Cloud computing has changed the landscape of how companies offer services to their customers by providing various deployment options to suit their needs. In this article, we will go through an overview of the most popular infrastructure deployment models – on premise vs cloud vs hybrid.
On premise computing
Companies build and maintain physical infrastructure at their office or an outside hosting facility. With on premise computing, they have full control over the choice of hardware, connectivity, power supply, physical security, and many other aspects. This could soon become an overhead to manage.
- Procuring physical locations in various geographic locations is expensive
- Building physical infrastructure is a time consuming process
- Planning, purchasing and deploying servers requires additional expertise and long term visibility on the utilization
- Maintaining redundant network connectivity and power supply to ensure high availability becomes complex
- Managing physical security and access control to prevent unauthorized access is challenging
Cloud providers take away the hardship of building physical infrastructure from their customers and provide benefits in multiple facets.
- Most cloud providers offer their hardware services on a rental basis either as a subscription or pay-as-you-go model, reducing the TCO for their customers
- Companies do not need to worry about hardware purchase, maintenance and upgrades, as that is fully managed by the cloud provider
- Cloud providers often build massive infrastructure that is shared among their customers, reducing the infrastructure procurement time for customers
- Physical security, power, and network redundancy is fully managed by the cloud provider
- Cloud providers get discounted rates on the bulk procurement of hardware servers and networking components. A few cloud providers even build some of these components that are optimized for the cloud data center at a lower cost – the reduced rates often result in lower cost of operation for the customers
- Cloud providers like AWS offer completely managed, simplified solutions, removing the complexity for customers so that they can focus on building their products
- AWS also offers huge discounted rates to its customers when they commit to using AWS’s infrastructure for the long term
- AWS spreads out its costing to the lowest possible units, e.g. CPU-hours for compute, GB-month for storage and network – this gives a fine-grained control of cost to its customers
- AWS has built a global network of data centers called regions – each region has multiple redundant physically isolated availability zones, as well as edge locations in most popular cities across the world
Hybrid cloud computing
Companies who have already invested in building physical infrastructures could benefit from leveraging the best of on premise and cloud capabilities. Cloud providers like AWS offer solutions that help customers connect their on-premise infrastructure with the AWS cloud, which allows them to share the capacity between AWS and on-premise infrastructure.
This hybrid cloud model allows organizations to:
- Utilize the infrastructure capacity that they have already invested in
- Get lower latency to access the resources from on-premise servers if they are co-located within the company’s office
- Maintain complete privacy of data hosted on-premise – an added benefit for companies due to compliance or governance needs
The hybrid cloud model brings added complexity to manage the network connectivity between cloud provider and on-premise data center. It also adds on-premise hosting responsibilities to the company.
On premise vs cloud vs hybrid: conclusion
Cloud providers like AWS offer best in class physical infrastructure, security, and high availability to their customers at a lower cost. In addition, customers can reduce their cost of ownership by paying for services on a consumption basis, making the cloud the most preferred option chosen by companies across the globe.