How Does an On-Premise Cloud Service Help With Security?
12 Nov, 2019
In mainstream tech communities, the term ‘on-premise cloud services’ is viewed as an oxymoron because of what on-premise and cloud services represent. In popular culture, cloud services refer to services that are typically provided off-site by service providers in maintaining the required hardware and infrastructure. On the other hand, on-premise solutions are viewed as the IT infrastructures located internally or on the private property owned by the business using it. Therefore a definition of on-premise cloud infrastructure or services is needed.
On-premise cloud services, also known as an internal private cloud, refer to cloud infrastructure that is located on-site at a business’s office or location. The infrastructure, in this case, refers to the hardware and software needed to provide for the business’s data center and hosting requirements. The fact that the supporting infrastructure is on-premise is also what differentiates an internal private cloud from a private cloud service.
As with every IT concept, solution or service, an on-premise cloud service comes with its advantages and disadvantages. An understanding of the pros and cons of the concept is needed when making related business decisions.
This article will discuss:
How on-premise cloud services function
The advantages of on-premise cloud services
The disadvantages of on-premise cloud services and why a business may consider hybrid solutions
How on-premise cloud service solutions help with cybersecurity challenges
The working principle of an on-premise cloud solution
An on-premise cloud service is generally hosted within an enterprise’s offices or location. This includes hosting the hardware and software needed to manage data centers and other activities native to the business’s operations. From this definition, it is easy to realize that setting up an on-premise cloud service requires the creation of a new office or department from scratch. This is because the services of qualified system administrators, data analysts, and cybersecurity professionals will be needed.
In large enterprises where these professionals are readily available, setting up and deploying on-premise cloud services may be relatively straightforward to accomplish. For small or medium-sized businesses, the challenges may be more tricky to overcome. Other factors to consider are the hardware costs and software licensing responsibilities that come with maintaining an on-premise cloud solution.
Weighing the total cost of ownership
When choosing technology solutions, enterprises must weigh the pros and cons attached to a decision. This also applies to making the decision to go with an on-premise cloud to handle business operations. In this scenario, the most important decision to make is deciding if the cost of an on-premise cloud solution is worth the hassle. To do this, accurately calculating the total cost of ownership provides the business with the cost analysis needed to make a decision.
The total cost of ownership of an on-premise cloud solution must include the following costs:
Software licensing costs
Configuration, network setup, and provisioning costs
Salaries for the hired IT professionals
Infrastructure maintenance costs
Electricity costs for running the system
With time, these costs can add up and prove challenging to businesses undertaking this path. The cost of purchasing hardware while setting up a data center is an important consideration that must be factored in when setting up an on-premise cloud service. The hardware required includes core computing equipment such as servers and desktops, networking equipment such as switches and routers, firewalls, and storage resources. Tech giants such as DELL and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise offer hardware solutions to accomplish the task.
DELL offers packages for setting up on-premise cloud services according to enterprise requirements, but these packages are still capital-intensive projects for enterprises.
The challenges faced with software licensing, hardware costs, and data analytics are some of the reasons why businesses interested in on-premise cloud services choose other methods to achieve their goals. This is where a hybrid cloud system comes into play. A hybrid cloud combines a mixture of on-premise, private cloud, and third-party cloud services to manage business activities.
How on-premise cloud services handle security challenges
The advantages of using an on-premise cloud solution are many. These advantages include getting more flexibility from on-premise infrastructure as well as greater control if an enterprise needs a unique setup to run business operations. However, the most important benefit on-premise cloud services bestow on enterprises is enhanced security for data centers and the data they collect.
With the aid of logical access control tools and other protocols, on-premise cloud services can be built to ensure that cyberattacks are kept to the minimum and are largely unsuccessful. An on-premise cloud also offers enhanced application security and customer data security. It accomplishes this by ensuring all customer data is collected and kept on-premise behind the enterprise’s firewall. Accessing the collected data requires administrators to have the required credentials to pass through the firewall. Also, all passwords, certificates, and personal information used in accessing the service are stored on-premise. Authentication activities also happen locally through an active directory if it has been provisioned for use on the on-premise cloud ecosystem.
The on-premise cloud services also guarantee application and communication security in diverse ways. For application security, the cloud platform can be run behind a standard firewall, and private networks that are isolated from one another can be deployed for use. This ensures faster service and the isolation of critical networks. In situations where a successful attack affects an application, the effects will be isolated to only the virtual machines attached to the affected private network. Thus, isolation provides a layer of security that protects on-premise cloud services.
An on-premise cloud abolishes the establishment of inbound connections and ensures no new ports need to be opened for data transfer or communication (or at least limits open ports). This adds another layer of security and drastically reduces the possibilities of a successful cyberattack from occurring. The different features and security concepts outlined here are some of the reasons why Gartner claims on-premise cloud use is the new legacy for database management.
Making informed decisions
On-premise cloud services offer many benefits including enhanced security but challenges such as the capital investment needed to set up such an environment and to handle maintenance must be considered. It is also worth noting that other options such as hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and private cloud exist. Making a choice should depend on an enterprise’s particular needs and the ability to get the best out of the IT ecosystem a business chooses.