Need to choose a cloud service platform? If so, you’re not alone. Many companies are looking to do the same. Selecting a cloud service platform is a challenge. No doubt about it. With so much information about platforms out there, it’s easy to get confused—especially if you’re new to cloud technology.

But choosing a cloud platform is a decision you have to get right. Why? Because adopting cloud computing technology can make a big difference to your company. It’s a huge opportunity for your company—one that can help you boost responsiveness, enhance customer service, and generate a competitive edge. In short, it’s an opportunity to transform your organization.

Biggest Events Use Cloud Service Platforms

“The biggest events in the world, the World Cup, the Super Bowl, the big reality shows, all use the cloud for various online services,” said Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon Web Services, or AWS, the world’s largest public cloud computing company, in a New York Times article. Also, NASA used cloud computing to broadcastthe Mars Lander, and the Obama campaign used it to place over a million calls on Election Day 2012.

Clearly, cloud technology is here to stay. More than 95 percent of the 1060 IT professionals that responded to a survey report by RightScale, titled Cloud Computing Trends: 2016 State of the Cloud Survey, said they use cloud technology in one form or another.

The survey also shows that cloud users leverage six clouds on average—three private and three public. The survey focused on actual cloud buyers and users, and not cloud providers, and it surveyed professionals from a wide range of organizations.

Cloud Service Platforms—Making an Impact

EMR HIPAA Compliance ChecklistObviously, you can’t deny cloud technology’s impact in the marketplace. Look at all the companies currently using it. In fact, it’s had such a big impact already that some are calling this the era of cloud computing. They secret to the Cloud’s impact is all the benefits it provides, regardless of the size of your company.

In addition to increasing efficiency, improving cash flow, and boosting flexibility, cloud computing increases collaboration, reduces system maintenance, cuts hardware costs, and provides watertight document control. It also frees you to work from anywhere, helps with disaster recovery, and enhances security. Put another way, it boosts competitiveness and profits.

Choosing the Right Cloud Service Platforms

To help you choose the right cloud service platform for you, we provide details below on each platform type and point out their strengths and weaknesses.

·         Public Clouds Use Standard Model

Public clouds use the standard cloud-computing model.  They provide a service that offers computer resources for things like an application or storage to the public over the Internet.

Sometimes, public cloud services are offered free. Other times, they’re offered on a pay-as-you-go basis. Public clouds provide services to multiple clients using a shared infrastructure. Think Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine.

According to Gartner, the public cloud marketplace will be worth USD 200 Billion in 2016, up from USD 178 billion in 2015. Public clouds work well in situations where you need a high level of infrastructure and security.

You can also use them for storing non-sensitive content, collaborating on a document, or sending webmail. Software as a service (SaaS) offerings is a popular public cloud model. So are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Advantages of Public Clouds

Public clouds offer numerous advantages including scalability, flexibility, and utility-style costing. Location independence is another advantage. Public clouds also bring together high levels of resources, so you benefit from large economies of scale. Plus, you don’t have to manage a public cloud, cutting management and maintenance costs.

Disadvantages of Public Clouds

Security and compliance are key concerns with public clouds. Security concerns include potential vulnerabilities or cyber attacks that might be used to exploit the public cloud and impact other users’ sessions. Reliability and availability are also concerns. No company can afford extended downtime.

  • Private Clouds Offer Tighter Security

Private clouds resemble public clouds but use a proprietary architecture to deliver services, not a public one. They also serve the needs of a single organization, unlike public clouds which provide services to multiple organizations. Private cloud platforms are ideal for businesses with constantly changing or unpredictable needs.

Gartner expects the private cloud marketplace to grow through 2017.  They’re ideal if you have mission-critical workloads, tight security requirements, or demanding uptime needs or management requirements. They’re also ideal if you’re in a regulated industry, such as healthcare or financial, and need a separate cloud environment.

Advantages of Private Clouds

Private clouds have many advantages. In addition to scalability and self-service, private clouds provide multi-tenancy and the ability to provision machines, alter computing resources on demand, and create complex machines for huge computing jobs, like big data.

Security is a hallmark of private clouds, though. They provide hosted services to a limited number of people situated behind a firewall. Plus, private clouds offer tight control over data.

Disadvantages of Private Clouds

Private clouds have several disadvantages. Two are management and cost. A company’s on-premises IT team usually manages a private cloud, so companies deploying private clouds have the same staffing, management, maintenance, and capital expenses as data centers. Other expenses with private clouds are virtualization, cloud management tools, and cloud software.

  • Hybrid Clouds Combine Resources

Hybrids clouds combine a company’s on-premises private cloud and public cloud services over the Internet. They allow companies to shift workloads between public and private cloud services as demands and costs change.

For example, companies will often use an on-premise cloud to host sensitive data and a third party public cloud, like Google Compute Engine, to host less critical data, such as test and development workloads.

One report expects the hybrid cloud marketplace to grow from USD 33.28 billion in 2016 to USD 91.74 Billion by 2021. Hybrid clouds are ideal if you have dynamic or highly changeable workloads, such as a transactional order entry system that must meet changing demands during the holiday season. Big data applications are also ideal for hybrid clouds.

Hybrid clouds’ key advantages are scalability and flexibility. They also eliminate the need for an organization to make massive capital expenditures for short-term spikes in demand. With the public cloud providing compute resources, the company only pays for the resources used. But hybrid clouds have their share of business and management disadvantages. Technical difficulties include connectivity issues, SLA breaches, and public cloud service interruptions.

Choose a Cloud Platform That Fits Your Needs

Hopefully, the information provided above helps you select a cloud service platform fits your needs and budget. That’s the key. But if you’re still confused after reading our post, don’t hesitate to contact experienced professionals to help you decide. Choosing a cloud service platform is too critical a decision not to get right.