Q&A on Cloud Migrations with Daven Winans
In this Q&A, Daven Winans, Manager of Professional and Managed Services, on some of the main considerations to help ensure a successful cloud migration.
Despite the popularity of the public cloud, many companies are finding it can’t quite accommodate their needs. For some it’s a matter of legacy systems that can’t make the move. For others, security and compliance issues make the public cloud a no go.
Not surprisingly, private cloud models are becoming a popular option. If you’re considering a private cloud, here are some things to think about:
If your organization opts for an on-premise private cloud, that means it would be built on site by your company for its own use. Your company would own the underlying infrastructure and be responsible for its maintenance. This model may be appealing if your organization wants to leverage its investment in servers and storage hardware and repurpose them in a private cloud.
If your company is organized into cost centers, an on-premise private cloud also provides opportunities to use charge-backs to generate income that can be funneled back for infrastructure support.
However, if your company doesn’t have the required hardware it will need to be purchased. That can be a sizable capital expense. Then there are security updates, patches and other maintenance required, as well as compliance issues. Consider whether you have staff availability and expertise to handle all aspects of a private cloud. You’ll also need to determine if you have sufficient redundancy in your network, adequate power and cooling, and the appropriate physical security.
You could instead go with a hosted private cloud, which would reside on a third-party company’s infrastructure. The cloud services provider (CSP) maintains a staff that specializes in successfully building and managing private clouds. While your company can own the hardware that comprises its hosted private cloud, most companies opt for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model, in which the CSP owns the hardware and other resources, making them available to customers on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
You’ll also need to determine if you prefer a multi-tenant or single-tenant private cloud environment.
A multi-tenant private cloud is an on-demand configurable pool of shared computing resources in a multi-tenant cloud that uses logical separation to isolate the cloud’s tenants from one another. Some resources are dedicated for use only by a specific private cloud customer, while others are shared with other “tenants.”
Because of the resource sharing, a multi-tenant private cloud is more cost effective than a single-tenant cloud. It’s also considered more secure than a public cloud because of the logical separation from other customers (i.e., no “noisy neighbors.”) However, any time there’s resource sharing, there’s a possibility for bottlenecks and security issues that can negate any savings.
With a hosted private cloud that employs a single-tenant environment, the infrastructure and all resources are dedicated solely to the private cloud user. This makes it the more secure option, although it doesn’t offer the cost savings and other benefits of multi-tenancy. For many customers, the tradeoffs are worth it.
For example, if your company is subject to stringent regulatory requirements that dictate how data must be handled, stored and backed up, this model can help you avoid fees and penalties for noncompliance that likely will override the cost savings from a multi-tenant cloud. Some CSPs will also purpose-build your single-tenant cloud, further ensuring that it meets your company’s specific business requirements.
Yet another consideration in terms of a hosted private cloud is whether it should be managed or unmanaged. A managed private cloud includes everything above and below the hypervisor. The CSP takes on responsibility for the complete computing stack, as well as the load-balancers, firewalls and patch management. That frees up your staff to work on more strategic endeavors. It’s also the more expensive option because you’re paying someone else to manage your environment.
An unmanaged hosted private cloud means the CSP manages everything below the hypervisor. You are responsible for everything above the hypervisor in the cloud environment, which includes the virtual machines and any services to support them. Many companies prefer to retain this level of control for a variety of reasons.
If you decide to go with a hosted private cloud, you’re going to need to check out various vendors. Here’s why US Signal and its hosted private cloud should be on your list.
The US Signal Hosted Private Cloud offers all the benefits of a secure, single-tenant environment along with dedicated compute and storage resources. Plus, it’s built using security standards in compliance with HIPAA and PCI regulations.
You also get full access to the VMware hypervisor. That means you have complete control of your private cloud environment and can integrate applications or solutions that require direct hypervisor access. Because your private cloud will be housed in a US Signal data center equipped with emergency generators, redundant HVAC, and monitored secure physical access, you’ll also get greater peace of mind knowing your private cloud will always be up, available, and secure. Connectivity is available through US Signal private MPLS or VPN terminations.
In addition, your private cloud environment will be specifically sized to meet the compute and memory requirements of your solution, with the option to expand resources based on future growth requirements. You can also choose access to US Signal’s multi-tenant Gold and Silver storage tiers or have US Signal implement dedicated storage arrays to meet any compliance or technical storage requirement for your solution. You can find out more about the US Signal Hosted Private Cloud here.
To determine if a private cloud is right for your organization—and the type of private cloud best suited to its needs, talk to a US Signal solution architect. Our professionals can help you assess your IT needs and challenges and develop a solution to best address them. Call 866.2. SIGNAL or email us at: [email protected].
If you haven’t already, make sure to take advantage of US Signal’s free eBook, “10 Tips for Cloud Security."
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