Many IT departments have the job of managing applications in various environments. They are also tasked with a continuous reevaluation of the mix of on-site, private cloud, and public cloud applications to meet business goals in the best way and determine how applications can be migrated inexpensively.
As such, businesses need to determine what hosting solution suits an application: on-site, private cloud, hybrid cloud, or public cloud. We’re going to look at the three cloud options below and compare them for simplicity when choosing for yourself.
With a service like Amazon Web Services, businesses get a low cost of ownership. This makes it possible to reduce upfront costs, IT labor costs, and even tax liability. There are also technical benefits, like improved scaling, more reliability, and automated deployments. There are also few limitations to moving infrastructure to AWS, or other clouds like it.
There are a few different applications that are inherently best suited for the public cloud:
- Testing environments, making it easier to spin up and down instances to test
- Long-term storage, which has cost-effective solutions in AWS such as Storage Gateway’s Virtual Tape Library and Glacier.
- New applications where demand is unknown, especially interactive properties and microsites.
- Data storage, more so when you are hosting physical items that often fail or need to be replaced. (S3 is a cheap, expandable storage resource)
- Web tier of an application that is seasonal or has bursts in traffic. (EC2, ELBs, Auto Scaling)
- Web tiers of applications that are latency intolerant or mission critical. (automated deployments with Puppet scripts and Custom Auto Scaling)
Even looking at the many advantages of the public cloud, it’s rare for a business to deploy all their applications there. It’s also easier to move from on-site to a private cloud than on-site to a public cloud.
With a private cloud environment, configuration can be done to support any application, just like if it where on-site. It’s an attractive solution for organizations that may have features in legacy applications that prevent other applications from operating well in a public cloud.
Let’s look at a few indications that your application would work well in a private cloud.
- High-performance access is needed to a file system, such as a company that produces large video files.
- The application uses Oracle RAC and requires a dedicated infrastructure to be compliant. RDS, the shared storage ability in AWS, is not compliant with HIPAA.
- The team in charge of the application isn’t capable of migrating the application in a cost-effective period.
- For an application that is infrequently used and poorly written, it may not be worth the trouble of moving to a public cloud.
- An application that is heavily trafficked and unstable but which IT staff is not familiar with.
- The application has low storage costs and predictable patterns of usage.
Now we get to the hybrid cloud, of which 90% of enterprises note they plan to pursue this year. Because architecture can be very complicated, a hybrid cloud is an excellent solution to the problem. This is especially the case for large organizations who are interested in exploring the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud. As such, a business might test a tier in the public cloud while keeping most other infrastructure in a private cloud.
It can also be a good solution for those who worry about the security of the public cloud with essential data. Legacy applications can stay on legacy machines, while new lines of business in the cloud can be pursued as needed. This is a cost-effective solution that helps negate some of the risks.
Each company is going to have different needs which may support the use of a private, public, or hybrid cloud. It’s important to understand the differences to ensure that decision is made with all the information. This article will help you determine which might work best for you.