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Into the Clouds - Part 2 - Which Cloud suits what ?

Published about 2 years ago by Elkie Holland
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My burning question:

Which type of Cloud suits what ?

Let me reduce the choice – the following are definitely not what you’re looking for:

Cirrus, Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus, Altocumulus, Altostratus,
Nimbostratus, Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus, Cumulonimbus.

So now to fathom out the 3 service models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) - 4 deployment types (Private, Community, Public and Hybrid) and 5 essential characteristics of Cloud Computing !    

Once again turning to Google and after much reading.

Where to start ?  Some say that "the application dictates the type of cloud".  Most, however, suggest that the best place to start is to analyse the needs of today to help identify which type of cloud meets your needs and then look forwards. Consider things like:

  1. Governance and Oversight.
  2. Types of data.
  3. Location of data.
  4. Growth expectations
  5. Scale of business requirements.  
  6. Recognise the true value of data/websites to your business
  7. Costs (include downtime, maintenance, upgrade and internal resources)
  8. Analyse the commercial and operational benefits of cloud hosting
  9. Risk Tolerance.

There are many debates on “Private v Public v Hybrid” and ultimately it comes down to your choice and business needs.

PUBLIC seems suited to:

  • Bringing a service to market quickly and removing the need to build an infrastructure.
  • Applications used by lots of people.
  • You want to provide SaaS.
  • Usage / user fluctuations – up and down to keep costs keen.  A bit like PAYG for IT costs.
  • Collaboration projects requiring multi locational access.
  • Applications without regulatory hurdles
  • Outsource part of all of organizational IT requirements
  • IT and related services on a pay-per-use model,

PRIVATE seems suited to:

  • Businesses in industries that must comply with strict regulations and data security.
  • Businesses with highly critical applications.
  • Highest levels of management visibility, control, security, privacy, and physical data proximity.
  • Peace of mind of knowing exactly where your key business and client data resides at all times.
  • Businesses large enough to justify running costs of a data center efficiently.  (Computer Weekly suggest that companies spending over £3.5k / month on hosting could benefit from moving to a private cloud)

HYBRID seems suited to:

Those that fancy a bit of both eg e-commerce applications because it can enjoy:

  • Public for the flexibility in demand.
  • Private for the payment and account management services.

Further readingWired has an interesting debate. Dummies has a great explanation and Think Grid has an excellent table summary.

A great analogy I found was from HP who said:

“One analogy is the decision to rent or buy a car. For short-term use, a car rental is cost-effective because you pay based on what you consume. However, if you drive frequently and for a longer period of time, then owning the vehicle makes much better financial sense (there are, of course, other important issues to consider beyond price, such as performance, security, compliance, service-level agreements, and availability—not to mention whether or not your chosen  solution actually  fulfils  your business requirements and produces the desired outcomes).”

In conclusion, it appears that it’s a very individual decision and must consider all aspects from performance, security, control and availability requirements !

For me, as Joni Mitchell said in Both Sides, Now:

I've looked at clouds from both sides now 
From up and down and still somehow 
It's cloud illusions I recall 
I really don't know clouds at all


For my next burning questions:

I’ll ask the experts ..… why and how !



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