5 myths of the public cloud2022 01 26
Author: Nerijus Pažereckas
Public cloud providers like AWS, Google, and Microsoft constantly educate users with publicly available practices. In our previous blog post, we have also discussed such aspects you need to consider designing your cloud solution more widely.
However, available recommendations do not eliminate several false facts around the community. Examining what a true myth is crucial when considering public cloud services.
For this reason, this blog post introduces the most famous public cloud misconceptions you need to be aware of.
Myth #1: Public cloud is cheaper than on-premises
It is a common myth that public cloud services are cheaper than maintaining your own data center or using local data center (hosting) providers’ services. In this case, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Sometimes public cloud services can be less expensive than your existing data center but not always. Each case is different and depends on many factors.
First, you should evaluate:
- What are your requirements?
- What are you currently using?
- What are the prices of the services in case you rent infrastructure from the partners?
- How much does it cost to maintain the existing infrastructure?
- What investments have been made?
- How old are the infrastructure components?
- and other essential factors.
After evaluating all the factors, you need to select the appropriate cloud services, calculate the required services number and service plans in the public cloud. Then decide WHAT is cheaper and WHEN. If your company invests money into the existing on-premises data center or purchase some expensive licenses for data center components, you need to evaluate the ROI.
Public cloud services are typically more affordable in such cases as:
- The company does not have its infrastructure or data center,
- The existing infrastructure is already outdated and requires replacement.
Then it is more reasonable to use the public cloud than investing in the new infrastructure, virtualization platform, software licenses, data center colocation, assessing electricity, physical security costs, various risks, and other aspects. It is essential to estimate the total costs of ownership (TCO) before deciding.
Myth #2: Public cloud is not secure
Public cloud data centers are like on-premises data centers. The only difference – most prominent public cloud providers have many data centers worldwide and invest much money to make them modern, reliable, and secure.
We often hear opinions that storing data in the public cloud is risky because public cloud vendor employees or other public cloud users can access the data. We must deny such a myth. Here are a few reasons why:
- Public cloud data centers – highly secure. Most of these data centers are Tier 3, Tier 4 certified and have 24/7 physical protection. Also, all data is encrypted and backed up at the physical layer before it leaves our secured facilities. Moreover, data center staff do not even know the stored data and which servers’ systems are running.
- Public cloud vendors provide services that are subject to various requirements. It can include multiple requirements from the public authorities in which the data center operates, also the certification bodies whose compliance certificate, such as ISO, C5, CMMC, and others, is held by the data center. Also, it can cover other global authorities or regulatory agencies, such as GDPR in EU and Asia or CCPA, FERPA, and others in the U.S. Public cloud providers allow you to choose which data center (region) the services will be provided, depending on the systems’ requirements and security and privacy requirements for your data.
- Public cloud vendors offer multiple security features. The public clouds have many security services and features, such as role-based access policies, network layers, protocols and routing ports configuration, firewall appliances, VPNs, Identity access management solutions, and much more. It is essential not to forget your responsibilities to ensure software component security. For example, having a system in a public cloud and on-premises requires that network settings be appropriately configured so that access to servers or internal components is not accessible from the internet to anyone, ensuring security.
It is necessary to know that the customer is also responsible for its data security. Remember to maintain your systems compliance, security, configure access, and other service settings correctly.
Myth #3: No need for disaster recovery in the public cloud
One more massive myth people tend to believe – you do not worry about disaster recovery when migrating an existing or developing a new system in the public cloud.
Disaster recovery is a high availability assurance element. The high reliability of the service, as specified in the public cloud service description and contracts, means that the public cloud provider ensures that the services and systems used by its customers in its data centers have high hardware availability.
However, this does not mean that your system will also have high reliability by default if you build your custom system based on these cloud services. If a cloud provider’s data center fails, all customers’ systems inside the data center will become unavailable. For this reason, planning disaster recovery is crucial.
It is recommended not to rely on the primary site alone, even though the data centers of public cloud providers are modern and have high hardware availability. If your system is critical and you have responsibilities to system customers, a disaster recovery plan, DR site existence, and automatic or manual recovery can save you in an emergency. Though keep in mind that you have to take care of that yourself.
Myth #4: The public cloud solves your IT issues
Another well-known myth is that the public cloud will solve all of your IT infrastructure problems.
Suppose your application is in one of the local country hosting providers or currently running on-premises, and there are issues with communication between architectural layers, application crashes during seasonal peaks, or you face other problems. In such cases, moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud will not solve your IT issues by default.
Public cloud services can help solve hardware and hosting issues but not solve bugs or processes problems. For this reason, it is essential to troubleshoot all the possible infrastructure issues before moving to the public cloud.
Moreover, it is necessary to implement backup, disaster recovery, monitoring, and maintenance processes in the public cloud environment.
For example, the public cloud can offer various supporting, alerting, maintenance services, but those services must be configured and used. By default, such services do not get any data or send alerts. That is why you should solve critical issues before moving your solution to the public cloud. Consider the deployment process, extensions and libraries updates, and other required processes on-premises.
Myth #5: Forget about the public cloud after setting it up
Another well-known myth – you should forget about the public cloud after setting it up.
Commonly, cloud users develop a system or migrate an existing system to the cloud services and simply forget about it while it is successfully running. Knowing that systems must be upgraded and maintained, such “set up and forget” practice creates a problem. It is crucial to perform active monitoring and frequently run penetration and other tests while using native cloud services.
Cloud services constantly update – new versions of services are released, some services are replaced over time. Also, some technologies become no longer supported, applications can become outdated and vulnerable, or sometimes, your application can stop working.
Cost optimization is another reason you should keep the services you use under review. By monitoring your system and its services thresholds, you can see usage trends select appropriate service plans accordingly. It also allows you to reduce your cloud hosting costs significantly.
If you consider moving your IT infrastructure to the public cloud and do not know where to start, the Baltic Amadeus team is more than happy to help you within your public cloud journey.
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