‘On-Premise’ vs ‘In the cloud’: key challenges and solutions
The vast majority of organisations now utilise the cloud for at least some of their operations – whether that be cloud hosting, cloud disaster recovery, cloud replication or general business functions like HR and marketing. There does remain a small number who still operate entirely on-premise, however, the majority run some form of hybrid solution.
A recent report on cloud adoption found that 94% of organisations use the cloud, and 58% have a hybrid strategy.
As an IT partner that works with clients operating in both “on-premise” and “in the cloud” environments (and those working across hybrid environments too), we hear a range of perspectives on whether the cloud or on-premise solutions are better.
The challenges of traditional vs innovation
On one hand are the innovators and disruptors. These organisations don’t want “strong and stable”, they want “flashy, feature-rich and cost-saving”. Lots of people are developing things in cloud platforms like Azure, so we are often asked to deliver a hybrid environment, with an azure distribution of the front end to give them a global presence.
Others are still wary about doing anything that is new. We find some companies are very unsure about moving to the cloud. One person even said to us “it must be better if it is under my desk!”
Sometimes it’s about timing: do I invest now or wait? Those who wait can quickly fall behind. Some businesses with a very traditional identity have moved to cloud apps, but then seen those apps are now also being disrupted.
There are lots of new ways of doing business, and there is always a disruptor. That goes for all environments. For example, even ‘clocking on’ is now changing from physical machines to digital monitoring. There is always a shift in the market, and that’s why more and more independent software vendors (ISVs) startups, are looking to virtualDCS for a cloud presence, as they see easy wins.
Key challenges: security, cost, process, education
The key challenges our clients face remain the same: it’s all about managing costs. And what businesses really need is an expert partner who can ensure they are investing in the right areas, at the right time, and in the most cost efficient way for their business.
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One of the key areas of concern for organisations considering moving their operations and workloads into the cloud is around data security.
There is often ambiguity around who is responsible for data security under the shared responsibility model. Another is the impact of data security breaches, which there have been a number of high profile ones recently reported on. And with Brexit on the horizon, many are concerned about the uncertainty around movement and security of data across international boundaries.
Yes, there are challenges around cloud security, but this is true of any model. As web security expert Troy Hunt points out that:
“On one hand, you may hand over physical control, but on the other hand, you’re almost certainly doing so to an organisation better-equipped to manage computing environments than your own”
Costs of cloud vs on-premise
Operating in the cloud can significantly reduce overhead costs associated with physical hardware. This is covered in more details in our 7 reasons you shouldn’t move to the cloud post.
While moving to the cloud may bring some new costs, it also opens up new doors to better security. For example, the cloud gives you access to features that may have been cost prohibitive for many smaller organisations, such as HSMs and WAFs.
Hardware security modules (HSMs) can protect against unauthorised data modifications, including both attackers who have broken through external security and rogue employees. Web application firewalls (WAFs) can be used to protect against a number of cybersecurity threats by detecting unauthorised access and blocking suspicious activity.
Part of our work with clients can involve mapping out the relative costs of different solutions, taking a “whole organisation” approach so you get the best and most cost effective solution for your needs.
The cloud migration process
From understanding your security responsibilities and performing due diligence, to analysing your rollout plan, the cloud migration process can be complex. Security testing and encryption should be a key part of your plan.
Operating in a hybrid environment will allow you to gradually move assets across to the cloud at your pace and in an order that you are comfortable with. Online backup and online disaster recovery (DR) is an easy place to start and Veeam can provide the answer.
We are fortunate to have been working with market leaders Veeam since the start, so as one of the first Veeam cloud providers, we have fed into the development of their solutions.
We continually update our knowledge and undertake lots of internal training, to ensure we are one of the best Veeam partners (we aim to be the best!). Very few partners offer the whole thing: many have to part-outsource to deliver solutions. Instant recovery, for example, is hard to do, but we have always offered it.
Knowledge and education
For many of our clients, the key challenge is around understanding and education. It takes a lot of resource to stay on top of industry developments and maintain a helicopter view of the current playing field while understanding enough detail to make the right decisions and employ the right talent to deliver on your IT infrastructure vision.
As a partner who works across all environments – on-premise, cloud and hybrid – we have that broad understanding to advise on the best approach. We don’t need to “sell” a particular solution or approach. We can adapt and create bespoke solutions that meet an organisation’s specific needs.
We cut through all the complexities and can help people understand how best to use public cloud environments and how it fits in with their existing infrastructure.
If you’d like to talk to test us and see how this might work in your business, we’d love to speak with you. We provide training, advice and consultancy as well as delivering solutions. We walk all our clients through the setup process and provide 24/7 qualified technical support and platform monitoring.
Call today for a free informal discussion on 03453 888 327 or email enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk. Our solutions include cloud hosting, cloud disaster recovery, cloud replication, cloud backup as well as IT infrastructure design and consultancy services.