With a multitude of cloud suppliers and cloud variations, it becomes increasingly difficult for organisations to determine which cloud is best suited for a certain workload. The question is: how do you know the cloud is right for the job? Before this question can be answered in more detail, it would be wise to establish that every cloud version is all about data.
No matter what the perspective, data is currently the most valuable business asset for any organisation. That’s why ‘Keep your data close’ is the most important lesson in the search for a
suitable cloud. Does the motto ‘Keep your data close’ mean that the public cloud as provided by hyper-scalers like Microsoft, Amazon and Rackspace is not an option for organisations? The answer is no. It is more important how you use that public cloud.
Testing and development in the public cloud
Testing and development is a good example. The public cloud is perfectly suitable to develop and test new applications using anonymised business data. The moment the application is fully
tested and ready for production, you can take the cloud resources out of your operation again. This enables an efficient deployment of IT resources which only cost money at the precise moment when they are actually used. It should be obvious that this is about data processing. So your critical data remains on-premise or with a cloud provider who holds it on a dedicated, or a secure multitenancy, environment so you know where your data is stored.
Hybrid cloud… flexibility in a continuously changing world
The moment real-life data starts playing a role, different rules apply. At that point in time, the public cloud alone will not suffice. Due to their strong focus on commodity and standardisation, public clouds are not able to provide a company the flexibility they need so much in a continuously changing world. A hybrid cloud offers a more adaptable approach. In this situation, you keep your important production data on-premise or with a cloud provider, and then you determine which other data might be suitable for cloud back-up or archives.
Ensure the location of your data
In this situation, it is crucial to make the right choices with regard to compliancy and governance. There are strict rules regarding the location of certain (personal) data and governance. If you rely on a hyper-scaler, you will never be certain exactly where your data
will be stored. This might mean that it will be governed by foreign legislation, and may even mean that foreign governments can access it. This can be prevented by finding a cloud partner which can provide 100% local services.
Exit… saying goodbye should not be hard
One topic that many organisations do not consider a priority in their search for a cloud supplier is the exit strategy. Many cloud suppliers will receive data with open arms but find it much harder to part with said data. Sometimes it can be quite tricky for a company to properly retrieve data or move it to another cloud supplier. An exit should therefore be one of the first topics you discuss with a cloud supplier to avoid later misunderstandings.
In conclusion, a hybrid cloud will provide a more suitable option for most companies to benefit from the cloud advantages of scaling and cost reduction on the one hand, and the possibilities for keeping your data close on the other.