How to maximize colocation and the public cloud for your business
Many companies are migrating to the public cloud for very good reasons. Cloud technology can help you save a lot of money, improve your operation’s flexibility, and open you up to new solutions that make business processes more efficient. But migration isn’t a practical option for businesses with concerns such as:
● Business-critical legacy applications that cannot be migrated to the cloud ● Security or compliance issues brought about by the public cloud’s multi-tenant structure ● Users having limited control and visibility over the public cloud environment
Such businesses usually use on-premises (on-prem) servers, invest in third-party private clouds, or implement colocation. Colocation, in particular, is a popular option because it offers most of the benefits of on-premises and cloud servers while being a lot easier on a company’s finances.
Public cloud vs. colocation: Does it have to be one or the other?
No, it doesn’t. In fact, you can adopt a hybrid environment that combines colocation and the public cloud, and which lets you take full advantage of the benefits that both options offer. With this hybrid setup, your business gets:
Greater control over your data storage environment In colocation, you — instead of a third party — own your data servers. This means you can customize the environment according to your business’s needs. You can install your desired software, add extra layers of security, and implement access and authentication controls, among others. Colocation also lets you keep using your legacy applications, which means you’re spared the trouble of looking for alternatives in case these apps cannot be migrated to the cloud.
Redundant systems that ensure 100% uptime Google Cloud Services guarantees 99.99% uptime rates. That figure looks impressive on paper, but it actually means you may experience several hours of downtime caused by updates and other issues every few months. If industry regulations require your servers to be operational all the time or you have applications that need a stable infrastructure, such outages could prove problematic.
Colocation services employ redundancies, such as power generators and multiple networks, to ensure that IT systems are operational at all times. Often, they also have technicians on standby to address any technical issues before they cause disruptions.
Secure point-to-point connections In a hybrid environment, colocated and public servers are linked by direct point-to-point connections that bypass the public internet. This offers several benefits. First, it allows you to avoid cyberthreats found in the public internet, such as malware and eavesdroppers. Second, it provides a channel through which data can travel quickly, helping prevent latency and bandwidth issues.
Stronger security for your data A hybrid architecture gives you the option to place sensitive data in colocated servers that can be customized with additional security solutions. These servers also provide transparency, which means you can keep track of where your data is at all times. If your company belongs in a regulated industry, this customizability can make it easier to comply with data security regulations.
In colocation, your server occupies rack space in a colocation facility that houses other clients’ servers. However, your server would never be linked to the others. This means your data is isolated from other clients’, unlike with the public cloud in which the data of multiple tenants is housed in the same server cluster. Therefore, for data that's not sensitive, you can use the public cloud, but for critical data, you can use your isolated server that resides in a colocation facility instead.
High levels of scalability Both colocation and the public cloud are highly scalable, a trait that carries over in a hybrid architecture. You can easily buy more rack space for colocated servers or increase — or decrease — your public cloud storage allocation depending on your business’s needs.
How do you allocate data between colocated and public cloud servers?
How you use the colocated and public cloud components of your hybrid environment will depend on different factors, such as the nature of your apps and the sensitivity of your data. Businesses usually follow two strategies.
First, sensitive data is stored in colocated servers protected by multiple layers of security solutions. These files include customer information and details about the company’s finances and staff. Files that do not require much protection, such as those that contain publicly known information, can be placed in the public cloud.
In the second approach, all a company’s data, regardless of sensitivity, is stored in the colocated server. The public cloud is used to handle spikes in data usage. This strategy is ideal if traffic in your company’s apps or website is not constant and instead changes periodically.
How you store your business data affects your business’s efficiency, security, and compliance with industry regulations. At SimplyClouds, we can help you determine the option that best matches your business’s needs. Consult with our experts today.