Public versus Private versus Hybrid Cloud: Who Cares?

A lot of the news related to cloud hosting is either about business developments in the industry or about applications using cloud servers to blanket the globe cost-effectively – often an open source project such as the Zuckerberg-backed Panorama Student Survey. You also see a lot of articles about hot trends within the industry, along with studies related to growth rate and perception of the market.

Occasionally, there are news reports in large publications related to the choices businesses must make when looking for cloud services, which is of tremendous interest to our clients. IBM’s Jeff Borek recently wrote an article for the company’s Forbes.com blog, detailing the differences between private, public, and hybrid cloud.

IBM’s Shift to the Cloud

Borek is writing on behalf of IBM, so of course his article must be read within the context that IBM is investing heavily in the cloud. The company is injecting $1.2 billion into its worldwide cloud system throughout 2014. The primary focus of that money is to open 15 new data centers in different global locations. The core idea – as described in a PC World article published in January – is that having those facilities in place will provide a strategic advantage in the future, as IBM prepares itself for years of head-to-head combat with fellow cloud giant Amazon Web Services.

Undoubtedly, the company is also trying to make a statement with its rapid growth: by the end of the year, the overall cloud architecture will be twice as large as it was when IBM acquired SoftLayer in 2013 for $2 billion. The company is gradually integrating the systems of the three types of data centers it owns: new ones it is building, ones it purchased from SoftLayer, and ones it had in place prior to the SoftLayer acquisition. The overarching system will then serve public and private cloud hosting clients, in addition to fulfilling internal business needs.

US Open as Cloud Model

Although IBM can certainly be considered a pro-cloud company, Borek’s example of the US Open as a system entirely encapsulated within the IBM cloud infrastructure is compelling: it affords the opportunity to discuss the capabilities of the cloud that make it able to support such a high-profile event.

Borek points out that as traffic rises and falls to the United States Tennis Association’s official championship website, USOpen.org, the cloud technology is able to match the demand fluctuations with an appropriate quantity of resources. For instance, the website might get a lot of traffic during a particularly dramatic match, during which IBM’s system will feed in more resources so that the site is incredibly fast at all times while not requiring an allotment of peak-level resources when web activity is calmer. In other words, the cloud hosting model permits companies to get the power they need in real time, allowing for an unprecedented level of efficiency.

Public versus Private

The US Open’s network is of course just one example of cloud technology in action. The cloud is not just trendy but the new IT standard, and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It was the most eye-popping subject on IDC’s list of 2014 technology predictions, which posited that the cloud computing market would rise over the $100 billion mark.

Although most businesses recognize that cloud computing is a valuable technology, there are different perspectives on the issue of the public and private cloud models. The major strong characteristic of a public cloud is that it has the greatest distribution of resources, greatest flexibility, greatest efficiency, and greatest speed. Furthermore, resources are optimized for use on demand, with no need to predict your consumption.

The strong suits of a private cloud are that it allows the greatest administrative control, monitoring capacity, storage of data near your physical location, and security. In private clouds, you know that your pool of machines that make up that private environment are the location of your mission-critical data.

Borek discusses three ways in which business is starting to better understand the cloud:

  1. Cloud computing is here to stay, in both the public and private models. IDC predicts that both types of cloud structure will experience strong growth, sustaining a compound annual growth rate of 13% through the end of 2017.
  2. The best choice is often not public or private, but hybrid. Savvy businesses use private cloud technology for their most critical data, while they employ the public cloud to maximize their agility and developmental speed.
  3. It’s wise to use open source tools whenever possible, so that you have the greatest possible flexibility and compatibility. You also need to know that your cloud hosting provider prioritizes security and has a solid, proven architecture in place.

One Cloud versus Another

Beyond choosing the type of cloud that’s right for your business, you also must determine which cloud hosting provider offers the best service at the best price. That provider is Superb Internet, and we guarantee it with three verifiable metrics. Sign up for one of our Guaranteed Cloud Hosting packages today.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: Mashable

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