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About Private or Shared Cloud and Everything in Between

About Private or Shared Cloud and Everything in Between

When deciding to implement cloud computing in order to manage your IT processes, you should start by deciding on the type of cloud you want to store your data.

Since there is no universal receipt for success when implementing cloud computing, you must carefully consider all the options. You can start by understanding the differences between private and public cloud and everything in between.

You can work with a cloud provider to setup and help manage your cloud or manage your own cloud on your equipment.

Public Cloud:

  • Provides an on demand solution, where you choose to store your data in a public cloud, meaning you use the resources of an off-site third-party provider. Payment is made on a per use basis, much like how you pay for your electricity.
  • There are no upfront capital costs, such as for hardware.
  • System software is bundled into the pay per use costs.
  • One of the main advantages when deciding to use public cloud is that you are not only buying the space where to host your data and the hardware, but also the cloud provider’s expertise, the security settings, and the trained staff.
  • Basically, you are accessing scalability and reliability, already set up by the cloud provider, which businesses strive to acquire by going to the cloud, without having to build anything in house.
  • Some Enterprise Cloud providers include VLAN support and advanced load balancers and firewalls which enhances security.

Private Cloud:

  • A solution where the cloud is owned and managed by the organization, not by a cloud provider.  The cloud infrastructure is stored in the enterprise’s datacenter and you can control your own resources.
  • It is usually suited for organizations that have restrictions not allowing them to be on a public offering.  Also, since the recent Amazon problems, there could be a shift in companies moving toward the private cloud who want more control over the infrastructure. People might feel safer maintaining their data on their own premises. However, as I previously said, I believe that cloud is more secure that on premise storage.
  • The internal IT department sets up, tests and manages the datacenter. Costs are usually larger than choosing a public cloud. You still need to pay for hosting and servers, and to deal with infrastructure, security, and backup, which in a public cloud is the provider’s job. Therefore, it seems that enterprises are the ones mostly able to afford private clouds.
  • Most businesses feel that the private cloud offers control and compliance. They strive to minimize 3rd party risks and not depend on a cloud provider that might go out of business. But, what if your needs scale back and forth and you will need more or less resources at same point?
  • Some people compare private cloud with building you own delivery service when you have FedEx. So, why build an IT infrastructure, when you can pay only for what you use by utilizing somebody else’s architecture?

Hybrid cloud model:

  • Since cloud computing can use both internal and external solutions, there is also the option of not going completely on a public cloud, at least not in regards to confidential data. Therefore, you can choose to maintain some information stored inhouse, and use public cloud for lower priority information.
  • Most Hybrid solutions use virtual front end servers and physical database servers.
  • If you already have a large infrastructure in place, you can make it more reliable and reduce costs by adding virtualization.
  • In this aspect, you would need to design, implement and manage the virtual network on top of the existing resources. With public cloud, you already have access to the virtualization experts, hired by the cloud provider.

In order to make the best decision in this matter, you should decide what the top priorities are for your company. Do you need to control the infrastructure? Then private cloud is your best option.  Are you most interested in reducing costs and having an easy way to access your resources, in a utility based model? Then public cloud might be the answer for you.

What type of cloud do you prefer or why? What option would you rather choose?

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  • Tim Wessels

    May 29, 2011

    Except for large enterprises, private clouds are likely to be beyond the technical know-how and capital costs of SMBs. They could make a terrific learning experience for SMBs who have a future requirement for private cloud development, but if their needs are more immediate and not otherwise restricted, then going to the public cloud is what they should do. There are emerging “cloud-in-a-box” possibilities that could play well as private or hybrid clouds in SMB. The recently released Nimbula Director comes to mind. The founders of Nimbula are the same people who created Amazon’s EC2. As for Amazon’s recent problems, I think it is informative to read their postmortem on the outage, which is about 8000 words long and quite detailed. No doubt Amazon will implement better procedures and improve their code to prevent something similar from happening in the future. Public clouds rule today on the basis of their technology, efficiency, scalability and price. Going forward, it seems likely that a hybrid model will prove to be “just right” for a lot of enterprise and possibly SMB organizations, who have requirements that cannot be completely met using either a public cloud or a private cloud.

  • Dave

    May 31, 2011

    A lot depends on what an organisation will need a cloud for (though data security should always be a factor in favour of private clouds). My company ( produces private cloud creation software for collaboration projects helping use hardware an organisation already has, rather than having to pay out for more space, and is trivial to use and setup. However, Saas and Paas projects can be tricky and beyond the core skills of SMBs.

  • Simon

    June 8, 2011

    Hi Mr Rick,
    This is helpful information . We decided to have Hybrid Cloud for our application .
    1. Is it correct if we do follow ?
    – Front End application : deploy in Cloud Provider like Amazon
    – Back End : deploy our own Cloud (Private Cloud Iaas )
    2. How can we integrate and communicate for these 2 environments .
    3. Do you have any technical solution suggestions for how to deploy an in-house Cloud ?

  • Simon

    June 10, 2011

    Thanks very much Risk 🙂
    Reg in house cloud solution , i think i can deploy Private Cloud by using Eucalyptus install on Ubuntu with Xen virtualization .
    Do you have any advice on the managed cloud provider ?

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