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Three Types of Cloud Deployment for Your Access Control and Video Management Systems

By Northland Controls, May 03, 2023

As more and more systems migrate to the cloud, organizations are looking into the benefits of cloud-based physical security systems now more than ever.

In traditional data storage, teams are wholly responsible for installing, managing, and maintaining on-premises physical security systems. And while these types of solutions provide complete control over your systems and the data it generates, they can be costly to install and maintain, especially for organizations with multiple sites spread across the globe.

With the adoption of a cloud-based solution, there are many benefits including security teams now having more flexible and cost-effective options compared to these traditional on-prem solutions. However, this type of environment is not meant for everyone. It's important to not only look at the positives but consider drawbacks related to the specific needs of the business and their resources.

As you design your security system, you will need to provide adequate resources regardless of if you choose an on-prem or cloud-based solution. Allocating the physical on-prem resources is challenging under normal circumstances and as we have seen over the past few years, supply chain delays can have a real impact on your business. The ability to deploy resources quickly in the cloud and scale up or down with changes in your business can be a real difference maker. Whether you’re adding more computing power or storage, resources can be deployed within minutes, allowing your team to get back to focusing on what they do best.

Here are three basic types of cloud deployments:

A private cloud is where the servers and associated infrastructure are owned by a single business. They can be hosted in-house or externally and provide direct control over company servers and applications. This option is highly customizable to meet the specific needs of your organization while offering a centralized management platform. Since you own it, this option offers the highest level of security and reduces the risk of sudden changes that are out of your control and could potentially disrupt operations.

The private cloud does have some drawbacks and is probably the most expensive option. For one, a private cloud requires a secure and appropriate infrastructure, and proficient and proprietary IT personnel to maintain and manage it. Another consideration is scalability, meaning that your storage is restricted to the amount of space available on existing servers. Although additional servers can expand storage, their determinant capacity will force users to acquire larger servers than necessary than simply expanding onto a shared public server.

The public cloud option offers a lower cost option, primarily because management and maintenance become the responsibility of the cloud host. Your data and applications are secured in a data center that you don’t own or need to support. The services and infrastructure are shared with other organizations who pay the host on a pay-per-use basis. I addition to cost savings, another advantage of the public cloud is its scalability. Adding or reducing the amount of storage needed in the cloud is easily changed as your needs change. There is no additional equipment to purchase and no wasted disc space.

The public cloud does have some disadvantages, including the lack of customization and autonomy that you would have with a storage system you own. Any sudden changes by the host, intentional or accidental, could adversely affect the data you are storing and potentially your ability to access it. Lastly, although in a secure environment, the server containing your data and applications is shared and may not be as secure as the private server you own and manage.

There is a third cloud deployment option commonly referred to as a hybrid cloud. It combines the public and private clouds to create a tailored solution that allows both platforms to interact seamlessly. It is highly flexible by combining features of both platforms, more economic and provides better security than the public cloud. A complaint about this option relates to communication. Communication on this platform occurs between the user engaging with both clouds, leaving room for potential conflict.

Deciding which solution is right for you is crucial to the long-term performance of your security system. If you decide to deploy your security system in the cloud, does your organization have the time, budget, resources, or the necessary skillset to maintain their own Private Cloud environment? If not, you will also need to select vendors that can help design, deploy, and maintain a solution that leverages the many benefits of the cloud.

Once the right type of solution and partnership is determined, the next step is to discuss which deployment strategy is right for your company.

For more information about deploying a cloud solution, download our whitepaper on Security Technology & The Cloud.