Cloud computing is often pursued for its promise of choice and customization. However, this can also be its biggest downfall, opening up the potential for organizations to select the wrong environment.
At Peer 1 Hosting, we like to work with customers to think of cloud as being one of three “tiers.” While it’s not black and white, it does demonstrate the wide array of options available and how organizations of different sizes can best leverage cloud computing. We recently shared this approach, as well as some insights into each tier, with Data Center Post for its August newsletter:
- The first tier is a do-it-yourself, or DIY, public cloud, which is a fit for organizations that want to keep costs low while still being able to scale up and now as needed. These organizations benefit from the lower-cost structure of a public cloud, and can withstand slight performance degradation from time to time, as is inherent to most basic public cloud environments.
- Once an organization establishes itself as reliable and performance-driven, the cookie-cutter approach of most public clouds becomes more of a hindrance. Customization is more important than flexibility for these companies, and any downtime is painful. Thus, these organizations are best suited for an SLA-based, enterprise-grade public cloud with capabilities like disaster recovery and strong security parameters (e.g. user permissions or DDoS mitigation). Luckily, these enterprises have larger budgets and can support higher cloud computing expenses.
- Some companies will reach a point where the resource efficiencies of public cloud are no longer sufficient because the company demands a higher level of performance or customization than a public cloud can deliver. Not every organization will reach this point, but those that do will transition to a private cloud or dedicated bare metal IaaS that can be fine-tuned and optimized for specific applications or functions. At this point, we say they have graduated from the public cloud.
As you can see, there are various levels of cloud computing, ranging from basic to sophisticated. When a company comes to us asking for a cloud environment, a big part of that conversation is determining where on the spectrum they fall. Do they prioritize a lower cost or higher performance? For instance, smaller companies will not be able to sustain a high monthly bill for their cloud environment, whereas larger enterprises will be more flexible with pricing if it means a more robust SLA.