Cloud offers many benefits in an age where data dominates. Jon Lucas, Co-Director at Hyve Managed Hosting, investigates the underlying challenges for on-premises infrastructure users and how private cloud can bypass these by offering a superior solution.
We are currently seeing a movement away from on-premises infrastructure, which has no doubt been propelled by the adoption of workloads in the cloud. Even so, there are many businesses that are not yet pursuing a cloud strategy and this is usually out of fear of a complicated and challenging adoption process.
However, this is nothing more than scaremongering and it becomes irrelevant when it comes to paying closer attention to the evolving list of advantages to private cloud. So, what are the main underlying challenges for on-premises infrastructure users and how can private cloud bypass these by offering a superior solution?
Time to leave the legacy in the past
Many businesses still heavily rely on on-premises, legacy IT infrastructure – often for reasons out of their control. Some are restricted by budgets – a problem particularly evident across the public sector – while others use bespoke, mission-critical applications often seen as incompatible with the cloud. There are also many organisations that persist with old technologies because it hasn’t broken – so why fix it?
Well, there is a catch with using this approach to IT infrastructure – here is an example to prove it: January 14, 2020, marked the ‘end of life’ for Windows 7, a software which is still widely used across the public and private sector. This essentially means that Microsoft has stopped providing security updates and support for it, so users will either need to pay for extended support, upgrade to the current version of Windows, or keep using it regardless of the increased security risks it will present in the future.
Evidently, this is not an effective, or secure long-term strategy. And counterpart to that one large example, there also exists many smaller yet similar issues in the industry that are no less important. For industries such as finance or government, moving to private cloud, where the solution is solely dedicated to the needs of an individual client or organisation, delivers the most up-to-date hardware, software and services, removing the legacy burden and allowing users to benefit from the latest product features and performance improvements.
Keeping physically secure
Even without the age of technology posing a risk, there are physical security hazards to consider when investing in on-premises infrastructure, as all applications and data are located on-site. The costs of managing on-premise physical security to a high standard can create a significant financial burden. In contrast, good private cloud providers will ensure all locations are Tier 3 enhanced and ISO 27001:2013 certified. Their physical security measures, such as 24/7 CCTV, biometric scanners, card readers and video monitors often exceed those seen in on-premise facilities.
Furthermore, disastrous data loss is always a possibility when backups are only stored in the same building as physical infrastructure; no one can plan for a natural disaster, for example. Migrating to the cloud allows offsite backups to be sent to another data centre – reducing the possibility of serious downtime.
Greater return on investment
To build on-premises infrastructure requires a high initial investment, and the continual purchase and maintenance of software, hardware, servers and other IT equipment can be extremely costly. Along with the cost of equipment, on-premise hosting requires space, electricity, cooling, networking and physical security. In addition, there’s also the cost of employing the skilled technicians needed to build and maintain on-premises infrastructure.
For many organisations who don’t want the hefty financial burden, heading down the private cloud route is an appealing option. A managed private cloud solution can help to decrease that initial capital investment (Capex) and any ongoing operational expenses (Opex) by passing on the responsibility of maintaining infrastructure to the service provider.
Efficient and effective
Adopting a private cloud strategy gives businesses the opportunity to reduce downtime, enhance application performance and scale computing resources. Organisations running their own hardware on-site run the repeated risk of buying equipment that isn’t right for their needs or doesn’t work well with their applications. In those circumstances, problems have to be diagnosed and rectified in-house, or at greater expense, with the help of outside expertise.
On the other hand, private cloud migration offers organisations the chance to build better architecture, streamline services and load-balance applications. Nevertheless, organisations considering their options for private cloud should look for a partner that can provide a dedicated team of experts, a bespoke migrations plan made up of informed recommendations that will deliver the optimum performance for the entire organisation.
By waving goodbye to the challenges of on-premises infrastructure strategy and precarious legacy hardware, organisations can welcome a private cloud solution that still performs highly but that blends cost and security to meet their precise needs. As a result, businesses will achieve a win-win formula comprising of the trademark of on-premises dedicated resources – plus the perpetual flexibility and growing power of private cloud.