- February 2, 2023
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I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.
late Chairman of Apple (1997)
The enterprise cloud computing model amalgamates public, private and distributed clouds together into one single unified cloud environment. This affords the company a centralised control point from which they can manage their cloud applications and all other cloud-based infrastructure. This ultimately supplies an enterprise with a consistent, high-performing and seamless experience.
Enterprise cloud computing involves all ICT infrastructure operating through either a private or public cloud, providing a single point of control for the company to manage all applications and data seamlessly in the cloud. The resources used in the enterprise cloud computing effort include CPU stores, servers, network infrastructure and virtualisation capabilities. It rests behind a secure firewall, delivering web services through the use of applications which help to meet the company’s business needs.
There are lots of benefits to cloud migration. The most obvious ones relate to both cost savings and overall security. It is expensive to acquire, maintain and secure your own servers and systems – it also takes time. You need to hire in-house IT security experts and everything needs to be constantly monitored and maintained. All of these costs add up, and when your enterprise simply cannot afford to compromise on their security, a cloud solution is really beneficial.
As the enterprise cloud computing model utilises a mixture of public, private and distributed clouds, companies are free to pick and choose the services they use on demand. This allows enterprises to save money by optimising the services they actually use and offers a huge opportunity for growth as they are able to scale up or down in an agile manner. Companies can be safe in the knowledge that their data is secure, they can achieve a faster time to market and they can re-appropriate their ICT infrastructure to more business-focused tasks.
Another business benefit of cloud computing is greater business resiliency in the form of disaster recovery. If your business is the unfortunate recipient of an attack, you will be safe in the knowledge that your cloud providers are able to recover all of your precious data.
When it comes to scaling in enterprise cloud computing, there are two keywords to think about:
Still confused? Think of it like this: the system’s scalability is the long-term ability to deal with growth (or reduction) of resources in a slower, pre-planned and managed way. This is ideal for companies that forecast and hit steady growth, and need a model which matches needs.
Conversely, a system’s elasticity refers to being able to deal with sudden, short-term spikes in web traffic or utilisation. An appropriate metaphor would be the spike in energy usage during half-time in the football World Cup final when millions of people suddenly get up and switch their kettle on to make a cup of tea or coffee!
Both scalability and elasticity are important features in cloud computing. Which one gets more priority from a company depends on whether the business has predictable workloads, or workloads that are highly variable.
There are four main cloud computing frameworks:
Where a traditional on-site model means that the full responsibility for building, maintaining and securing all their systems falls on the company themselves (and at their expense), there are various models of cloud solutions which can be adopted to mitigate some of these liabilities. There are three main types of cloud computing service models:
When searching for the best enterprise cloud provider for your needs, there are a few key areas to consider. Firstly, it’s important to define your needs:
Enterprise level ICT infrastructure needs to be secure, comprehensive and robust. At this level, companies are turning over millions (if not billions) of dollars annually, so choosing the right enterprise level cloud provider is no mean feat. It is important that you choose a provider you trust; one who understands your needs and is happy to work to them closely. Your partner should be able to clearly demonstrate a solid track record of release stability so that when the time comes, you can be confident that your products and services will roll out smoothly with minimal disruption.
In addition, make sure that your cloud provider can offer you scalability, and take advantage of economies of scale where possible. Delivering the same services internally as you can do with an external cloud computing partner is far more expensive, so choose a partner who can jump on board and accelerate your growth to heights you haven’t even dreamt of.
Look to utilise standardised services to keep costs low but don’t be afraid to customise when the situation calls for it. Last but not least, make sure to retain flexibility; the cloud services market is still relatively young, and it is growing each and every day. It is pretty straightforward to migrate your enterprise from one service provider to the next, so keep your options open and have your wits about you, waiting for that next big opportunity!