De-coupling the Cloud: Build, Buy or Partner?10 min read
Both your data center and cloud computing will continue to evolve as new business and market demands arise. As more users connect into the cloud, organizations will find new ways to deliver services and offerings via a cloud solution.
Remember, cloud computing is an ever-changing, highly dynamic platform. This is why it’s important to work with technologies that can take you to the cloud – or get you there in a hybrid fashion. When looking at the overall landscape, there are four key areas to understand when working with a data center partner and/or a cloud hosting solution. These four points de-couple the cloud and help you understand its dynamic nature and the kind of data center partnership that could be right for you.
- Cloud is extremely dynamic – the provider and your architecture must be as well. Resources will fluctuate, user counts will change, and new systems will require more resources. This is the nature of cloud computing. It will be in a state of constant change and in the need of proactive monitoring and constant tweaking. The only way to properly control and deploy a cloud solution is to plan it out well and work with a data center partner than can handle the dynamic nature of cloud computing.
- To buy or to build your cloud – that is the question. There are many reasons to build your own data center versus building your cloud platform with a provider. In some cases, regulations or compliance measure require a privately held data center platform. In other cases, organizations still see a benefit in owning a part of their data center platform for specific workloads or to maximize legacy hardware investment. However, many companies looking to reduce complexity, manage costs, and improve agility explore the provider market. There is no right or wrong answer here. Rather, there is just the question around the proper fit–and sometimes the right answer is “all of the above”–with different workloads residing across a hybrid infrastructure solution. By examining your current and future needs, it may very well become apparent that working with a managed service and cloud-ready data center partner is the right move to make.
- Look for partnerships and solutions instead of just products. As mentioned earlier, the dynamic nature of the cloud requires a dynamic provider capable of keeping up with the changes in the cloud. This means proactive monitoring and consistently maintaining your best interests in mind. In working with a data center partner, you are able to create goals and set policies in place which will help control costs and keep your environment very agile. Cloud computing, data center colocation, and managed services solutions are not “set it and forget it” services. They require a highly responsive data center partner that has clear visibility into your environment and is as dedicated to your success as any internal team that you would deploy.
- The cloud is just a piece of the puzzle. The technologies around cloud computing can offer some great benefits to organizations looking to expand their environment. Still, cloud computing is only a piece of the entire infrastructure puzzle. Although data centers are the home of the cloud – they are also home to many other technologies as well. This can be virtual platform delivery, various types of services offerings, or providing data center extension services. In some cases, cloud computing is either not required or is used in a small fashion. Remember to analyze all necessary services with your data center partner before jumping on the cloud bandwagon. This is why it’s so important to work with a provider which can show the difference between a full cloud offering and something a bit more localized. Furthermore, this same partner should have the capability to deploy a truly powerful hybrid solution – should the need arise.
With all of this in mind – there’s really one final point to make:
- The cloud doesn’t always have to be a part of the answer. Although powerful, cloud computing is just another solution that an organization can leverage to achieve business goals. As discussed earlier, there are numerous different cloud options. Even with new platforms like the community cloud, your organization is able to use only what is required. Private cloud solutions can be custom-built for mid-market and enterprise customers who want self-service, speed and ease-of-use without sacrificing performance and security. A contract is required, but you pay for only what you use or tailor a custom term-and-burst solution to your exact requirements. This provides direct flexibility without having to dedicate your entire environment into the cloud—fitting easily into a hybrid deployment model.
The cloud model is a powerful platform. However, in some cases the entire cloud stack is just not needed. It’s important to work with the right type of provider, and the kinds of technoligies that can help you place cloud into the right piece within your organization. In today’s massively distributed data center environment, working with a partner who can stay as agile as you is very important. This type of partnership creates a logical connection between IT and overall business goals.
CTO, MTM Technologies
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