This is Part I in a three-part series about Public versus Private Cloud Services.
What constitutes a Public Cloud versus a Private Cloud solution?
Cloud Service Providers build infrastructure for Cloud Computing, sold to a customer as a service offering. It could be Storage as a Service (SaaS), Application as a Service (AaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), or the platforms themselves that are Platform as a Service (PaaS). These are offered for a monthly service charge as compared to a capital expense model where it is necessary to buy dedicated hardware or software that depreciate over time. Most cloud services are an operational expense model which is considerably cheaper since a shared infrastructure is used along with a “pay-as-you-go” model.
Initially the term Cloud was a nickname or a marketing term for the Internet. It soon expanded to refer to the entire computer infrastructure — including applications, systems and storage — that are maintained offsite or away from the company data center.
So the Public Cloud is defined as a service of providing an application, network, as well as its infrastructure. Technically its about public use offsite, outside of a customer environment. Typically providers for the Public Cloud would be web or application services. Leaders in the industry: Amazon, Microsoft and Google all own public infrastructures and offer Cloud Services through resellers or partners. This public infrastructure allows the customer community use of these services in a dedicated environment or domain for that customer, but not necessarily dedicated infrastructure or hardware. These are shared in entities, or virtual machines, or instances that are created in that environment.
When considering moving to a Public Cloud infrastructure, what questions should a CTO or CIO ask?
* Is it a fully managed service where there is a help desk or a network operation center if problems arise?
* Is the Cloud self-healing, meaning, can it heal itself if there is a problem with an application, system, network or storage?
* Can the server scale the necessary volume of data or the volume of processing that needs to occur as the data changes or as those requirements increase (scalability)?
* Does the Cloud Service Provider have a Disaster Recovery plan in place to recover the applications and data that are running in their facility?
* Is there a reciprocated or replicated infrastructure on a second or a third site depending on the cost for redundancy?
* Is maintenance continually done on the operating systems that are housed within those servers or the infrastructure network thats supporting connectivity to those sites, including proper notification of changes?
* And as part of the service, does the Cloud provider offer solutions or architecture support to their customers in scaling and building the management of the resources that are used in the Cloud?
In summary, Public Cloud can make for a great choice as long as all considerations are addressed and mature, stable, service offerings protect your computer infrastructure. Our next blog will look at additional considerations for moving to the Public Cloud.