Editor’s note: the following blog post has been provided by our partners at phoenixNAP.
Critical Considerations for Moving to Private Cloud-as-a-Service
By William Bell, Executive Vice President of Products at phoenixNAP
Private Cloud-as-a-Service is not an entirely new concept to the business world. However, its significance has greatly increased over the past few years. This trend is a result of a growing demand for scalable yet robust IT environment that can provide optimum performance for business-critical workloads.
According to the latest analyst reports, the companies of different sizes are turning to the cloud for more than email, disaster recovery, and productivity tools. Although these three types of workloads comprise the largest portion of hosted/cloud services budget according to Spiceworks 2019 State of IT report, investments in IaaS are following behind. The analysis shows that a growing percentage of companies are putting their budget towards IaaS investments.
These figures indicate that the use of private cloud-as-a-service platforms is on the rise and there are many reasons why this might be the case.
Private Cloud vs Hyperscale Public Cloud vs On-Prem Infrastructure
With the evolution of the cloud technology, its delivery models have become more diverse. Private cloud-as-a-service emerged as a more cost-efficient alternative to traditional on-prem infrastructure and a more secure platform than a public cloud. Its key advantages over on-prem deployments include economies of scale, compliance, simplified management, and cost efficiency. In comparison to public cloud, on the other hand, it provides more security, more control, and more specialized resources.
These advantages, of course, do not make it the best option for all types of deployments. For example, organizations that have burstable workloads are likely to find public cloud a more viable option. Large enterprises or government organizations may decide for an on-prem infrastructure as it gives them more configuration and management control.
Regardless of an organization’s specific needs, there are several key considerations every IT professional should take into account when choosing an IT platform.
Key Considerations for IT Decision Makers
The concept of private cloud delivered on an “as a service model” has changed organizational IT planning to a great extent. Enterprise-grade infrastructure is now available at affordable price points, which allows for a higher degree of resource customization. Nevertheless, IT decision-makers need to take multiple factors into consideration when choosing their platform. Below are some of the key things they need to consider in order to make the right choice between on-prem infrastructure and cloud deployments.
Security has always been one of the top attributes IT decision-makers are looking in a platform. Given the increased risk and constantly growing cost of downtime, platform security is justifiably a key factor in the platform choice.
As opposed to public cloud, private-cloud-as-a-service can provide advanced level of security and visibility into cloud workloads. It enables organizations to choose between single-tenant or multi-tenant infrastructure, and allows for different configurations to be set. Organizations can also choose the level of security for their platform by customizing hardware and software, which is not the case with the public cloud. In addition to this, IaaS vendors need to have specific mitigations in place and follow industry standards to provide proper protections. Smaller organizations and those where IT is not the core business usually do not have financial or staff resources to implement robust security into their platform. This is why private-cloud-as-a-service is a great choice for organizations looking to enhance security of their workloads.
The increasingly relevant advantage of private cloud-as-a-service is the fact it provides access to workload-specific platform and hardware. As opposed to both traditional private cloud and hyperscale public cloud, private cloud-as-a-service offers the next tier of hardware and software technologies at a consumption-based model. This option is critical for organizations whose business operations may require specific level of performance and security to deliver services to their customers.
For example, Persistent Memory-as-a-Service is one of the advanced technologies IaaS vendors are making available on-demand. This is a next generation technology by Intel and VMware, which is offered on an on-demand model through an IaaS vendor. Built for large data centers to deliver exceptional performance in secure cloud environments, Persistent Memory is not likely to be available to medium-sized organizations. The IaaS companies that work directly with VMware and Intel can implement this technology within their environment and deliver it to mid-sized organizations via Private Cloud-as-a-Service implementations.
Additional examples of technologies available through private cloud-as-a-service only are GPUs and FPGAs. Used by IaaS vendors for specialized implementations, these solutions are not generally available for traditional on-perm implementations or large-scale public clouds. However, they can make a significant difference for some organizations, which is why IT decision makers need to have their potential in mind when choosing their platform.
The always-on availability of professional assistance in platform configuration, monitoring, and management is crucial for maintaining its efficiency. It is one of the essential features organizations take into account when looking at build vs. buy. When you are consuming as a service, you cannot fix many issues yourself, so you need good support. On the other hand, the global lack of technical and security talent means limited access to the needed expertise, which smaller organizations may find difficult to keep. In this respect, private cloud-as-a-service is a viable option as long as the vendor offers full time expert support.
As automation becomes a higher business priority, the ability to integrate infrastructure with existing processes and tools is essential for maintaining productivity and ensuring high cost-efficiency. Public cloud typically offers limited integration options, at least to organizations that handle complex development, analytics, and productivity tools.
In comparison, private cloud-as-a-service platform is built to meet specific needs through customized resource distribution. For example, some apps require certain types of hardware to be delivered seamlessly and private cloud-as-a-service can provide that. Such customization based on an organization’s availability and bandwidth needs make an essential difference for its overall processes. That is why workload-specific infrastructure and private cloud-as-a-service with it has changed the paradigm for a business.
Although opex-based pricing has been driving organizations to the cloud for years, it is not the single most important factor in migration. Recent reports suggest that pricing follows security, support, and integration options in terms of relevance. This indicates that its role is still important but not as much as the other factors listed above.
One of the key advantages of private cloud-as-a-service is the fact it enables organizations to eliminate the costs of on-prem hardware purchase and maintenance. Depending on the size of an organization, this can result in massive cost cutting while providing the needed level of security and platform stability.
Looking at the market demands over the past few years, it is clear that the concept of private cloud was bound to change significantly. Today, automation, workload optimization, and security are more important drivers to cloud adoption than pricing. In all these respects, private cloud-as-a-service emerges as an efficient solution that can empower modern businesses for growth and success.