Shifting to a public cloud is considered one of the most important steps in the journey towards digital transformation. However, it is easier said than done.
You need to choose a cloud service provider, understand how you will use the cloud for your business, figure out how its different parts function, create a cloud computing strategy, and take measures to ensure its security.
And whether you have limited technological knowledge or you are someone technically proficient, you will most likely need assistance while migrating to the public cloud.
In this article, we have put together everything you need to know to assist you in your public cloud adoption journey. We will attempt to answer your questions, clear up any doubts, and offer a clear vision for deploying the public cloud for your business.
How Does the Public Cloud Work?
Public cloud computing is the modern way to deploy IT infrastructure. You may consider it an alternative to conventional on-premise IT infrastructure, such as data centers and desktop applications.
But first of all, what in fact is a public cloud? Let’s dive into it:
The cloud hosts your data and applications on remote servers, and cloud computing technology enables you to access your data and applications through the internet.
The cloud allows you to rent cloud space from third-party cloud service providers. Your company’s services, tools, storage, security provisions, and functionalities share the cloud hosting environment with other companies.
You need to migrate your data and operations to the public cloud. For this, you must choose a cloud service provider whose offerings match your requirements. Not every public cloud service provider will fulfill your bandwidth and performance requirements.
After selecting a service provider, you will need to perform data and application migration to move your data from where it currently is housed to the cloud. Your organization can then access, manage, and update migrated components through the internet.
Let’s go into more detail about this crucial data migration and what it means to use a public cloud for your business operations.
Public Cloud Architecture
Public clouds have a multi-tenant architecture. So, multiple users and organizations share cloud storage and computing resources. Nevertheless, other tenants (users) cannot access your data or applications. Access is authorized through password or another method of identity verification.
Shared infrastructure in a public cloud is logically separated for all tenants and distributed among various data centers to share the workload efficiently.
Public cloud architecture, for you, also depends upon the service model you have chosen. Your options for types of public cloud service models and related public cloud examples are:
Public Cloud Computing Strategies
For a successful and viable cloud implementation, you should devise an effective public cloud computing strategy. Here are the key considerations:
Application Migration Strategy
Your business should finalize its approach for application migration as part of its public cloud strategy. Your approach could be one, or a combination, of these:
Rebuild your applications for the cloud;
Lift your applications and shift them to cloud platform without any significant changes;
Refactor your applications to ensure they function correctly in a cloud environment;
Skip moving the applications.
It’s important to take into account priorities, timeline, public cloud options, and cost while deciding for each application.
When your organization has a tremendous amount of data, move essential data to the cloud to save costs and accelerate response times. You can employ a slow migration by an internal resources approach and offline migration to digital devices for the rest of the data.
Cost optimization strategy
Before making a final decision on a public cloud service provider, make sure to control the cost of your cloud services solution by eliminating unnecessary services before migration.
Also, utilize autoscaling to save money. With autoscaling, you may downscale or upscale your virtual resources and cloud services according to your needs. You will then not pay for unnecessary services and features.
Service model strategy
As discussed above, public clouds come in three models:
Infrastructure as a service
Platform as a service
Software as a service.
Each one works differently. (Refer to the chart in the Public Cloud Architecture section to understand the key differences.)
Consider these differences, choose an implementation that fits your needs, and then make a decision. You may shift to hybrid cloud or a multi-cloud, so keep your options open for upscaling or integration.
But, why are so many organizations turning to the public cloud? Let’s explore the benefits of the public cloud.
Advantages of Public Cloud
Here are some of the main reasons that make the public cloud a top choice for businesses:
In the public cloud model, cloud vendors offer shared resources for their customers. It leads to service delivery at a reduced cost. Companies don’t need their own dedicated on-premises IT infrastructure to make public cloud computing work.
Users get clear visibility into performance metrics like network usage, computing, and performance analysis in real-time. Having such detail enables companies to make data-driven decisions and create effective business strategies for the future
Users get better infrastructure and traffic scalability. They can scale up or down as per the need of their application, so they never run out of (or pay for too much of) storage space.
Better resource access is possible with the public cloud. Users have access to many types of resources, including networking, installation, and virtualization. As service providers provide these resources on a per-use basis, you only pay for what you need.
Users have no control over internal resources like physical hardware standards, automation, access management, and technical support. Hence, the only option is to accept features of the public cloud as service providers offer them, which may mean compromising on business-specific needs. For example:
Users cannot add their own security layers, making them susceptible to cyber-attacks.
With constant GDPR updates, every public cloud user must undergo frequent compliance checks.
In the case of system or technical failures on the vendor side, users suffer, even if they are not at fault. This unplanned downtime hinders performance and reputations.
Public Cloud Computing and Business Strategy
The use cases for businesses vary with the service model you have chosen:
For IaaS users, server(s), public clouds can host server(s), operating systems, databases, and data.
Analytics, software testing, and database management service providers can use the PaaS model.
SaaS solution users can digitize their business operations, such as customer resource management (CRM), human resources (HR), project management, and invoice generation.
The following are a few of use cases and industries for which many application owners employ the public cloud:
Differences between Public Clouds, Private Clouds, and Hybrid Clouds
Not sure about the difference between public and private cloud services or hybrid cloud solutions?
Fundamental differences of cloud types:
Public cloudis a term used for a type of cloud computing infrastructure involving shared resources managed by a single vendor not deployed at the user’s site.Users pay a fixed monthly rental fee. In return, the vendor takes care of service delivery, system maintenance, and other crucial factors.
Private cloudis a proprietary cloud computing infrastructure designed as per the needs of a particular organization. It handles the data resources of only one company and is accessible by authorized persons only. It is a single-tenant architecture. The entire responsibility of resource deployment and management is taken care of by the company itself.
Hybrid cloud uses public and private clouds to create a network of interconnected clouds. Both the internal and external service providers work in association with hybrid cloud service delivery.
Ridge’s New Public Cloud Paradigm
Ridge has a massive network of data centers running in local cloud environments distributed all over the world. Through its network, they offer a full cloud experience across all dedicated and shared environments, basically on any infrastructure in any location. Users can thus be cloud-native anywhere on the planet.
Ridge is able to provide this flexibility because it transforms heterogeneous infrastructure into a homogeneous cloud computing platform, which can support the delivery of cloud-native services in proximity to end-users. It is designed to be interoperable with any private, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud architecture.
Ridge is agnostic to the endless variety of technologies MSPs use to run workloads. Ridge runs on all these resources so developers interact as if they’re deploying on one heterogeneous cloud. The resources are shared so multiple users can run at same time, just like with the public cloud.
Among other benefits of Ridge’s unique approach, they are able to reduce application latency, resolve throughput limitations, and achieve compliance with country-specific regulations and data sovereignty laws. Users get all the capabilities of the public cloud and interact with Ridge through modern APIs, Terraform providers and an easy to use UX.
What are the available cloud computing strategies?
A cloud computing strategy is the cloud deployment plan for a business, aligned to its business execution strategies and budget. It serves as a guide for cloud migration, operations through the cloud, and organizational resources maintenance. Details like the public cloud service model, cost customization strategy, data migration plan, and application migration strategy are a few parts of an ideal public cloud computing strategy.
What is public cloud computing?
Public cloud computing refers to leveraging your business’s computing services through shared resources in a public cloud for your data and applications.
What is a public cloud solution?
A public cloud solution offers a set of features from a third-party cloud service provider, leveraged at a subscription-based pricing plan. Businesses or individuals can use these solutions from a reliable service provider when using a public cloud.
Who manages the public cloud?
Third parties manage and lease public clouds as pooled virtual resources to multiple tenants. The public cloud company that is providing you the cloud computing services owns the hardware and infrastructure.
How should I conduct cloud computing strategy planning?
For business data storage, software testing, software development, business applications, providing streaming services, hosting business emails, and more, you can use a public cloud. Ideally, when your demands are predictable, or you want to set up a testing or development environment, the public cloud makes the best choice.
Is a public cloud cheaper than a private cloud?
In general, public clouds are cost-effective and flexible enough to serve most organizations’ needs. However, private clouds could be cheaper in some cases depending upon the set of computing facilities you are leveraging.
Jonathan Seelig, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman | Ridge
Co-founder of Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM), the first-ever CDN. Former Managing Director at Globespan Capital Partners, Chairman of the board at Zipcar, and EIR at Polaris Partners. Board Member of over a dozen companies and investor in dozens more. Stanford undergrad and MIT Sloan dropout.