As a Managed IT service provider in the greater London area, we have seen Public Cloud become increasingly popular amongst businesses in the past 2 years. If you are not already using it for some parts of your infrastructure; talking to your IT Support Company about it, then you are definitely thinking about using it! The question in most peoples mind is should I use it and is it right for my business or not?!
Things to consider when looking at Public Cloud:
1) How much control do you want or need to maintain?
2) How flexible is your infrastructure design?
3) How good are you, or your IT Support Company, at analysing the performance and security of your systems?
4) What are your uptime requirements (REALLY!)?
You may wonder why I put REALLY for point 4, the answer to that is quite simple… Most people say 100%, but this, of course, is not always possible or even practical. Most systems will be able to have some downtime with little to no inconvenience. If uptime needs to be 100%, then a lot more consideration needs to be made on the applications used and the architecture of the solution.
For the other 99% of systems, it will be fine to look at Public Cloud, as long as you think long and hard about the architecture. For companies with outsourced IT support, it is probable best you consult your provider early on in the decision making process.
How much control do you want or need to maintain?
When looking to put apps in the cloud, you need to consider how much control you are willing to relinquish. Some apps work very well in the cloud and are worth deploying. For some systems, maintaining control of infrastructure is worthwhile. Moving forward, more and more systems will be put in the public cloud and will be architected in a way which allows you to be able to back them up locally or to another cloud system.
How flexible is your infrastructure design?
As with the above, you need to be open minded… It is important to architect your system or app to fit in with the type of public cloud infrastructure you want to use.
How good are you, or your IT Support Company, at analysing performance and security of your systems?
It is very important to have a way to measure performance. This could be an automated monitoring system, or as with most systems, gauging user experience and feedback is the most objective way. Security monitoring is something that can also be automated, but manual periodic checks using a port scanner are advisable.
What are your uptime requirements (REALLY!)?
This is one of the most subjective points. As with the performance element, gauging user experience and feedback is the most objective way to look at uptime and reliability.
At Virtual IT, we have used several systems for this, and we are most satisfied with RackSpace Cloud for this use. Their system is based on OpenStack and has good options and is reliable. Whilst problems can happen, we haven’t had any notable downtime in the time we have been using it. They are also able to host DNS and will soon have a cloud firewall option (for which we are a key beta tester for). It is just very important to have backups to make sure that if you have to redeploy the system, you have all the necessary resources to do so.
If you require any help or advice, please contact your Virtual IT Account Manager or one of our New Business Executives.