Software deployment options: in-house or cloud?
By Karnig Momdjian CA
In my previous blog article, I wrote about your software options; custom software, customisable software, configurable software or off the shelf software.
Now you need to decide where to deploy the software and the data files supporting the software.
Depending on; your risk profile, confidentiality of data and the accessibility of the system; you have at least three options:
- In-house deployment- where all required hardware, software and systems are on your site
- Private cloud- all systems are off site in a remote facility , managed by a third party but you have a dedicated environment and you know where the facility is
- Public cloud- you are fully dependent on the internet and have no control over the environment; it’s shared by all users, and often you don’t even know where it is located
Currently this is the most common approach, where you install the hardware on your premises and install the software and systems in-house.
You are then responsible for:
- Hardware upgrades
- Operating system
- Computer environment
- Network administration
- Communication- remote access, internet
- Power supply- managing power fluctuations, blackouts
Whilst this may be the most costly option, it may also be the preferred one for many for the peace of mind it gives them by having control over the environment.
In a private cloud environment, you are almost replicating the in-house option but it is located at a third party facility. You would have delegated the management responsibility to the facility provider.
This option is ideal for clients who want control but don’t want the operational responsibility.
The facilities manager will often manage your in-house terminals and communication requirements to access the central facility.
You will have to manage the relationship with your specific business software provider for the applications provided for you at the third party facility.
Typically you will manage the in-house printers but the facilities manager will take care of:
- Centralised hardware upgrades
- Operating system upgrades
You will typically pay a monthly fee to the facilities manager who would have factored in your portion of the equipment dedicated to you, the operating system and the general software but not your specific business application software. You will pay for your business application software.
In a public cloud deployment you are fully dependant on the internet to access the systems you need to use for your business. Given that the facility is shared by many, your monthly fee will most likely be much less than the private cloud option and considerably less than the in-house option.
Many public cloud based application providers now offer the option to have your data stored locally whilst you access the software via the internet. These are described as hybrid systems.
The advantage of public cloud deployment is scalability. You pay for what you use and you don’t need to worry about hardware and capacity planning. It’s just there for you to use.
This option is ideal for users who are “relaxed” about the location of systems or believe that the provider has implemented adequate security system to protect their data and systems.
Typical examples of public cloud applications include; eBay, Amazon, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 and more. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that your internet banking, share-trading and BPAY facilities are all cloud applications too…
Till next time, happy computing!