Cloud deployment model

Businesses can choose from three cloud deployment models; public, private or hybrid. Each comes with their own benefits and disadvantages. Choosing a cloud deployment model is not a one size fits all strategy. It depends on specific business requirements and the goal behind moving to a cloud infrastructure.  

In earlier blogs, we looked at cloud migration, and the risks and benefits of migrating your data to the cloud. Before we go further, let’s do a quick recap. 

Cloud migration is the process of businesses migrating their digital assets from a traditional data center to cloud, or moving data and databases from one cloud to another. There are three types of cloud migration: 

  • Lift & Shift – Where you migrate your data and assets to an Infrastructure-as-a-service model 
  • Re-factor and rebuild approach – Where, during migration, your business applications have to be rebuilt or modernised to configure with the cloud provider’s platform  
  • Replace approach or moving to Software-as-a-service model – Where you have to replace your applications or functionalities to suit the SaaS platform. 

Cloud migration comes with a number of benefits:  

  • It is easily scalable 
  • Provides increased security 
  • Reduces cost of maintaining data and servers 
  • Easily integrated with third-party applications to provide enhanced user experience.  

Having said that, it also has associated risks that businesses need to be aware of. The risks arise when businesses overlook their current infrastructure and its compatibility with the cloud, and are unable to determine specific goals they want to achieve through cloud migration. Often, skipping such basic steps can lead to unnecessary spending during migration and risk of losing data.  

Having extensively covered these topics in the earlier blogs, we now look at the step businesses should take after establishing the specific goals they want to achieve through cloud migration; that is, what cloud deployment model they should adopt. 

Understanding Cloud Deployment Models: Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud  

The ideal approach for businesses to migrate to the cloud is to understand their current infrastructure and applications, and determine what applications, what data and how much data they want to migrate to the cloud. This can help businesses evaluate what cloud deployment model they want to adopt. 

There are three cloud deployment models that businesses can choose from; public, private and hybrid. 

Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud are examples of public cloud service vendors. These companies typically provide third-party data centers on a subscription basis where businesses can store data on a pay-per-use model. The cloud is used by multiple businesses, and it’s ideal for businesses that have fluctuating needs and are in the growth phase, or for businesses that are still in the testing phase.  

Public Cloud Models 

Advantages of public cloud are that, it is cost-effective, it requires no hardware setup (the third-party vendor provides the data centers with security measures in place), it is scalable, and it has good security and backup systems in place which prevent failure. Having said that, public cloud comes with its own share of disadvantages. It is less secure than a private cloud because the data centers and resources are shared by multiple companies. And, since the data centers are remote, its performance depends on the network connectivity of the service provider. 

Private Cloud Models 

Private clouds are ones which are exclusive to an organisation. Private clouds are typically located in the organisation’s physical data centers, or even if they are hosted by third-party vendors, they run on a private network, and the hardware and software is exclusively maintained by the organisation.  

Private cloud models offer several advantages; they are more secure because the data center and data is maintained and secured by the organisation alone. There is higher control over the data because it is accessible only to certain employees in the organisation. It is run on specific identity and access management protocols.  

Despite being hosted in exclusive data centers, they offer more flexibility and scalability than on-premise infrastructure. Some challenges that private clouds can pose are that it requires skilled internal professionals to be run, managed and secured. It can be more expensive than a public cloud because the infrastructure and security is solely maintained by the organisation. Usually, businesses that operate in highly regulated industries like BFSI and healthcare opt for private cloud.  

Hybrid Cloud Models  

Businesses that operate on hybrid cloud models have data and applications moving between both public and private cloud environments. Typically, businesses that have their data on the hybrid cloud choose to store sensitive data that has strict regulatory norms, in the private cloud, and testing apps and related data in the public cloud.  

A hybrid cloud model comes with many advantages – while it offers higher data control and security on the private cloud, in case of data overflow, it gives the opportunity to scale the public cloud space and store data there. It ensures that businesses don’t have to spend extensively on capital expenditure (with private clouds alone), it ensures that cloud space is used optimally (there is no idle space for long periods of time), and the transition between the two cloud infrastructure is easy. 

Like we said earlier, there is no one cloud deployment model that is suitable for all businesses. Whether to go with a public, private or hybrid cloud approach depends on specific business needs.  

The Next Frontier: Is it going to be Distributed Cloud? 

In late 2020, Gartner reports started including this term called “Distributed Cloud”. It simple refers to on-premise and edge services offered by public cloud providers. This is essentially public cloud-level of sophistication and ease of use but giving companies complete control over how their cloud is setup and managed. AWS Outpost and Azure Stack Hub are examples of on-premise services provided by public cloud providers.  

A Merit expert adds, “At the end of the day, most companies will have a hybrid cloud model. The terms may vary, but in reality some applications and data will be on legacy on-premise software. Other modern applications will be on a SaaS or PaaS solution. There will certainly be a mixture of internal and external cloud services. The key is to have the right processes in place so there is seamless integration and policy-based coordination between these different applications and microservices.”  

Merit’s Expertise in Cloud Migration  

Merit works with a broad range of clients and industry sectors, designing and building bespoke applications and data platforms combining software engineering, AI/ML, and data analytics.  

We migrate legacy systems with re-architecture and by refactoring them to contemporary technologies on modern cloud ecosystems. Our software engineers build resilient and scalable solutions with cloud services ranging from simple internal software systems to large-scale enterprise applications.  

Our agile approach drives every stage of the customer journey; from planning to design development and implementation, delivering impactful and cost-effective digital transformations.  

To know more, visit: 

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