How to Decide Between Private, Multisite or Public Cloud Data Centers
As artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality become woven into business practices, organizations are relying on increasing numbers of data center workloads.
Some of these workloads fit well in a public cloud environment while others work best in a private cloud or multisite environment. No matter which path to cloud computing you take, all conversations about cloud data centers lead back to the way you share resources.
As you weigh your options for the cloud, it’s important to understand their performance, security and cost implications to avoid disappointment and prevent possible cloud repatriation (moving data back on-premises after being in the public cloud).
Considerations for Public Cloud Data Centers
Public cloud data centers spread computing resources out among several enterprises to make them more affordable. The IT infrastructure is owned and administered by the provider, and the infrastructure is used by multiple customers to run their workloads.
Think about public cloud data centers like public libraries. There are many resources available for everyone to use, but, beyond yourself, you don’t know who else is coming in and out of the building—or what resources they’re using.
Important points to keep in mind about public cloud data centers:
- Latency can be an issue. For example, workloads for more than one organization may run on a shared physical server at the same time.
- Services are easily scalable based on workload demands; you can add or remove capacity in response to what’s happening in your organization.
- You only pay for what you use, so operating expenses are predictable and easy to budget for.
- Shared access and lack of control over data make security a top concern. As a result, not all data and applications are the best fit for the public cloud.
- Many enterprises use the public cloud to access software as a service (SaaS) applications, such as Salesforce or Office 365.
Considerations for Private Cloud Data Centers
Designed to be operated and used by one organization, private cloud data centers run behind their own firewalls. They can be on-premises enterprise data centers or hosted by a third-party provider that manages dedicated equipment and infrastructure offsite for an organization.
Resource sharing still happens within private cloud data centers, but only certain people have access to those resources (just the organization’s employees, for example).
If we think of public cloud data centers like public libraries, then we can think of private cloud data centers like libraries that are privately owned: They’re only open to a limited number of people and house a personal collection of resources.
Important points to keep in mind about private cloud data centers:
- They can provide the efficiencies of operating in the cloud (business continuity, collaboration, accessibility, etc.) while allowing more control over resources, security and compliance.
- Resources are not shared with other cloud customers, which can enhance performance and security.
- Applications and infrastructure can be easily customized to whatever you need them to be—with no worries about compatibility or application limitations.
- Capital and operating costs are typically higher as compared to the public cloud.
- Maintenance and management responsibilities fall to the enterprise (unless a third party that offers private cloud services is involved).
- Many enterprises use the private cloud for sensitive business data, such as finance and invoicing, payroll and HR management, etc., as well as for applications that are sensitive to latency.
Considerations for Multisite Cloud Data Centers
Using cloud services from two or more vendors is what the industry calls “multisite” or “multicloud.” In these cloud environments, enterprise applications and infrastructure are typically supplied as services to one organization by multiple providers.
Important points to keep in mind about multisite cloud data centers:
- Spreading out a cloud investment can prevent a company from being tied to one vendor.
- Multisite environments can improve resiliency and reliability when one provider has an unexpected performance issue.
- Complexity may increase when multiple vendors are involved.
And Don’t Forget: Hybrid Cloud Data Centers
Hybrid environments are an option, too. Hybrid cloud data centers let organizations use private and public cloud data centers. Workloads move seamlessly between the two as needed to make the most of performance, security, compliance and cost.
For example, a company may choose to keep sensitive data in a private cloud environment while using a public cloud data center for backup and recovery.
Data Center Solutions to Support Your Cloud Initiatives
We offer the widest breadth of data center products in the industry, with thousands of turnkey products and configurable solutions for virtually any data center transmission need.
If you need guidance on moving workloads to the cloud or making sure you have the right infrastructure in place to support data center workloads, our experts are here to help. Learn more about our data center solutions.