With scalability and cost-saving both top priorities for technology leaders, it’s no surprise that Virtual Data Centres are on the rise. But what does migrating from an on-premises, colocation or managed data centre mean for you as a client? How does a Virtual Data Centre (VDC) differ and what new responsibilities do you take on as a user?
Here, we explain what a VDC is, its benefits and the responsibilities clients can expect to take on when using their services.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL DATA CENTRE?
A Virtual Data Centre (VDC) delivers the computing capabilities of an on-premises data centre but leverages cloud resources instead of physical hardware. VDCs allow organisations to deploy more resources and scale infrastructure as required without investing in, configuring and maintaining physical IT hardware.
As a result, cloud-based VDCs are demonstrably more scalable, cost-effective, flexible and practical than their traditional on-premises or data centre-based counterparts.
WHAT ARE VIRTUAL DATA CENTRES USED FOR?
Virtual Data Centres are used to set up servers, allocate resources, deploy storage clusters and configure networking components and bandwidth – just like a regular data centre, but with the cloud’s performance, scalability and security benefits.
VDCs allow businesses to pursue the following digital improvement and transformation strategies:
- Migrate workloads from on-premises to virtual environments, such as Azure, AWS or any independent provider
- Host multiple related workloads in one place
- Implement centralised security and governance across multiple workloads
- Manage DevOps and operational IT efficiently and securely
THE BENEFITS OF A VIRTUAL DATA CENTRE VS DATA CENTRE
Virtualising physical hardware components has a whole host of advantages. For example, in making high-performance cloud computing widely accessible, VDCs enable enterprises of every type of IT demand and budget to improve resiliency, agility and functionality.
Many clients choose to deploy their mission-critical technology – including CRM and ERP platforms, Data Operations, communication and collaboration apps and eCommerce platforms – from a VDC. As a result, they benefit from the following:
- Flexible and scalable infrastructure. VDC clients can add or reduce computing capacity without handling hardware. Migrating VDCs and provisioning VMs happens dynamically, almost in real-time, to workload demand.
- Shorter projects or idea-to-cash cycles. Building a dedicated VDC area takes a matter of days and spinning up a new Virtual Machine takes minutes.
- No high upfront costs. VDCs classify as operational expenditures and are billed on a pay-as-you-use basis. On-premises estate and maintenance costs are also eliminated.
- Enhanced performance and availability. Easier workload provisioning and customisation.
- Remove over-provisioning. This can be done by ensuring computing resources are more closely aligned with the business’ needs and objectives.
- Renewed focus on strategic objectives. Fewer staff are required to manage your VDC workloads. In addition, VDCs provide an opportunity to redeploy technical specialists to interesting, strategic projects, so organisations can benefit from greater returns on operational costs, better motivated teams and improved staff retention.
You can find out even more about VDC in our 101 blog by clicking here.
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WHAT ARE VIRTUAL DATA CENTRE Clients RESPONSIBLE FOR?
Virtual Data Centre clients have different responsibilities depending on the cloud service model they use, with the main two being IaaS and PaaS:
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS is the only true Virtual Data Centre model. A Cloud Service Provider manages servers, storage and networking resources via virtualisation, with Operating Systems, databases and applications managed by the client. As such, IaaS models are better suited to System Administrators who wish to improve overall performance in addition to development.
What does that mean for you?
Clients are responsible for everything from the Operating System and up.
PaaS – Platform as Service
PaaS delivers the benefits of a VDC but is technically a virtual platform. A Cloud Service Provider manages everything – servers, storage, networking, middleware, development and BI – excluding applications and databases. PaaS is therefore favoured for developing, deploying and managing applications or by organisations light on administration skills.
What does that mean for you?
Clients are only responsible for their applications and data.
VIRTUAL DATA CENTRE RESPONSIBILITIES
Compare what Virtual Data Centre clients are responsible for in the table below marked in orange, with those in black the responsibility of your cloud service provider.
|Operating System||Operating System||Operating System|
WHO MANAGES VIRTUAL DATA CENTRE SECURITY?
VDC clients don’t need to worry about physical security – this is taken care of by the CSP. However, although security is built in at the hypervisor (the software running Virtual Machines) level, this will likely need reinforcing to meet a client’s specific risk, compliance and governance requirements, especially concerning mission-critical applications and any browser-based solutions.
Most CSPs offer cybersecurity solutions to protect sensitive or critical workloads and data to your specification. Alternatively, you can work with a third-party Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) who can build security in at every level and location in your cloud infrastructure – VDCs included.
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