Cloud Computing Alternatives [Pros & Cons]

Cloud computing is becoming more popular every day. While cloud computing solutions help organizations lower the cost of data storage and bandwidth, it’s still expensive. When it comes down to it, the more data you store, the higher price you pay.

The best cloud computing alternatives fog computing and Edge computing. Other cloud computing alternatives to consider are Resilio and project solid. Each one has pros and cons. 

In this detailed guide, we will look into the different cloud deployment models, is it necessary for you to store all your data on the cloud and the right time to choose cloud alternatives.

Before We Begin.. A Little More About The Cloud

Cloud Deployment Models

Three main types of cloud computing environments exist. These computing environments are also known as cloud deployment models. End-users or organizations can decide to deploy programs on private, public, or hybrid clouds. The best environment depends on the software’s specific needs and use-case.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is a deployment type in which the cloud infrastructure is owned by a single entity. This type of cloud deployment model offers much more control over the cloud computing environment. The owner of the private cloud infrastructure controls who has access to which IT resources. This is more in line with a centralized business model.

A private cloud can be either self-hosted (hosted on your own server), or externally hosted (hosted on a leased virtual or dedicated server). One thing to consider, however, is that private cloud hosting can be quite pricey. This type of model is best for large corporations.

This is because it offers a high level of security, more advanced features, Private Clouds also provide much more flexible options in terms of networking, storage, and other compute components.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. Private clouds are often more difficult to access from remote locations and they require a lot of IT expertise to a private cloud up and running.

Public Cloud

In a public cloud environment, the cloud infrastructure itself is owned by a third-party cloud provider. This public cloud is able to be accessed by many users via the internet, usually through a paywall.

This kind of cloud deployment environment enables businesses to save money on IT operational costs by providing cloud services and infrastructure. In this cloud deployment model, the cloud provider is the party responsible for the creation, maintenance, upgrades of the entire cloud infrastructure.

One of the biggest drawbacks of a public cloud is that you are not in control of your data. For this reason, a public cloud may not be the best option for sensitive data.

Hybrid Cloud

For those who are wanting to get the best of both public and private cloud computing environments, there is hybrid cloud computing. Hybrid cloud computing provides a much more tailored IT solution that leverages both cloud computing deployment models to meet an organization’s specific needs.

Hybrid clouds aren’t perfect, either. Communications at the network can at times become conflicted because it is used in both public and private clouds that may have overlapping namespaces and other properties.

A Practical Approach to Cloud Computing Alternatives

A good cloud computing alternative is to use an in-house server. Companies still continue to use these machines because there is a one-time cost for the hardware. Because, in this case, the server is located on your premises, directly in your network, you are in the best position of security.

 It really all depends on what your use-case is, though. If the Internet goes down briefly, as long as your building has power, your network can fully function. Users on your network will still have access to the server.

Two Cloud Computing Alternatives: Fog Computing & Edge Computing

What is Fog Computing?

A fog computing model is based on a centralized system that can interact with embedded computer systems and industrial gateways through a local network.

Why do we need Fog Computing?

Fog computing offloads a portion of the data transactions and resources to the edge of the cloud. This establishes efficient channels for cloud storage and provides a high degree of effective utilization. Fog computing reduces bandwidth needs by only sending data over the cloud channels when necessary.

What is Edge Computing And Why Does it Matter?

A cloud computing alternative, Edge computing models perform most of their processing on embedded computing platforms such as locally installed microcontrollers. This compute hardware is directly interfaced with sensors and other equipment.

Edge computing provides high performance in low bandwidth environments, which is great for IoT (Internet of Things) applications. Edge computing also greatly reduces latency for time-sensitive applications.

As an effective cloud computing alternative, Edge computing can ease overall network congestion.

This is because some amount of the data and storage processing can occur on edge devices such as mobile endpoints and IoT hardware. Edge computing enables endpoints to react to critical information in what is essentially real-time.

When is The Right Time to Choose Cloud Computing Alternatives?

It almost seems as if nothing can stop the power of the cloud business model, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The robust network of services that is the cloud spans in all directions, almost infinitely.

And although this is true; and cloud computing’s versatility stretches far and wide, there are some key areas that just may bring a bit of disruption to the centralized cloud computing sector.

Despite cloud computing’s bevy of benefits, edge and dog computing should be considered. Here are some of these cloud computing alternative’s strong points:

When there is a lack of full-time internet access, edge and fog computing models can still function without a seamless connection to the internet. Local devices store the data. So, edge and fog computing platforms offer much more robust security solutions.

IoT devices and applications running on a cloud server can take minutes for data to be transferred between them. While that is impressive, cloud computing alternatives are more efficient. In edge and fog systems, communication between nodes is measured in milliseconds.

Cloud computing alternatives allow organizations to lower their costs on cloud storage and bandwidth. This also allows companies to more easily segment their data.

Mesh Networks

One of the driving forces behind the adoption of cloud computing is reliability. You generally need a provider that has a lot of bandwidth to be able to serve your to your customers and employees as quickly as possible. But the promise of mesh networks is that literally everybody, everywhere, would have all the bandwidth they need.

What is Mesh Network?

A mesh network is a group of network devices that have the ability to act as a single network. So, from a single node’s perspective, there is just one massive network everywhere.

In reality, it’s tens, hundreds, or even thousands of nodes all connecting together in a distributed manner. This is because each node passes data from one node to the next. There is no centralized router. A mesh network is its own self contained internet-agnostic cloud.

Other Cloud Computing Alternatives to Consider

Project Solid

Solid, or Social Linked Data, is a decentralization project for the web led by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of, well, the web. Co-developed between MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Berners-Lee, the goal of the project is to ‘radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy’.

Solid is developing a platform for linked-data applications that is entirely decentralized. The main selling point of Solid is that the data is completely in the control of the user rather than in the control of some massive corporate or obscure third-party entity.

Resilio Connect

Resilio, also known as Resilio Connect, is a highly scalable, P2P (Peer to Peer) networking solution that is used by enterprises to transfer data in near real-time.

Is Resilio Connect Safe?

Resillio was created by the same people that brought us BitTorrent. It’s a cloud storage service that literally doesn’t even require a server. Each member of the Resilio network shares portions of the data with each member of the network.

In a similar way to how bit torrent is used to securely transfer files. It sends small parts of a file through many nodes.

In Conclusion

Lately, there have been a lot of frustrations with centralized cloud services and their features-set (or lack-thereof) and high prices drive many users to the aforementioned cloud computing alternatives.

Sure, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive aren’t going anywhere any time soon, but these novel approaches are proving to be a compelling cloud computing alternative that could save your organization money and put you in more control over your data and its supporting infrastructure.

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