What is Cloud Computing, and what does this new "Buzzword" really mean?
A metaphor for the Internet, "the cloud" is a familiar cliché, but when combined with "computing," the word means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing: basically virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go very broad, arguing anything you consume outside the firewall is "in the cloud,"
Cloud computing becomes more clearly defined only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities
Types of Cloud Computing: Public, Private, and Hybrid
Public Cloud customers benefit from economies of scale, because infrastructure costs are spread across all users, allowing each individual client to operate on a low-cost, pay-as-you-go model. Another advantage of public cloud infrastructures is that they are typically larger in scale than an in-house enterprise cloud, which provides clients with seamless, on-demand scalability. These clouds offer the greatest level of efficiency in shared resources; however, they are also more vulnerable than private clouds.
There are two variations of private clouds:
1. On-Premise Private Cloud: This type of cloud is hosted within an organizations own facility. A businesses IT department would incur the capital and operational costs for the physical resources with this model. On-Premise Private Clouds are best used for applications that require complete control and configurability of the infrastructure and security.
2. Externally Hosted Private Cloud: Externally hosted private clouds are also exclusively used by one organization, but are hosted by a third party specializing in cloud infrastructure. The service provider facilitates an exclusive cloud environment with full guarantee of privacy. This format is recommended for organizations that prefer not to use a public cloud infrastructure due to the risks associated with the sharing of physical resources.
Hybrid Clouds are a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together offering the advantages of multiple deployment models. In a hybrid cloud, you can leverage third party cloud providers in either a full or partial manner; increasing the flexibility of computing. Augmenting a traditional private cloud with the resources of a public cloud can be used to manage any unexpected surges in workload.
Hybrid cloud architecture requires both on-premise resources and off-site server based cloud infrastructure. By spreading things out over a hybrid cloud, you keep each aspect of your business in the most efficient environment possible. The downside is that you have to keep track of multiple cloud security platforms and ensure that all aspects of your business can communicate with each other.Here are a couple of situations where a hybrid environment is best:
- Your company wants to use a SaaS application but is concerned about security. Examples of SaaS would be a company like SalesForce.com
- Your company offers services that are tailored for different vertical markets. You can use a public cloud to interact with the clients but keep their data secured within a private cloud.
- You can provide public cloud to your customers while using a private cloud for internal IT.