For enterprises concerned about compliance and data security, the single-tenancy nature of the private cloud has long been appealing. Migration to it, however, can be complex, requiring organisations to consider several important factors before beginning the process. Here, we examine five of the most important things to think about when moving to the private cloud.
1. Ensuring private cloud is the best choice
When it comes to choosing between public and private clouds, the old adage, ‘horses for courses’ offers sound advice. Quite simply, some workloads are better suited to the public cloud and others to the private cloud. The public cloud, for example, is ideal for email servers, websites, non-sensitive data storage, disaster recovery and backups. Private clouds, on the other hand, are frequently used for storing personal and unencrypted data and with the option of configuring the hardware for complex workloads, can be a better solution for apps that need higher performance.
2. Which apps and data to migrate
Most enterprises migrating to the private cloud will already have some of their services running in the public cloud. Of the two, the private cloud is the most expensive and so it might not be a wise financial decision to move all applications and data to it when a public cloud environment works perfectly fine and is usually more cost-effective.
Before deciding, it’s important to look strategically at the purpose of the migration. If the key driver is security, then it makes sense to use a private cloud for storing and processing personal and sensitive data. However, to keep costs down, resource-intensive apps can continue to run in the public cloud. Anonymised data, of which there are often vast quantities, can similarly stay where it is.
To gain a better understanding of the performance and security requirements needed, it’s good practice to group applications by their use, e.g., database-heavy, resource-heavy or user interface-heavy. This allows organisations to understand how their private cloud would need to be configured to run these kinds of apps and thus help them find the right solution.
The other consideration here is the technical challenge of migrating an app to the private cloud, especially where it is part of a hybrid system. For companies undertaking their first steps into a private cloud environment, this is best done in small, manageable stages to keep the number of servers that need recoding to a minimum.
3. The cost of migration
While the private cloud does provide improved compliance and greater freedom over the configuration of the server, acquiring single tenancy use of cloud infrastructure is more expensive than the multi-tenancy of the public cloud. Aside from the cost of the service, however, enterprises also need to consider the costs of migration.
The costs of private cloud migrations depend upon the complexities involved, something that will be unique to each organisation. However, it will involve costs associated with time and expertise, often requiring third-party consultants, application vendors and other support, to ensure the move is successful.
That said, private cloud migration can achieve long term savings, especially when paid for as a service rather than through the purchase of in-house hardware. Additionally, it can help generate growth by providing enterprises with an environment better suited for business development.
4. Private cloud talent
The complexities of private cloud migration require IT staff with specialised skills that go beyond day-to-day platform management. The process needs personnel that have experience with cloud platforms, architecture, applications, security and migration.
With a critical shortage of IT expertise, these staff are hard to recruit, expensive to train and costly to employ. What’s more, even if organisations have such high-quality staff in-house, taking them away from important business-oriented projects for long periods to undertake migration can create tensions and burdens within the organisation. This can inevitably lead to delays in some areas.
Where such expertise isn’t available, the use of third-party consultants is the usual option. However, the situation can be far less of a burden when choosing a private cloud vendor that provides 24/7 expert technical support.
5. Post-migration cloud management
After the migration is completed and the private cloud and apps are operational, enterprises will need to consider how to manage the platform. Applications and operating systems will need updating and patching, performance will need monitoring, security has to be maintained, software will require licencing and issues will need troubleshooting. For in-house private clouds, hardware will also need maintenance and occasional upgrades.
All these things increase the workload on staff, taking them away from other projects. However, this burden can be dramatically reduced when purchasing a managed private cloud hosted by a third-party vendor, like Hyperslice. Here, many of the day-to-day management tasks are undertaken by the vendor on the client’s behalf, freeing up IT staff to work on more worthwhile projects. Indeed, Hyperslice can even create bespoke managed services to suit an organisation’s specific needs.
Private cloud adoption can be challenging; however, it can bring significant benefits to organisations with enhanced compliance requirements or which need to configure their clouds for specific applications. The most cost-effective solution, and one in which migration complexity and post-migration management are considerably less burdensome, is to use the services of an experienced managed IT solutions provider, like Hyperslice. For more information about our cloud solutions, visit Hyperslice.com.