Cloud Infrastructure: Why You Need to Make the Switch
Future-proof your operations with cloud service solutions.
Articles published October 29, 2020 by Jason Huffey
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shift to conducting business remotely, there were two types of organizations. Those that had the IT infrastructure in place to adequately support remote work and those that didn’t. The businesses that already had a reliable cloud infrastructure in place had less trouble adapting to the new way of doing business.
In a recent Mercer survey on workplace flexibility, approximately 83% of U.S. companies surveyed said they are considering offering flexible work at a greater scale than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 73% of respondents said they planned to evolve culturally to implement a hybrid work environment that includes both in-office and remote work as part of that plan.
Whether your plans involve maintaining a physical office presence or switching to a hybrid workplace model, shifting your IT infrastructure to the cloud makes your business more stable and adaptable in challenging times. It also can improve workplace productivity.
What Is IT Infrastructure?
Gartner defines IT infrastructure as “the system of hardware, software, facilities, and service components that support the delivery of business systems and IT-enabled processes.” In short, IT infrastructure is the backbone of your business that enables your organization to deliver IT services and solutions.
Businesses can manage their own IT infrastructure with an in-house team or they may seek out a managed IT services provider. They can also choose to store their information and applications on an in-house server or host them in the cloud.
In-House vs. Cloud Infrastructure
Businesses taking a more traditional in-house approach to infrastructure rely on physical hardware to store their information. In-house servers offer less flexibility than cloud servers and are more susceptible to downtime. However, some organizations still prefer to keep critical data and information in-house for security reasons.
Cloud infrastructure refers to the hardware and software components — such as servers, storage, network, and virtualization software — needed to support cloud computing. Cloud infrastructure offers increased flexibility of supported devices and the ability to scale resources to align with your business needs over time.
When you switch to cloud infrastructure, you receive solutions for underlying network infrastructure. This may include computing resources, data partitioning, scaling, security, and backup. These solutions work together to enhance server reliability.
Types of Cloud Computing
There are a few different types of cloud computing that are helpful to understand. The three most common types are public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.
- Public Cloud: This is a third-party-owned cloud environment that provides computing resources for users over the internet. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are all public cloud services. The public cloud is often used for software development and collaborative projects where customization is not required.
- Private Cloud: According to IBM the private cloud “enables a company to take advantage of cloud efficiencies while providing greater control over resources, data security, and regulatory compliance.” The private cloud is exclusive to one organization and it bypasses the performance and security issues present in the public cloud.
- Hybrid Cloud: The hybrid cloud integrates private and public clouds in a way that allows a company to keep sensitive data and applications secure while still enabling access to the public cloud for projects that emphasize scalability over security.
If you are not sure where to start, you may want to enlist the help of a managed IT services provider to determine what cloud environment is best for your organization.
Evaluating Cloud Service Providers
As more organizations express interest in cloud infrastructure, the number of cloud service providers selling those services has grown exponentially. There are many high-quality offerings available, but the best cloud service providers will go above and beyond to offer:
- A scalable infrastructure, with predictable costs.
- Automated data backup and recovery services.
- 24/7 monitoring and all-inclusive support.
- Anywhere access with guaranteed uptime.
Aureon’s technology experts have experience planning and designing private cloud service solutions for clients that offer the benefits listed above and more. In addition, our Aureon Cloud WAN (SD-Wan) is a potential solution for those looking to utilize a hybrid cloud environment.
Maintaining Infrastructure Security
Maintaining infrastructure security is essential to protecting connectivity and ensuring applications will run smoothly as you work. While in-house servers keep critical data onsite, cloud infrastructure allows you to more easily backup and access it.
An investment in cloud hosting services will keep your organization running smoothly and provide enhanced security options, even in the most unpredictable of times.
Is Your IT Infrastructure Holding You Back?
While the traditional IT infrastructure model may seem reliable, it also limits the way you do business. Shifting your organization to a cloud infrastructure gives your employees the flexibility to collaborate and work from anywhere, whether in the office or remote.
Is your IT infrastructure optimized to support a hybrid workforce?