The Internet has moved through many phases since its inception to the point where it appears every new technology is just a passing fad. Consequently, some decision makers are reluctant to embrace innovative platforms such as the cloud, for fear it will become outdated before realizing a return on investment. Others feel that the cloud may not be a safe place to store data, since it relies on third party servers. Learning the difference between public and private cloud solutions, however, can ease this fear.
Overcoming Cloud Concerns
Even though the cloud is becoming a permanent turnkey solution for businesses that want to cut costs on equipment, overhead and office space, one of the biggest concerns is security. For businesses that are willing to pay a little more for IT expertise, virtual private clouds are becoming popular enterprise solutions due to stronger security. While it’s true that a standardized self-service public cloud can be more easily attacked by hackers, virtual clouds have a more bulletproof quality.
One of the most popular free services is Google’s Gmail, which happens to be an example of a public cloud, the exact kind that many people fear despite using it without realizing its vulnerabilities. Gmail has servers all over the world, where excess data may be sent in order to balance server data load. Sending an email through this system might involve the message getting bounced through servers around the world even if both the sender and recipient live within the same country. There’s also a chance the message will be intercepted by nefarious spy agencies.
Similar to living in an apartment, data in a public cloud uses shared resources. The cloud solutions provider, just like an apartment landlord, makes storage space available that is generally regarded as secure, although the tenant assumes a certain degree of risk. Similar to renting a storage unit, the client usually pays for web space on an as-needed basis. Instead of built-in appliances, users have access to integrated software applications. Public cloud advantages include:
• low cost hardware, software and bandwidth offered by the provider
• user-friendly and scalable experiences
• efficient use of resources due to pay-per-usage model
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
The most significant difference between a public cloud and virtual private cloud model is that a VPC does not share public resources, making it better for customization, while also offering scalability. In other words, it’s more like storing data in a home community that is managed by its own organization. As a result of using dedicated resources, data never travels to unpredictable places around the world. Instead it stays in the data center or another secured co-location.
The data for each customer is kept isolated in its own storage space and stays separated from other data during transfers, as well as any place within the proprietary network. The key benefits to this more secure platform are that the system allows:
• flexible integration with existing infrastructure
• stronger security via encryption, private IP addressing and firewalls
• higher quality data backup and disaster recovery preparedness
• more stability with high level of elasticity
• meets security needs for regulated industries
The more one explores the possibilities of the cloud, the more one realizes its efficiency in terms of time and cost savings. Ironically, people who have already used public cloud services like Dropbox are sometimes more afraid of the safer solution, VPC. Visit MCORE Inc. to learn more about which cloud solutions are best for helping businesses — big and small — upgrade to higher levels of security and productivity.