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Choosing The Right Cloud Platform

7th September 2016

Peter Johnson

Considering Cloud Computing but you’re concerned about pitfalls, such as data compliance, security and flexibility? Blue Chip’s Hosting Director Peter Johnson talks about what to look for when selecting a Cloud Platform.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is a method of managing and storing data in the same way you would on your computer or local server but via the Internet in a virtual environment, also known as “the Cloud”. There are three different types; Public Clouds are owned and operated by third-party service providers, Private Clouds are those that are built exclusively for an individual enterprise and Hybrid Clouds combine the advantages of both.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Public Cloud platforms?

Millions of people around the world benefit from using Public Cloud platforms every day. Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have all greatly increased in popularity due to their low pricing and easy setup; the provider uses their own hardware and network to host multiple companies, negating the need for an organisation to have its own physical servers. However, there has been much controversy surrounding the security and reliability of Public Cloud; for instance, Microsoft Office 365 users experienced a server outage on the 3rd December 2015, leaving their Cloud-based services inaccessible. Additionally, there is little room for flexibility when using Public Cloud Platforms as they provide a “one-size-fits-all” solution, even sometimes rendering an internationally-hosted platform unusable for companies that are governed by certain data protection legislation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Private Cloud platforms?

Private Cloud platforms are often seen as the expensive choice, and many SMBs can feel like they are priced out of the option to use Private Cloud. However, this is not always the case. At Blue Chip, we typically offer Pay-As-You-Go solutions which can be scaled up and down on-demand, meaning that customers don’t pay for wasted resources. Having invested heavily in an extensive Private Cloud Platform, built with “best-of-breed” technologies from vendors such as EMC, Microsoft and Cisco, we take our clients’ needs for security and flexibility seriously. An option available for when you still want to take advantage of a virtual environment but have a heavy workload, or are running software like Microsoft SQL or Citrix which don’t always work well on Cloud platforms, is Blade as a Service (BaaS).  At Blue Chip, customers can lease a Blade Server within one of our highly resilient datacentres, offering your own dedicated resource needed for high-powered workloads that you would normally need a physical server for. The added benefit of BaaS is that some software which cannot be run virtually for legal or economic reasons can be easily run on your Blade Server.

With all our services delivered entirely from infrastructure owned and managed in the UK, our Tier 3 datacentres are also compliant with ISO 27001 for security and ISO 9001 for process. Choosing the right Private Cloud Platform provides many of the advantages of Public Cloud, but with increased control and flexibility. Blue Chip are also a Microsoft Gold Partner, utilising key services like Office 365 to enhance our Private Cloud Platform so customers get the best of both worlds.

Are there any alternatives to Public and Private Cloud Platforms?

A Hybrid Cloud solution is your other choice, as it takes features from both Private and Public Cloud platforms and amalgamates them into a solution that works best for you. One option is Colocation, which is when the customer owns or leases their own dedicated hardware, but still wants all the benefits of an IaaS platform. Customers are able to physically move their in-house IT infrastructure into one of our highly-secure datacentres, where they benefit from all the advantages of the Cloud whilst owning their own equipment - an ideal solution for a business who has invested heavily in hardware but wants someone else to take on the task of managing their Cloud infrastructure.

What if you still don’t know the best option?

Seek advice from the experts! At Blue Chip, we know that your business needs will differ from the next organisations. Our experienced consultants will listen to your requirements and offer unbiased advice on the solution that will best suit your needs, be it Public, Private or a mixture of Cloud solutions.

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