The Hybrid Cloud: Four Things To Consider When Choosing A Provider
A hybrid cloud is blend of public and private facilities which allow a business to use and manage some of its own in-house resources whilst also having some provided by external suppliers.
After emerging in 2013, this form of cloud computing is now one of 2014’s biggest trends. PC Connection’s 2013 ‘Cloud Computing Survey’ found that almost seventy percent of companies have either fully migrated to the cloud or are in the process of doing so.
Earlier this year we looked at this developing trend and discussed some of the benefits that could be realised by switching to a hybrid setup, but as the sector continues to grow we now revisit the topic by highlighting four key things to be aware of when selecting a provider.
(Image Source: Shutterstock)
1. Functionality and Network
One of the biggest benefits of using a hybrid cloud is the ability to keep private and sensitive data on an in-house server whilst still taking advantage of cloud server technology. This allows companies to access additional externally-hosted servers on-demand, thus letting them comfortably accommodate spikes in usage during peak times.
Therefore, a high-quality hybrid cloud provider will offer a wide range of functionality that makes the process of quickly scaling server space or re-provisioning applications and services as simple as possible. A good example of one such provider is Vault Networks. Their vnCloud gives users instant cloud provisioning, a choice of cloud server types, the ability to create custom images, and the capability to scale up to eight processor cores.
From a network viewpoint, a reputable provider will also offer free incoming bandwidth, static IP addresses, unlimited private bandwidth without charge, and multiple public IP address support. Once again, Vault Networks ticks these boxes.
Compliance is one of the biggest challenges facing any business, and with cloud-based data comes the additional complication of auditing information which is held across multiple private and public servers, ensuring data privacy laws are met, and managing files from a geo-location stand point.
Nonetheless, robust service-level agreements (SLAs) should alleviate the security concerns that organisations have about moving to the cloud. A good SLA will guarantee the provider is working diligently to help maintain compliance and will guarantee a comprehensive level of coverage. An SLA of this nature will allow companies to keep both their private and public servers compliant in the eyes of the regulator whilst still taking advantage of the wider benefits of cloud computing.
It is often argued there are three main pillars to a secure hybrid cloud environment. The first – compliance – is mentioned above. The other two are provider transparency and risk assessment and management.
Of course, this a simplified outlook, however it provides a good foundation upon which a company can do research when looking for a provider. Other key security features to look out for include dedicated private vLANs that can connect virtual machines and dedicated infrastructures, anti-spoof and anti-sniff technology that protects against unauthorised traffic being sent to/from a company’s cloud servers, isolated network traffic, self-managed firewalls, and secure client isolation.
Without these features an organisation cannot be absolutely confident in the security of their data. If are not sure about how these features work or how they apply to your organisation, contact Vault Networks via email or live chat.
Underpinning all the best cloud providers is a high level of customer service – no surprise given poor customer is often cited as one of the main reasons that customers leave a business. To avoid frustration and difficulties in the future, you should check with potential providers that their offering includes 24/7/365 support offered by certified engineers, a way to track submitted cases online, and offer extensive user documentation.
If in doubt, check the provider’s uptime. Vault Networks have achieved almost 100 percent uptime since their vnCloud was launched a little over a year ago.
Don’t Be Left Behind
With an ever-increasing number of providers in the market, companies have fewer and fewer reasons not to make the leap into the cloud. Aside for the administrative and practical benefits, a recent IBM study found that companies that used cloud computing for a competitive advantage could generate double the revenue and profit when compared to their rivals. Don’t be left in the thirty percent of businesses not using the cloud and losing money – contact Vault Networks today.
This is a sponsored post by Vault Networks. Vault Networks was founded in 2003 and today offers dedicated server solutions, colocation services, cloud computing, hybrid cloud solutions, and backup services.
By Daniel Price