Data that directly affects small businesses is available in all shapes and sizes. From collected consumer data to competitor analysis to application data to the number of Facebook likes received on a certain post, small businesses are collecting copious amounts of data on a daily basis. After all, the key to success for many small businesses is effectively and securely storing all of the data that is needed for business operations. However, one of the questions that far too many small businesses fail to answer is: “what should my business do with all of this data?”
Defining “The Cloud”
The cloud is a catch-all term that is used within the technology industry to describe data storage solutions, various technology services, and popular methods for implementing software. To date, the cloud is used to refer to three main solutions for accessing a network rather than being tied to specific physical servers. Typically, small businesses will have to choose between three popular types of cloud implementations: public, private, and hybrid.
Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud: How Can You Choose?
Choosing the right cloud solution will depend entirely on the needs of the small business and their consumers, including the business’ data accessibility, security, and storage capacity needs.
Public Cloud — As the name suggests, a public cloud solution is one that is managed by service providers who then deliver the solution to their customers via a verified secure Internet connection. Generally speaking, public cloud services are defined as “multi-tenant,” which means that the provider has decided to offer the solution in a shared environment where each customer’s data is partitioned away to provide advanced security features. With this in mind, there are public cloud solutions that do offer a single-tenant service, however, this is not the norm for the majority of public cloud providers. The three main benefits that a small business can expect to enjoy with a public cloud solution include:
- Easy scalability.
- Increased reliability.
Private Cloud — When small businesses choose to use a private cloud solution, they will be able to create private clouds within their own building or space leased from large data center businesses such as Xecunet. The private clouds are created by running applications on virtual servers that can reside on a specific number of designated physical machines. In this way, a private cloud solution allows small businesses to analyze demand and performance requirements so that they can quickly add or reduce the physical capacity allocated to any of the given applications. The three benefits to remember about a private cloud solution are:
- Improved security.
- Greater control over your servers.
- Organization-specific with easy customization features.
Hybrid Cloud — A hybrid cloud solution is popular amongst small business owners who are interested in mixing and matching the benefits of both public and private cloud resources. An example of a hybrid solution would be when a small business chooses to run an application on its private cloud, while simultaneously tapping into public cloud resources during periods of increased demand. Another example would be when a small business chooses to run an application within the public cloud environment, while simultaneously keeping some of the application’s data stored in its private cloud solution. The three main selling points of the hybrid cloud solution, include:
- Flexible and scalable.
- Popular amongst many businesses.
- Cost effective.
The Bottom Line: Choose What Is Best For Your Current And Future Business Needs. Ultimately choosing the optimal cloud solution will depend entirely on your current and future business needs. By understanding your data security, accessibility, and storage needs, you can best determine if you need to implement a private, public, or hybrid cloud solution. Xecunet is able to provide your organization with any of these cloud solutions as well as hybrid implementations that include physical and virtual hardware. Contact us for additional information.