The momentum away from on-premise infrastructure to placing workloads in the cloud is well established.
Indeed, many businesses yet to pursue a cloud strategy do so out of concern that the migration process will be too challenging and complicated.
But in almost every case those issues need no longer be a barrier, particularly as private cloud services have evolved to offer a growing list of advantages. But, where do the main challenges lie for users of on-premise infrastructure, and how can private cloud offer a better option?
Leaving the legacy
Whether they like it or not, many organizations still rely heavily on legacy IT infrastructure that is hosted on-premise. 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 organizations that persist with old technologies because it hasn’t broken - so why fix it?
Here’s one very good example that illustrates the problem with that approach: in less than two months, Windows 7, still widely used across the public and private sector, goes ‘end of life’. On January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will stop providing security updates and support for it, and 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.
Clearly, that’s not a viable, long-term strategy, and for that big example, there are many similar issues out there on a smaller, but not less important scale. 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 organization, 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.
Build better security
Even when the age of technology isn’t a factor, investing in on-premise infrastructure where applications and data are located on-site presents a range of security risks. 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.
Similarly, if backups are only stored in the same building as physical infrastructure, catastrophic data loss is always a remote possibility in the event of a serious fire, for example. Migrating to the cloud allows offsite backups to be sent to another data center – reducing the possibility of serious downtime.
Purchasing and maintaining software, hardware, servers, and other IT equipment via capital expenditure can be costly, with a high initial investment required build on-premise infrastructure. 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-prem infrastructure.
Taking the private cloud option is appealing to many organizations who don’t want the financial burden. 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 creating or maintaining infrastructure to the service provider.
Migrating to private cloud makes it easier for businesses to enhance application performance, reduce downtime and scale computing resources. Organizations 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.
Private cloud migration, however, presents a good opportunity to streamline systems, build a better architecture and load balance applications. However, organizations 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 organization.
By moving on from the challenges of on-premise infrastructure strategy and risky legacy hardware, organizations can build a private cloud solution that blends performance, cost, and security for their precise needs. In doing so, they can arrive at a win-win situation where they have the dedicated resources that were always the hallmark of on-prem, to a solution that delivers the ongoing flexibility and power of the private cloud.