Public Clouds, Google Cloud Moves And Pricing
When moving your data and applications to the cloud, you need to decide between a public or private cloud environment. Public clouds are hosted by providers like Amazon or Microsoft, and each one can host several different companies. The data is segregated to keep it organized and secure, but this multitenancy keeps prices low. Additionally, public clouds are maintained by the vendor, reducing operating costs for the company purchasing cloud space.
Public Clouds, Google Cloud moves and Pricing
Private clouds, on the other hand, are hosted by the company storing their data on the cloud. There is no data from other companies on these clouds, which is often required for businesses in highly-regulated industries to meet compliance standards. Because there is only one company per cloud environment, the cost is often higher than with public clouds. This also means that the organization itself is responsible for maintenance.
To offset the higher costs of private clouds but still adhere to compliance requirements, some organizations opt for hybrid cloud or multicloud environments. With a hybrid environment, companies can place their sensitive or regulated data on private clouds, while keeping everything else on a public cloud. Hybrid clouds offer more flexibility and reliability than using a single cloud environment.
An advantage of public cloud computing is the reduction in hardware costs. Instead of purchasing in-house equipment, hardware needs are left to the vendor. For companies that are growing rapidly, new hardware can be large, expensive, and inconvenient. Cloud computing alleviates these issues because resources can be acquired quickly and easily. Even better, the cost of repairing or replacing equipment is passed to the vendors.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) owns a large portion of the market share for cloud computing and offers a large feature set, including support for analytics, storage, developer tools, and security. The platform offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing companies to only pay for what they use each month. Customers like how reliable AWS is, thanks to the number of data centers it has all over the world.
A public cloud is a third-party managed platform that uses the standard cloud computing model to make resources and services available to remote users around the world. Public cloud resources typically include conventional IT infrastructure elements such as virtual machines, applications or storage.
Services can include an array of workloads including databases, firewalls, load balancers, management tools and other platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) elements. Users then assemble resources and services to build an infrastructure capable of deploying and operating enterprise workloads. Public cloud services can be free or offered through a variety of subscription or on-demand pricing schemes, including pay-per-usage or pay-as-you-go (PAYG) models.
Public cloud is an alternative deployment approach to traditional on-premises IT architectures. In the basic public cloud computing model, a third-party provider hosts scalable, on-demand IT resources and delivers them to users over a network connection, either over the public internet or a dedicated network. Public cloud computing is often viewed as utility computing, where computing capabilities are delivered to users on demand, just as any other utility, such as water, gas and telecommunications.
The public cloud provider supplies the infrastructure needed to host and deploy workloads in the cloud. It also offers tools and services to help customers manage cloud applications, such as data storage, security and various monitoring and reporting capabilities.
Myriad factors drive businesses to migrate from on-premises facilities to the public cloud. For example, some organizations require support for more diverse workload types that data centers can't provide. Cost considerations, less overhead, lower direct maintenance and readily available redundancy options are other common reasons.
After choosing a provider, the IT team must select a cloud migration method to move data and workloads into the provider's cloud. Offline migration requires IT teams to copy local data onto a portable device and physically transport that hardware to the cloud provider. Online data migration occurs via network connection over the public internet or a cloud provider's networking service.
Organizations also onboard existing on-premises applications into the cloud, and there are a few approaches to consider. A lift-and-shift method moves the application to the cloud as is, without any redesign. This approach is fast but prone to complications -- the application might not perform properly within cloud architecture and might cost more than if it remained on premises. Alternatively, IT teams can refactor on-premises applications ahead of the migration. Refactoring takes more time and planning, but this method ensures that the application will function effectively in the cloud. Another option is to rebuild entirely as a cloud-native application.
A public cloud is a fully virtualized environment that relies on high-bandwidth network connectivity to access and exchange data. Providers have a multi-tenant architecture that enables users -- or tenants -- to run workloads on shared infrastructure and use the same computing resources. Each tenant's data and workloads in the public cloud are logically separated and remain isolated from the data of other tenants.
Providers operate cloud services in logically isolated locations within public cloud regions. These locations, called availability zones, typically consist of two or more connected, highly available physical data centers. The links below describe the dozens of regions and availability zones worldwide for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud:
Organizations can also opt for a storage-as-a-service provider in the public cloud. The provider delivers a storage platform with offerings such as bare-metal storage capacity, object storage, file storage, block storage and storage applications like backup and archiving.
Other public cloud benefits include access to the provider's reliable infrastructure and the abstraction of overhead management tasks. These enable IT staff to focus on tasks that are more important to the business, such as writing code for applications.
Cloud management tools and strategies can help organizations address some of these public cloud challenges and optimize their use of cloud resources and costs. As a start, even a general understanding of cloud basics is helpful. Test your cloud knowledge to see what gaps you might need to fill.
The term public cloud arose to differentiate between the standard cloud computing model and private cloud, which is a proprietary cloud computing architecture dedicated to a single organization. A standard private cloud extends a company's existing data center resources and is accessible only by that company.
Beyond architectural differences, public and private cloud models differ in price, performance, security, compliance and more. Private cloud requires large upfront investment for cloud infrastructure, as opposed to the public cloud's PAYG model. In terms of performance, public cloud can be subject to network bandwidth and connectivity issues, since it largely relies on the public internet. Private cloud can offer more consistent performance and reliability, since it is a localized site.
Both public and private cloud models provide extensive security offerings. However, the private cloud offers more fine-grained control over configurations and physical isolation. Private cloud also poses fewer compliance issues, since data does not leave the on-premises facility. Organizations with strict compliance needs and cloud aspirations often choose private cloud.
These differences apply to the standard on-premises private cloud. However, alternative private cloud models blur the lines between public and private computing. Cloud providers now offer on-premises versions of their public cloud services. Examples include AWS Outposts, Azure Stack and Google Anthos, which bring physical hardware or bundled software services into an enterprise's internal data center. These distributed deployments act as isolated private clouds, but they are tied to the provider's cloud and form a type of hybrid cloud implementation.
A third model, hybrid cloud, is a combination of public and private cloud services, maintained by both internal and external providers and with orchestration between the two. This model enables organizations to tap into the benefits of the public cloud for certain workloads, such as to accommodate demand spikes, but also maintain their own private cloud for sensitive, critical or highly regulated data and applications. There are a number of hybrid cloud benefits, including flexible deployment options, greater cost control and the ability to move between environments.
A related option is a multi-cloud architecture, in which an enterprise uses more than one cloud. Most often it refers to the use of multiple public clouds. Depending on its needs, a business might choose to use both the hybrid and multi-cloud models.
The choice of local computing, a public cloud, a hybrid cloud and even multi-cloud implementations are not mutually exclusive. Such infrastructure choices simply offer tools that enable a business to host and operate various workloads. It's possible to adopt any mix of infrastructure to meet workload needs and business goals. However, some alternatives -- including hybrid and multi-cloud options -- can be extremely complex and demand high levels of engineering and management expertise on the part of the business.
Public cloud pricing is typically billed on a pay-per-use or PAYG structure, in which cloud users pay only for the resources they consume. In many cases, this helps reduce IT expenses, since an organization no longer needs to purchase and maintain physical infrastructure for those parts of its business it deploys to a public cloud IaaS. Also, a company can account for public cloud expenditures as operational or variable costs rather than capital or fixed costs. This can provide more flexibility to the business, as these operational spending decisions typically require less-intensive reviews or budget planning.