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Cloud vs. On-Premises: find out which model is best

Until the end of the 1990s, anyone who decided to set up a business and needed IT resources had only one choice: develop a project, buy equipment, acquire software licenses and secure a budget for various other expenses. Expenses also included the salaries of specialized professionals, maintenance contracts and many other things. In other words: a lot of money. Public cloud computing, accessible to any individual or company, has brought about a radical change in this situation. The cloud has put a variety of infrastructure, software and platform resources that until now could only be obtained by purchasing them a few clicks away, as a service. And even better: at prices that, in theory, anyone could afford. It has brought and continues to bring top-quality computing resources to budgets of any size.

Cloud adoption has been slow

Despite this advantage and dozens of others, many companies have been slow to adopt it for various reasons. At the time of its appearance, many IT managers claimed that by using the cloud, the company was entrusting its data, processing and storage to strangers. Apart from the fact that this premise is logically true, the use of virtual machines, which form the essence of cloud processing, was still evolving. This, plus the universal human fear of new things, meant that the adoption of clouds was initially slow and cautious. Even if the world’s largest computing vendors offered them.

Gradually, IT managers realized that cloud computing was ideal for a variety of situations. While for others they would need on-premises computing, albeit in the form of a private cloud that they own. Banks and other financial institutions can be considered good examples of organizations that have decided to adopt both alternatives, in what has been dubbed the “hybrid cloud”. The older ones maintain their own data centers, hosting their private clouds where they process and store the most valuable data for their operations. But it is known that they also use public cloud services. For office applications, for example.

The on-premises model requires a lot of capital

The reality is that this and other use cases for on-premises computing are always voracious in terms of capital: because of the acquisitions mentioned above, and also because of fundamental items such as rent, construction or acquisition of the data center site, updating of equipment, systems and applications, energy expenses, air conditioning, security, telecommunications, insurance, taxes. And as if that weren’t enough, we still have to duplicate everything because of redundancy. In return, the model brings advantages such as refined control of these same costs, a high degree of confidence in the security of corporate data, low latency and high network performance.

In the public cloud model, the advantages start with the payment model. Which is associated with the customer’s use of the services consumed, as water and electricity distribution companies do. The customer doesn’t have to build or buy anything. All resources are owned by the cloud provider and can be accessed and used via the Internet. The provider is also in charge of managing the hardware and software infrastructure to keep it available according to the service level agreement (SLA). At any time, the customer can request additional capacity from any resource as required. Just as you can make the opposite move and give up resources that you no longer need, you also have the facilities to switch providers whenever you want.

In this way, not only the use of the service, but also the expenses are variable. The model favors the shortening or elimination of complex processes typical of an on-premises operation, which include quoting prices, acquiring and justifying costs and the necessary approvals.

The advantages of the public cloud

From an IT point of view, cloud computing also brings advantages, starting with the abstraction of the technology itself. No one has to worry about the qualification of computing, storage and network resources, because they are decoupled from the actual hardware assets and don’t require much of the technology management that would be mandatory in an on-premises infrastructure. The same can be said of security.

Cloud providers have several advantages that can be decisive for their current and future customers, but three of them are unquestionable. The first is that a local enterprise can go global in a matter of minutes. The second is that, during this same timeframe, it can expand its capacity to process, store and respond to customers over the Internet as necessary. And thirdly, you’ll never need to invest in IT staff or facilities, because cloud providers always keep your environment up to date.

Despite all these qualities, public cloud customers need excellence in the care of their data and applications. Since the cloud provider takes care of the security of the processing, storage and network infrastructure. But data security is the customer’s responsibility. It’s a “shared responsibility” model, in which cloud users are solely responsible for configuring and protecting their data and applications.

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