Five reasons to consider Managed Cloud over Public Cloud

Gavin Livingstone, Bryley Systems Inc.

Public Cloud – hosted and provided primarily by Amazon (21% market share), Microsoft (12%), Google (8%), and other large organizations1 – is growing, and many are taking advantage of its scalability, security, and availability.

However, Public Cloud services are not for everyone; for the uninitiated, they can be a confusing list of acronyms and options.  For example:

  • The options at Amazon Web Services (AWS) spread across 14 categories (Compute, Storage & Content Delivery, Database, etc.) with 73 different services (Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, Amazon Route 53, etc.).
  • Microsoft Azure offers 12 categories (Web + Mobile, Intelligence + Analytics, Developer Tools, etc.) with 74 services; two of which have four sub-services.

Pricing is workable; for most services, you pay for what you use with no up-front costs and (usually) no termination fees, but it is typically a per-minute billing that needs to be monitored closely (similar to electricity and other metered utilities).

Although Public Cloud vendors use top-notch security and state-of-the-art data centers, there are some considerations with Public Cloud services:

  • The geographic location of data (data residency) can be out-of-country
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be somewhat restrictive
  • Multitenancy can lead to slowdowns and security concerns
  • Support can be subpar and, potentially, offshore

Managed Clouds2 are often built on Private Cloud platforms with dedicated hardware owned by the Managed Cloud provider, although some location-indifferent Public Cloud services (like encrypted backups and Active/Passive failover3) may be incorporated.  These services are customized to meet the exact needs of the client organization and are often billed at a fixed monthly fee that scales by end-user or by resource needs, rather than per-minute usage; Managed Cloud services allow the organization to focus on its business and leave the IT/Cloud management to a trusted partner.

Five reasons to consider Managed Cloud:

  1. Data residency can be restricted to in-country only
  2. SLAs can be aligned with the client’s business goals
  3. Technical support is typically dedicated and top notch
  4. The dedicated hardware in a Private Cloud can be more secure
  5. Proactive maintenance leads to greater optimization, reliability, and security

1For current Public Cloud market share and future predictions, please see Joe Panettieri’s article Cloud Market Share Research:  AWS, Microsoft and Business Adoption from July 10, 2016 in CHANNELe2e.

2See Taylor Rhodes of rackspace® HOSTING in her June 4, 2014 article “What is Managed Cloud”.

3Please see Wikipedia’s High-availability cluster.