In the previous blog, we discussed the diversity of the cloud and how there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every business. While this may be a daunting realization and can make choosing a Cloud provider feel overwhelming, this article can help narrow down the pool by identifying key considerations and characteristics of a cloud solution provider to meet the needs of your business.
1. Public or Private Cloud? Why not Both?
Assuming the decision to migrate onto a cloud has been made, the decision of public (multi-tenant) cloud or private (single tenant) cloud is usually the next question any cloud buyer needs to ask themselves. There are a variety of differences between the two clouds, including configuration options, pricing, and notably, levels of security and compliance.
Industries such as healthcare, banking, finance, government, and military are highly regulated and have stringent security and compliance requirements due to data sensitivity in their workloads. Legal firms need to ensure confidential client data and client-attorney privilege, retail and e-commerce shops to ensure consistent performance and reliability during high-demand seasons, and manufacturing to ensure intellectual property protection.
For all of these industries, outcomes of security and compliance are not options, but rather requirements. The true decision-making comes down to which solution provider can help you achieve these outcomes most easily and cost-effectively.
Customer workloads can be quite different within the same business and can benefit more from being in either public or private cloud. As mentioned before, data-sensitive workloads require private cloud but what about non-data-sensitive workloads such as web-based applications or testing environments? The public cloud can be a much more cost-effective option for workloads that don’t require such strict regulation or that require variable scalability. Having the control and flexibility to spin up a workload into either a public or private cloud can really take optimization to another level. LightEdge Cloud supports a combination of public and private clouds under the same platform and makes it easy to manage both within a single portal. Additionally, we have designed our Cloud and all our products with security and compliance in mind and fully integrated it into our pricing to ensure the most predictive spend possible.
2. Self-service or full-service?
When deciding on a cloud provider, ensuring that the level of support meets the needs of your business can save a ton of money and require upskilling down the line. It’s one thing to purchase the necessary technology or service from a provider, but configuring, operating, and modifying a cloud environment to meet the specifications of your business is another matter altogether.
Imagine setting up an entertainment room or a home theater. One option is to order a brand-new TV or projector, a speaker set, and lighting from a manufacturer for delivery. With standard delivery, your equipment is delivered to your door and from there you will have to move your order into your living room, unbox each item, and mount and connect your products how you see fit. You may even hire a third-party theater specialist to optimize acoustic performance for an extra cost since this requires significant technical expertise.
Another option is to utilize the manufacturer’s premium home delivery service that will consult with you before ordering to help design your entertainment space, deliver your equipment, and configure it for maximum enjoyment. Both options can technically achieve the same goal, but the level of effort differs.
Few cloud providers will offer start-to-finish delivery of their service but those that do will help make that cloud journey feel effortless. LightEdge is a company that has designed its operations and products with the customer in mind. We apply our dedicated support teams to ensure that all our customers get the premium delivery experience at no extra cost. This is how we separate ourselves as both a cloud provider and a trusted managed service provider.
3. The Hybrid Approach: Merging the Best of Both Worlds
Migration to a cloud does not need to be an all-in process. Many businesses require physical data center connectivity to operate their workloads from but still want to reap the benefits of the cloud. The question then becomes what workloads do not need physical connectivity and would achieve the most benefit from the increased availability that the cloud provides? This is when a hybrid approach becomes relevant.
Similar to how customers can separate certain workloads to a private cloud and others to a public cloud, the same can be done between on-premise and private or public cloud. The issue is that many cloud providers do not offer colocation services and many data centers that offer colocation services do not have the experience or service suite of a dedicated cloud provider. This can result in a poor user experience for customers as they are forced to separate their workloads with multiple providers, which means more bills and less cohesion. However, service providers that support both on-premise and cloud hosting and do it well can provide a collaborative troubleshooting experience, consolidated billing, and integration that is seamless across both environments. LightEdge has built their business around this concept as we have provided both colocation and cloud services for over 20 years. Our products and services are designed to work together to ensure that our customers have the best user experience possible.
Choosing the right cloud solution provider is just as important as deciding to move to the cloud in the first place. While there is no cloud provider that is best for everyone, there are certainly best practices depending on industry and cloud use case. LightEdge has made deliberate design choices to leverage our many data centers and colocation experience to make the cloud experience flexible and effortless.