So much we hear now and then about the advantages of using cloud services for businesses, but finding the right cloud for its infrastructure is something difficult. At one end, we have software-as-a-service that lets businesses benefit from cloud applications, while on the contrary infrastructure-as-a-service, where companies outsource their services on the cloud. In between is the platform-as-a-service that facilitates enterprises to develop their own software solutions using cloud-provided tools.
Gartner, IT research company, anticipated that in 2013, the blogal public cloud services marketplace will expand up to $US131 billion, which is 18.5 per cent higher as compared to 2012’s $US111 billion. In 2013, the Australian market is also believed to surface up to $US3.2 billion, 23 per cent higher than $US2.6 billion in 2012.
Jim Longwood, Gartner’s analyst said that for businesses shifting to the cloud is of great advantage as it’s like moving from capital expenditure model to the operating expenditure model, as in the former, businesses need to pay for their infrastructure while the latter runs on pay-per-use basis.
When choosing the cloud services for businesses, decisions are based on expenditure and capacity requirements as well as reliability, availability, scalability and security.
The business activity does not remain static all year round ― at some point the business activity goes aggressive resulting in greater production, gains and losses as compared to other times.
The cloud services are elastic by default and let businesses scale down their capacity to manage peak processing volumes, without investing in costly infrastructure.. While finalizing contracts with the cloud services, businesses must consider their expected growth along with the unit costs of cloud systems as its costs are proportional to traffic.
They must analyze their requirements to go for the most appropriate cloud service, and be aware of “cloud washing” where cloud sources rename their existing services as cloud as well.
“A benefit of cloud is that it can be accessed anywhere in the world; the down side is that the quality of performance can’t be guaranteed,” said Longwood. “Internet-based solutions might not be efficient for high volumes of transactions.”
Clouds for Businesses
Clouds take the responsibility of dealing with constraints and requirements while providing services to businesses. Aaron Steppat, product marketing manager of cloud infrastructure and management at VMware says, “The practice of ‘cloud bursting’ to access extra capacity during peak times is likely to become more common this year”.
Steppat suggests businesses to opt for mix infrastructure based on their main performance ― balancing between scalability, cloud suitability and disaster recovery, thus utilizing both the cloud and in-house systems.
For start-ups having a limited budget, cloud is a good solution to opt for, but larger organizations may have security and privacy concerns. According to Steppat, privacy, data sovereignty and security are important for any company, which is becoming difficult to ensure when company does not know where its data is stored or processed. Businesses must search for vendors that clear their policies about the site and privacy and do not share it with third parties.
Steppat says that organizations who don’t want to take risks of completely shifting to the cloud must opt for hybrid cloud models. This includes businesses wanting stay in charge of customized or business-critical applications.
The public clouds offer flexible pricing to businesses, however they still can enjoy a few of these benefits by implementing virtualized computing on an in-house infrastructure known as a private cloud.
As per Steppat moving into the cloud is preferable and present infrastructure and platforms must be strengthened previous to this.