DevOps

Clarifying cloud personalization: 4 common misconceptions

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You wouldn’t purchase a car without some forethought, and you shouldn’t rush into any cloud environment without careful consideration. Your organization undoubtedly has widely varying IT needs, so relying on a one-size-fits-all cloud computing solution would be similar to driving off the lot with a sports car when you really need an SUV.

Cloud personalization can help identify an organization’s unique needs for development, security and IT management. You can work closely with a provider to personalize your cloud environment to help ensure these needs are met, so you can deliver products and services more effectively.

With the long-brewing debate between the advantages of customized and standardized environments, some falsehoods have, pardon the pun, clouded the picture.

Here are four myths about cloud personalization and some explanation to help clear the haze.

Myth 1: It’s expensive.

This line of thought posits that, because a custom solution calls for a level of specialized attention not seen with a standard cloud offering, all personalized clouds must be expensive. That’s not necessarily true.

If a business must suddenly expand its storage to take on a new project, a standard cloud solution could actually be more cost prohibitive. Standardized cloud services sell storage in terabyte units, but storage needs can change rapidly as companies grow and mature. In a recent survey from Enterprise Storage Forum, more than half of respondents said their storage needs have grown by 1 to 99 terabytes in the last two years.

In a flat-priced model, customers have to pay for a certain number of units even if they don’t use them all. A custom cloud provider, however, understands specific storage needs and can charge according to actual use, which helps organizations save money in the long run.

Myth 2: Management is out of your hands.

Another common, misguided belief is that the workings of a custom cloud can’t be much different from a standard one. Surely, the thinking goes, a provider will want to control oversight entirely.

The truth is that it depends. A provider will let an organization determine how much of a hand it has in managing a personalized cloud. The level of involvement depends on strategy. An organization can outsource just about every phase of management, or it can oversee certain access and operational aspects. This relationship is defined in the beginning, when the organization and the provider determine who will be responsible for the initial set up and configuration. The agreement can be changed at any time.

Myth 3: What you see is what you get.

Any given organization’s architecture configuration and scalability requirements will differ from other organizations, even within the same industry. But there’s no way a provider can meet the many specific configuration needs of its many clients and also be able to scale on a short notice, right?

They can. Providers typically don’t want to pigeonhole their clients and can indeed be flexible with infrastructure, whether the organization relies on established systems or operates through applications and mobile technology.

Myth 4: Security is the same for all users.

This myth also boils down to a general misunderstanding that all types of cloud are essentially the same. Many observers assume that if a standard cloud offers one level of security to clients, a personalized cloud can’t be any different. A user surely can’t request security configuration changes midstream.

But security expectations absolutely can be changed in a customized cloud. If an organization suddenly must account for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, for instance, a cloud provider can increase security configurations in relatively little time. The provider can likewise open the window of operations to auditors as necessary to review compliance.

The Cybersecurity Insiders 2018 Cloud Security Report found that IT professionals’ top cloud security concern was misconfiguration of platforms. Cloud personalization can help overcome this worry. It enables IT teams to work closely with vendors to ensure their organization’s specific compliance, security and workflow needs are met.

Understanding your IT, the ability to be flexible and specialized attention are all hallmarks of cloud personalization. How else would the cloud be personalized if a provider can’t meet your unique business needs?

Discover other top myths surrounding cloud development in the IBM DevOps playbook.

 

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