Managed vs Unmanaged Cloud

Managed vs Unmanaged Cloud:  How to Choose?

Public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) have revolutionized how technology is consumed.  They offer on-demand access and almost infinitely scalable storage and compute resources.  Rather than spending vast amounts of money on an estimated future need of capacity, you can leverage public clouds to scale up and down resources as needed and pay as you go. 

The public cloud is a game changer for startups and companies with elastic demand, allowing them to only pay for what they use.  Cloud providers are responsible for the data center infrastructure, and making sure their platform is reliable and secure.  This means they are responsible for their cloud infrastructure’s hardware infrastructure, software, operating systems, and virtualization layer.  This lessens the need to staff expensive systems engineers. 

That said, public cloud customers are responsible for managing numerous technical aspects of the environment themselves.  Customers that do not have the expertise to manage their cloud environment, or would prefer to outsource this task to a third party, can rely on managed public cloud services. 

This resource outlines your responsibilities in an unmanaged cloud environment and the benefits of a managed cloud so you can determine the suitable model for you.  If you have questions or want more information on cloud services, contact Brightlio today.  We would love to help. 

What is an Unmanaged Cloud? 

When you purchase public cloud resources, substantive technical responsibilities are left up to you to manage.  The provider typically outlines the duties of the provider and the customer in a Shared Responsibility Model

In an unmanaged or customer-managed public cloud deployment, the customer is responsible for the data and configurations within their cloud environment.  Items that are typically customer responsibility include: 

  • Customer data, data backup, and replication
  • Customer applications 
  • Identity access management 
  • Network and firewall configuration 
  • Client-side and server-side encryption 
  • Network traffic protection, encryption, integrity, and identity

Customers that do not manage these effectively can leave themselves vulnerable to significant performance and security issues. 

As the cloud is pay-per-use, how cloud resources are deployed and managed can significantly affect the monthly cost.  Landing workloads on the optimal instance type, leveraging reserve instances, turning off unused instances, and leveraging cloud cost savings tools are all ways to optimize billing.  While public cloud providers offer free tools for cost management, it is up to the customer to leverage them properly. 

What is Managed Cloud? 

In a Managed Cloud deployment, a Managed Cloud Service Provider (MCSP) takes on many of the responsibilities left to the customer in the Shared Responsibility Model.  Managed Cloud Service Providers have different offerings, but typically include:

  • Architectural review
  • Ongoing security reviews and monitoring 
  • Ongoing cost management and monitoring 
  • Performance monitoring and alerting 
  • Data backup and replication 
  • Reporting and dashboarding 

Managed Cloud Service Providers leverage a combination of public cloud providers’ tools and proprietary or off-the-shelf tools.  These often give customers access to greater visibility, cost management, and security tools than they would have in an unmanaged environment. 

A managed cloud service takes many of the challenges of public cloud deployments off the customer’s plate so that the customer can focus on their core business.  Core customer applications, network connectivity to the cloud, and on-premise customer hardware is typically still customer responsibility unless a more complete managed service is purchased. 

Managed vs Unmanaged Cloud:  Which is Right For You? 

Whether a managed or unmanaged cloud option is best for your business depends on your company’s engineering capabilities, ability, and inclination to use time and resources to manage a cloud environment. 

Managed Cloud providers are typically best for smaller and medium-sized organizations that want to leverage the cloud but want to avoid hiring an IT staff or customers new to using the public cloud.  Larger organizations may have teams of cloud engineers and developers, making managing the cloud in-house a better decision. 

How Can Brightlio Help? 

Whether you are looking to procure cloud resources that you manage yourself or if you are looking for a fully managed public cloud solution, Brightlio can help.   Brightlio has a strategic partnership with leading Managed Cloud Service Providers to offer fully managed and cost-optimized cloud solutions.

Additionally, Brightlio offers solutions, including colocation, network connectivity, unified communications, SD-WAN, and advisory services.

Engage Brightlio today to see how we can assist with your cloud needs.  It would be our privilege to partner with you.