On premises or in the cloud: Does it really matter?
Very likely, you’ll soon adopt a hybrid cloud. Maybe your organization has had a traditional IT infrastructure and is now on a journey to cloud computing. Or maybe you started your business on a cloud platform, and now you want to have some resources on premises. Regardless of how you arrived at this point, you’ve probably realized that you need to figure out how to deploy and manage this mixed environment efficiently—and you need to do it sooner rather than later.
Rest assured that you’re not the only one in this situation. The mixed or hybrid cloud model is becoming the new normal, helping organizations accelerate business transformation and the development of cloud-enabled applications and services. According to a 2016 IBM Center for Applied Insights survey, 70 percent of IT decision makers say they expect to always have a hybrid blend of traditional IT and cloud computing.
But what type of hybrid cloud environment is best for your business transformation? If you’re a startup already benefiting from the agility of the public cloud, you want to progress to guaranteed service levels. You’re interested in a controlled environment with more of the management and configuration dials of a hosted or on-premises offering.
However, if you started with an on-premises environment, you’re used to that level of control. Now you want to broaden the scope of your IT services and use the cloud to extend them to more business stakeholders—without overstretching your IT staff or budget.
Exploring your options
In either case, you’ll need the right data management solution, one you can use both on and off premises, deployed in a way that delivers the right balance of convenience and control for your organization. Here are some of the options to consider as you decide on a database plan and deployment scenario to fit your cloud migration and growth strategy:
- Roll your own: For high flexibility and control, choose a fully configurable database option that you deploy and manage on premises, on the cloud or in a hybrid environment. While traditional software licensing may be based on an annual subscription model, consider a monthly licensing plan that can be treated as an operating expense.
- Hosted service: With a hosted option from a cloud services provider, you can avoid the capital expense and complexity of managing your own infrastructure while retaining some of the controls and configurability of an on-premises database. Pay-as-you-go licensing helps you minimize operating costs.
- Managed database as a service: A preconfigured database provisioned as a fully managed service lets you transition to cloud computing with ease. You can have a private cloud with systems deployed in your data center or in a dedicated environment deployed on a service provider’s infrastructure. You can also elect to use public cloud infrastructure, which employs common networks and systems to achieve more economical price points. With this model, your staff is free of cloud management tasks, allowing them to concentrate on other priorities.
Learning more about transition to cloud
Take a look at my webinar, “Silos be Gone: Transition Data to the Cloud Your Way,” and dive deeper into the key considerations for choosing a cloud environment. I also discuss how the IBM DB2 database can help meet your data management goals, whichever path to cloud computing you choose.