology evolves and will continue to facilitate users with the best service models and infrastructure available. The emergence of new solutions, such as Community Cloud and Bare Metal Cloud, will find its place on the market.

MODEL 3: Public Cloud

When selecting a provider, organizations can opt for a large, general-use provider — such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) — or a smaller provider. General cloud providers offer broad availability and integration options and are desirable for multipurpose cloud needs. Niche providers provide more customization.

1. Cloud Security

IT leaders and their teams want to understand your security goals, each provider’s security measures, and the mechanisms they use to preserve your applications and data. In addition, they want to thoroughly understand the specific areas that each party is responsible for. (Take a look at AWS’s Shared Responsibility Model documentation and Azure’s and Google’s approach to security.)

Security is a top concern in the cloud (and everywhere else these days), so IT leaders and teams will often ask detailed and explicit questions that relate to their unique use cases, industry, regulatory requirements, and any other concerns you may have. They cannot neglect to evaluate this essential factor of operating in the cloud.

2. Cloud Compliance

IT leaders will also need to choose a cloud architecture platform to help them meet compliance standards that apply to their industry and organization. Whether they are beholden to GDPR, SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other frameworks, they have to make sure they understand what it will take to achieve compliance once their applications and data live in a public cloud infrastructure. So, they must know where their responsibilities lie and which aspects of compliance the provider will help them “check off.”

3. Architecture

When choosing a cloud provider, IT leaders and their teams often think about how the architecture will be incorporated into their workflows now and in the future. For example, suppose the organization has already invested heavily in the Microsoft universe. In that case, it might make sense to proceed with Azure since Microsoft gives its customer’s licenses (and often some free credits). If their organization relies more on Amazon or Google services, it may be best to look to those vendors for easy integration and consolidation.

Additionally, they may consider cloud storage architectures when making their decision. Regarding storage, the three major vendors have similar architectures and offer multiple types of storage to fit different needs. Still, they all have different types of archival storage. If this is important to them, they will want to understand the nuanced differences between those providers. Each service offers options for storing and retrieving data frequently vs. infrequently (for example, hot vs. excellent storage). Typically, excellent storage costs less but comes with various restrictions

4. Manageability

IT leaders also determine what cloud platforms will demand management resources. Each service supports different orchestration tools and integrates with various other services. Suppose IT leaders have services that are particularly vital to their organization. In that case, they must make sure that the cloud provider they choose offers an easy way to integrate with them (or that their organization is comfortable porting over to a similar supported service). They usually need to determine how much time and effort their team will take to manage various aspects of the cloud infrastructure before making a final decision.

5. Service Levels

This consideration is essential when businesses have strict needs regarding availability, response time, capacity, and support (which almost all do these days). Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are essential for IT leaders to consider choosing a provider. It’s vital to establish a clear contractual relationship that is legally enforceable between a cloud service and a cloud service provider. Prospects usually pay attention to legal requirements for data security hosted in the cloud service. They need to be able to trust their cloud provider to do the right thing, and that means they need a legal agreement that will back them up if something goes wrong.

6. Support

Support is another parameter that IT leaders give careful consideration to. If they need help, will they be able to get it quickly? Sometimes, they only get support through a chat service or call center. This may or may not be acceptable to them. In other cases, they may have access to a dedicated resource, but there’s a good chance there will be constraints on time and access. That’s why IT leaders ask questions upfront before choosing a cloud provider.

7. Costs

While it should never be the single or most important factor, there’s no denying that cost will play a significant role in deciding which cloud service provider(s) you choose. It’s helpful to look at their sticker price and associated fees, including personnel you may need to hire to manage your instances. It’s an introductory look at the pricing structure of the three significant plays. Amazon determines the price by rounding up the hours used. The minimum use is one hour. Purchases work in one of these ways:

  1. Pay-as-you-go: Pay for what you use with no upfront cost
  2. Reserved: Reserve instances for one to three years, with an upfront fee based on utilization
  3. Volume discounts: Acquire more services as the company grows and receive volume discounts for specific services, such as S3
  4. Google Cloud Platform: GCP bills for instances per second used. Interestingly, Google also offers “sustained-use pricing” and “committed use discounts” for computing services that provide a more specific and more of your company model, the”n AWS’s reserved instances.
  5. Azure: Azure bills customers on-demand by the hour, depending on the specific product. They also provide the option to reserve instances, like AWS.

As you can see, there are no simple apples-to-apples comparisons. It’s not like AWS costs $5, and GCP costs $10. Instead, you’ll need to look at your usage patterns (or predicted usage patterns) and determine which of the three best fits your business model, timeline, and so on.

MODEL 4: Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid may be the best cloud option for industries with sensitive data, such as banks and finance, government, and healthcare. For example, industries require specific types of data to be stored on-premises while allowing less sensitive data to be held in the cloud. In this kind of hybrid cloud architecture, organizations gain the flexibility of the public cloud for less regulated computing tasks while still meeting their industry requirements.

Like any business partnership, a hybrid computing contract is something that customers should approach carefully and with an understanding of what they hope to achieve. This will help you choose the right hybrid cloud provider and craft a solid platform to build a long-term hybrid cloud strategy. In addition, an organization’s hybrid cloud provider will be an essential partner as it integrates on-premises systems with cloud-based ones.

7 Factors to Consider before deciding.

1. Workloads.

Before even talking to a hybrid cloud provider, IT Leaders must understand the workloads they want to pull into the organization’s environment and where they will locate them. For example, data backup and disaster recovery require a different kind of hybrid cloud service than complex analytics applications.

At the same time, they will want to ensure the cloud provider can grow with them as their cloud strategy matures. They will want solutions that integrate well with other providers’ platforms if they need to allocate different hybrid cloud contracts in a multi-cloud environment.

2. Provider’s type of workload and infrastructure needed.

As cloud services evolve, providers are beginning to specialize in the kinds of workloads that they support. For example, some providers help developers, while others might serve a particular application such as systems, applications, and products (SAP). Another aspect of performance is latency. Latency requirements are strict, especially in hybrid cloud environments where on-premises workloads communicate with cloud infrastructure. In these instances, your organization might require a provider with a local edge data center or one that can support the appropriate direct connectivity options.

3. Matching public and private infrastructure.

Hybrid cloud providers also need to support the technology options that the IT leadership is already using in on-premises infrastructure. That means they will need to see how applications map between the virtual machine choices they’ve made on-premise and the formats that the service provider supports, for example—in addition, aligning the two infrastructures they’ve it easier to migrate workloads between one environment and the other.

4. Look for easy onboarding.

IT leaders also need help from their teams. They often look for assistance migrating data and work to have the infrastructure. Migration can be challenging, especially when working with large data sets. So, they want to know, “how can the provider help make it simpler and cheaper?” Some hybrid cloud providers may offer hardware appliances to help ship large data sets manually. Others provide migration tools to support database and services teams to map data between their on-premises infrastructure and applications. Some also offer to consult services to”help guide IT through the process and end-user or technical training to help make things work.

5. Assess security.

IT leaders must also ensure their data is secure in the hybrid environment. Hybrid workloads often involve security controls such as tokens. These tokens protect sensitive information in cloud data centers by pointing to records kept on customer premises. Application and security teams ensure that hybrid cloud providers implement these security measures. They also check compliance processes and risk management. For a list of questions they typically ask, check out the cloud security assessment list in the resources below.

6. Ensure availability and redundancy.

Security is only one aspect of computing risk. Another is availability. IT leaders must understand the provider’s approach to making their data available. Service-level agreements (SLAs) will be a crucial factor here. They should include not only available providers but also escalation and compensation procedures in case the service provider cannot meet them. Consider the provider’s ability to help you support multiple cloud service providers so that you can fail over providers in the event of a problem.

7. Understand providers.

Cost is one of the primary initial drivers for cloud computing. While other considerations like scalability have become increasingly prevalent as cloud computing strategies mature, budget is still a key factor. Providers are an issue in cloud computing contracts. It often happens when customers don’t keep track of the online resources they are using. Check operating fees with the hybrid cloud provider, including the cost of unplanned service transactions to cover spikes in demand.

IT leaders will be mindful that ending a contract may come with a fee. So plan for any extraction costs to ensure you can migrate your data successfully at the close of the relationship.

Updated on February 11, 2023

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