We already introduced to Cloud Technology that leverage Virtualization to minimize physical Servers cost.
Technically, there are some schemes in Cloud which are Public Cloud, Private and Hybrid. Private Cloud has its own Data center, virtualization & infrastructure on premise whereas Public cloud are over the Internet.
On the other hand, Hybrid Cloud is in between your on premise and public cloud. Hybrid used to integrate existing On premise With public cloud features.
This blog focus on Public cloud pros and cons.
Public cloud itself devided into three categories which are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (Paas) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Example of IaaS are Virtual Machine as a Server, Virtual Network, Cloud Storage etc. PaaS are Scalable Web App Hosting, Database as a Service etc.
SaaS are GMail, GDrive, Office 365, One Drive, Amazon Document Sharing, Drop box etc.
There are three major companies provide Public Cloud services: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud.
Below are pros and cons using Public cloud for your organization.
- Up time guarantee. Your application, data, servers, virtual networks are inside Data Centers and its Infrastructure provided by those great companies.
Your account include SLA that guaranteed the system will be online 24/7 for a whole year. Ensuring reliability and availability is important and the most important thing is to make us having Peace of Mind
- Your Application and Servers are Available over the Internet with secure access Control.
You can access your system anywhere but if you want to limit by specific IP range surely you can.
- Your data is secure and reliable.
Major public cloud providers have most expert security person behind the gun and hence your organization can barely trust those provider. At least with three major players I mentioned above.
You might say that your on premise infrastructure is secure enough because it has firewall and can block un-authorize access from internet. Well it still has a possibility to get breach. You know by briliant hackers or maybe comes from internal staff.
I am NOT saying that public cloud is 100% free from hacking but they are Microsoft/Google/Amazon. You can figure your self. 🙂
Also the data is replicated every time there is a transaction. Replicated locally in one region and with extra cost can also backed up to different geographical location.
If something happens to your system it will automatically fail over seemlessly.
- Flexible resources.
Your instance can be scale up, increase CPU, RAM, Storage Size by only some clicks. There is also scale out by adding new instance count to handle more traffic.
Not only re-sizing to large resources, you can Scale Down to decrease resources and Scale In to remove some instance count to save your subscription cost.
Even better, the Scale Out and In can be done automatically by schedule or by some metrics threshold.
- More focus on business requirement not your infrastructure.
This is my favorite reason among others. Focusing on business requirements, logic, efficiency and application in your organization are far more important rather than back office infrastructure.
Off course managing your own Servers & Infrastructures are also important but too much focus on these things are not bring much value except that yours is an IT Solution or Provider company.
The only thing you need to consider beside your business app is the Internet connection.
- SaaS web applications are most likely better than your App in house development.
You can take a look at major SaaS i.e GMail, GDrive, Outlook.com, One Drive, Office 365, Amazon Document Sharing, Drop Box, some CRM SaaS etc.
Could you build better than those software in house ?? Perhaps you could but definetely requires top expertise & countless of time.
- Cloud service Cost is competitive
There is free trial in market and free tier if your application is on extra small load or for testing purposes you can use it.
Pricing is varying depends on your compute resources you choose i.e CPU, Memory, and Storage and charged hourly. The good thing about hourly charge is that when your application is not used for some time interval you can shutdown your Apps and you are not billed for that period.
Maybe you have a long national holidays i.e Ramadhan, Chinese New Year, Christmast etc, no one will access your system on those days then you can Shutdown & de-allocate them (Stopped Status) in Cloud and bring them up when holiday almost finished.
All can be done by some clicks only. This charged cost flexibility are for Iaas and Paas. Except that SaaS is always On, you can’t shutdown it since you are not managing the SaaS and it is usually charged Monthly / Yearly.
Above reasons make public cloud is promising to bring value to your business.
There are off course some Cons for using Public cloud. Below is the list.
- You need a stable Internet connection.
If your location does not covered by good internet connection then Public cloud is not an option. Slow connection or even intermittent makes your application worse in performance.
However, providing good & stable internet connection for your business is much more valuable. Not only to your cloud system but Your emails, client websites, third party applications over Internet, employees will be more productive with stable connection.
Also you need to have Internet Connection backup just in case if your primary connection is temporarily down then you can use your backup connection. Some person still can do critical works with it.
- You need to know the estimation of resource utilization in order to save the Iaas and Paas Cloud service Cost.
You can’t just set instance resources to large as much as possible because it will cost you more money.
This exact resource utilization can be Monitored from your Paas or Iaas. Gather your resource utilization from that Monitoring Reports for week days, week ends and also by hour.
Hence you know when your system is on peak hour and off peak. Adjust your instance resources based on that information and on related specific time in order to save Service Cost.
On the other hand, SaaS have fixed price depend on your chosen package so SaaS cost is predictable.
- Cloud Subscription Account Security.
This is your Cloud Account subscription User ID & Password. You need to keep it secret since cloud management portal is available over the internet. Make a strong password on it.
Securing your ID & Password is a must. This is same as you keep secret of your precious Email or e-banking password. If you feel afraid from using Cloud because of someone might breach to your Subscription Account then you should feel the same to your other business or personal Accounts in Internet like i.e e-banking Account.
No different consideration right ?
In my opinion, generaly speaking using public cloud Iaas, Paas, Saas should come into your mind first before you decided to install your own Data centers, infrastructure and/or before you build your own application that its requirements can be fullfiled by available SaaS.
If your business application requirements are unique or after some consideration that you have to develop it your self then you could use PaaS or IaaS to deploy your own app.
You may or may not install a server on premise for your organization to accomodate Internet gateway or firewall to filter unauthorize Internet access. Maybe you want to have on Premise Active Directory for users sign on but currently this AD feature is also available in the Cloud.