Cloud computing has generated a lot of buzz in the business realm. However, most people refer to public clouds when talking about this technology, which have many drawbacks because businesses share the same virtualized environment. Recent outages with the Amazon Cloud service has made many clients “think twice” about using a public cloud service for their mission critical data. Although many startups and SMBs still prefer public clouds due to their cost efficiency and flexibility, they may not be the best fit for your growing business for various reasons. For Example, a business that is subject to HIPAA or SEC regulations may require a hosted private cloud. In a private cloud, you can determine where your data resides, who has access, and how to transfer the data. The main benefits of using a private cloud include:
Private clouds offer better security for your data and applications. This is because data for every client resides in a dedicated virtual environment. Security measures used by private cloud service providers include Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), firewalls, and strong data encryption.
Some businesses must comply with specific requirements governing the storage, distribution, and access of data. Compliance covers HIPAA regulations, Sarbanes-Oxley, Graham Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS). Since data stored in a public cloud may involve third parties, it is hard to comply with these regulations. On the other hand, it is easy to track and audit data stored inside a hosted private cloud. Other compliance issues include liability, jurisdiction, as well as privacy.
Reliability and Redundancy
Multi-tenancy on public clouds poses reliability challenges. To start with, you have to share server space with other clients. This compromises server speeds significantly. In addition, it is not easy to de-provision client data on a public cloud. This is going to be even harder as password authentication algorithms become more complex. By using a private cloud, you can avoid reliability and redundancy problems suffered by some many companies with the recent Amazon outages.
For startup businesses, SMBs and large enterprises, cloud computing obviously offers many benefits. However, businesses that deal with sensitive data should consider a hosted private cloud because it provides better regulatory compliance, data security, and reliability.