Enterprise Cloud Strategy
"Private Cloud" vs. Public Cloud" ="Enterprise Cloud" vs. "Commodity Cloud"
For years the distinction between “private cloud” and “public cloud” was a big deal to some people. But like “the cloud” itself, the debate has evolved and today two camps are emerging—"enterprise cloud" vs. "commodity cloud". Both offer speed and self-service. Both put the customer in charge of configuration and consumption of resources. But the performance, security and support characteristics are different—making them an ideal fit for different types of companies at different stages of growth.
No Frills & No Fuss
Commodity Cloud Providers
Commodity Cloud Providers offer “one-size-fits-all” performance via a pool of shared resources that are available to anyone with the swipe of a credit card. Great for Test & Dev workloads and start-ups who need “no fuss” infrastructure quickly, these "public clouds" are less secure and typically unsuitable for companies whose production data and applications must adhere to strict regulatory compliance and audit regimes (e.g. HIPAA, PCI, FISMA, GLBA).
“Commodity” clouds also come with limited—if any—support. The expectation is that you have skilled, certified technical experts on your team with a lot of experience deploying, managing and administering serious technology. If you have a team of strong networking, compute, virtualization and storage experts on staff, you should be able to bend the commodity cloud to your will. But expect slow response times—even for simple requests like recovering or changing a password for your server.
Many start-up or hyper-growth companies find that the commodity / public cloud is a quick and painless way to grab resources and go. That said, many companies are beginning to re-think that strategy as they hit critical mass—see Wired.com’s recent expose on the cost of running 24x7x365 on the “commodity cloud”. Commodity cloud providers have also been plagued by a string of high profile services outages.
Performance, Security & Support
Enterprise Cloud Providers
Enterprise Cloud Providers offer multiple performance cloud service tiers for businesses that seek to assign workloads to specific resource pools and right-size investment vs. Quality of Service (QoS). For example, the performance required for Test & Dev workloads won’t support a production ERP system, and with the enterprise / private cloud you can split them up.
Enterprise cloud deployments are built on a more robust Cloud Enabled System Infrastructure (CESI), using brand name servers, blades, firewalls, load balancers and networking gear—technology that is specifically engineered for multi-tenancy, greater security and isolation. This makes it easier to deliver multiple layers of data protection and the kind of transparency necessary to meet stringent compliance requirements and specific SLAs. It also means an enterprise cloud deployment can be delivered as part of a fully-integrated hybrid IaaS solution—leveraging a mix of multi-tenant and other data center services such as colocation, dedicated managed hosting and managed storage.
Enterprise / private cloud providers offer a full complement of support, with Service Desk personnel available 24x7x365 to respond to inquiries on-demand and in real-time. And customers can take advantage of a large team of expert resources—solution architects, network engineers, virtualization experts, storage engineers, etc.—to help tailor a cloud solution to specific needs or to integrate the cloud into a more comprehensive IaaS solution.
While not always as simple as the commodity cloud—because there are additional decisions to be made to integrate cloud into an existing IaaS solution and determine the proper deployment mix for tailored security and performance thresholds—the enterprise cloud is ideal for established companies looking make the cloud part of an already complex IT infrastructure deployment.
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