Cloud computing has revolutionised the way organisations access and use technology resources. By delivering services such as servers, storage, databases, analytics, and software over the internet, the cloud provides unparallelled scalability, accessibility, and cost savings.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of connecting to the public cloud, and discuss the different ways to connect to the cloud, including the public internet, VPNs, and direct cloud connections, so you can pick the best connection option for your needs.
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What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of services such as servers, storage, databases, analytics, and software over the internet.
Rather than taking up storage across hundreds of physical devices and servers, the cloud allows companies to access everything they need on-demand from the cloud, only having to pay for the amount they use.
For example, Google Workspace offers cloud computing tools, so you and your coworkers can manage the same documents at one time all from any remote location, as long as you have internet access.
While some companies have shown reluctance to switch toward connectivity to Cloud services, cloud service providers (CSP) now say that its popularity is on the rise. In fact, many enterprises now consider the public cloud to be just as safe, if not safer, than physical in-house servers.
Caption: Cloud connectivity means you can connect to your important files from anywhere with an internet connection. Pexels
Benefits of Connecting to the Public Cloud
There are many benefits to connecting to the public cloud. Here are just a few of the most common:
When using a public cloud provider, businesses only have to pay for the services they use. This results in savings in the long run, as companies don’t have to pay for any up-front hardware or infrastructure they might not actually use over time.
Public cloud providers offer nearly limitless scalability to customers. This means businesses are able to scale their computing resources up or down easily depending on recent demand.
Because resources can be accessed through the cloud anywhere you have internet connection, employees have greater accessibility to the tools they need anywhere, anytime. This is especially helpful for remote employees or employees with disabilities that may prevent them from coming into the office.
The cloud gives users the ability to quickly and easily deploy services without the need for extensive hardware or infrastructure. This means faster access to the tools you need without the hassle.
Most cloud providers offer a combination of security measures including encryption, network security, and compliance certifications to protect user data.
While some companies still worry about data security when it comes to the public cloud, many cybersecurity experts now say that the risk of a data breach is smaller compared to physical servers for many providers.
Early Access to Innovation
Because cloud connectivity is one of the leading-edge technologies out there, users of the cloud often get first dibs on other new technologies that businesses can use to stay ahead of the competition.
Caption: Weak network connectivity and data migration are two of the current challenges with using the public cloud from your devices regularly. Unsplash
Challenges of Connecting to the Public Cloud
While cloud providers certainly have a lot of great things to offer, there are a few challenges to adopting the public cloud as it stands today. The two greatest of these challenges are weak network connectivity and data migration.
Weak Network Connectivity
To properly use the cloud, users need access to high-quality internet access. This means needing a network with sufficient bandwidth and connectivity for the number of users having to access the cloud at once.
Because so many people are turning to cloud connectivity (for good reason), networks often cannot keep up with this high network demand. Users can sometimes experience latency and other performance issues if the network they’re using is not brought up to speed.
Ultimately, the traditional network infrastructure we have now needs to improve alongside the growth of the cloud for it to remain effective over time.
Time-Consuming Data Migration
Switching over to the cloud can take a lot of time and effort, as you need to migrate all of your existing physical files to the cloud for storage. With the network connectivity issues mentioned above, this process can be extremely time-consuming depending on how many files you have.
Caption: Connecting to the cloud through the internet can be easy, though there are three different ways you can do so. Unsplash
Ways to Connect to the Cloud
There isn’t just one way to connect to the public cloud. Currently, there are three primary ways in which you can connect to it, each of which has its own pros and cons.
The Public Internet
The public internet is the most common way to connect to the public cloud. While this method sounds extremely easy, it is not always considered the best for several reasons.
For one, the public internet doesn’t always have the bandwidth required to regularly exchange large amounts of data. Businesses quickly learn that this isn’t effective for their processes, and they need to find a new solution.
The public internet is also a shared source, which means it can become congested quickly. When the network is congested, you can lose bits of data in your transfers and experience a high amount of latency as you work.
Finally, the public internet is the most susceptible connection to cyberattacks. Your data is at its most vulnerable when using unstable public internet, so it is often not recommended for businesses with lots of sensitive data.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you want a safer way to use the public internet, you could connect to the cloud using a VPN. VPNs create a safer private network so your data remains a bit safer than it does directly on the public internet.
However, VPN doesn’t solve all of your problems. Because VPN still uses the public internet to create a private network, you may still experience congestion and latency over time. VPN servers also have to break down data packets to transfer information, which may take longer and overwhelm your bandwidth.
Direct Cloud Connection
Direct cloud connection is the fastest and safest method to connect to the public cloud. This means that businesses can connect their on-site data centre to the cloud provider’s data centre using a dedicated, private network connection. This creates a more stable and reliable connection, and can also save you on sneaky data transfer fees.
Plus, data remains safer against cyberattacks when using a direct cloud connection, as your private network is protected against many forms of malicious attacks.
Cloud providers offer this direct link so you can always ensure that your data is transferred correctly between your facilities and the public cloud.
One way they do this is by offering SD-WAN, a type of networking technology that offers direct cloud connection and manages network traffic over different types of connections. This virtual overlay network easily connects your network to the network of your cloud provider, so you can bypass public internet for that direct connection.
By using direct cloud connection, you can ensure that your network connection remains secure and reliable, keeping your data safe and performance optimal.
As one of the most cutting-edge technologies out there, cloud computing offers several benefits to organisations from cost savings to scalability. With public cloud adoption on the rise, many companies are now turning away from in-house servers and pursuing direct cloud connections with cloud service providers.
Before making the switch, be sure to consider all of your needs, as well as your budget, so you can determine which network option is best for you. Every organisation has its own needs, so be sure to pick the one that provides you the most convenience possible.