Contributed by: Ryan Hayes, Solutions Architect, Sanity Solutions on February 8, 2018.

The cloud. What is it? Where is it? Does my data get wet when it rains? These are some central questions that define future business strategies in IT. Okay, maybe not that last one. Regardless, these are questions that have also confused IT Managers and IT Directors and have been a source of frustration and anxiety.

To really sum up the cloud, it’s “your workload running somewhere else.” Ironically, that somewhere can still be on-premise, which is really the core tenant of private cloud. Once you run your applications or workloads on someone else’s cloud, that’s what defines public cloud.

Is that really all though? Not quite. If it were that simple, there probably wouldn’t be a public cloud. In reality, public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google to name just a few) are some of the largest consumers and providers of IT services. Amazon for example, is the world’s largest firewall vendor. And guess what? They don’t ship firewalls, rather, that service is just a check-box in their platform. And that’s just it… public cloud’s ascension can undoubtedly be accredited to its accessibility by the masses.

All you need is a credit card, and within a few minutes someone in your development team can be running a web server instance deploying code in the public cloud. This is the result of orchestration, and automation that traditional IT shops lack. IT departments have found themselves time and time again, competing for business, and losing that business even from their own employees to the public cloud. Think about it; how much red tape, obfuscation, bad attitude, etc. stand in between someone at your company requesting a new application and its actual delivery? Even worse, how much time?

Have hope though, private clouds are finally getting their legs underneath them and stand a fighting chance at winning that business. Those necessary orchestration, automation, and self-service tools that customers expect are arriving. This finally allows us to evaluate and identify what workload really should be in which cloud. If it’s a workload that runs 24/7/365 and looks consistent from day to day, then private might make the most sense. If your running at 5% 350 days a year and burst 20X for the remaining 15 days, then public cloud probably makes much more sense.

Putting the right workloads in the right place will allow us to leverage what each cloud does best, and remember, everyone’s workload is different. Building the right cloud solution is where a trusted IT consultant and partner can make a huge impact by making your move to the cloud easier and more efficient.