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Which Cloud Storage Service is Right for Your Workloads?

Posted On: April 01, 2016

Topic: Cloud & Hosting Solutions

"Hybrid cloud" sounds as if it could be a yoga pose, and indeed, organizations that choose a hybrid cloud model are often seeking balance. The hybrid cloud allows companies to have an agile IT infrastructure while retaining control over their most sensitive assets. But simply deciding on a hybrid cloud doesn't achieve a stable, tranquil IT operation; organizations need to effectively allocate their workloads to achieve that nirvana.

Assessing Workload Characteristics

The research firm IDC reports that understanding the characteristics of workloads is crucial when deploying applications to an organization's cloud environment. To optimize your cloud deployment you need to understand an application's requirements in six key areas in order to place it correctly:

  • Performance
  • Security
  • Compliance
  • Data protection
  • Storage
  • Automation

Through evaluation against those criteria, applications can be ranked as Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3. The Tier 1 are critical applications with the strongest requirements for reliable performance or application security while Tier 2 and Tier 3 have less stringent demands.

Matching Applications to the Cloud

With those metrics in mind, Tier 1 applications are far less likely to be deployed to a public cloud environment. IDC found that most organizations use public cloud resources for their end-user oriented applications such as collaboration tools, e-commerce platforms, and mobile applications. In addition, a public cloud is often a good home for batch workloads because they are easily automated and benefit from the elastic capacity of that environment.

A public cloud may also be suited for complex scientific processes that require specialized high-performance environments that are difficult for organizations to implement and maintain in-house. The public cloud is also a good choice for development and testing because you can easily spin up test instances as needed and eliminate the environment and its costs when the application moves to production.

The private cloud is frequently used for infrastructure services and data management, including virtual desktops, databases and analytics, and content services. Many organizations may also prefer to keep applications that need to share data with third parties on their private cloud, as managing the applications across environments can be challenging. Any workload using an organization's most sensitive data is probably best suited to the private cloud.

Then there is the best of both worlds. Applications that normally run in the private cloud can take advantage of the public cloud for additional capacity when demand spikes.

It's also important to recognize that not every application is suited to the cloud, whether public or private. Some applications require very low latency for data access, and virtual environments that access data from a remote location may not meet those requirements. Legacy applications may not be well structured for a machine-independent cloud deployment and it may not make sense to invest resources in rearchitecting and migrating them.

Finding Your Cloud Guru

Deciding how to allocate workloads to the cloud is complex and what you choose will affect the benefits you get from your cloud deployment. Partnering with an experienced provider can help. OneNeck IT Solutions offers a free hybrid cloud assessment to help you understand your cloud needs and balance your workloads the right way. With our experience architecting, deploying, and managing hybrid cloud solutions based on Microsoft Azure, OneNeck is the cloud guru you need to guide you through your hybrid cloud practice.