The positive perception of end users with the benefits they have achieved through adopting Cloud services is extremely high with 96 per cent of a recently researched base of users by the Cloud Industry Forum confirming satisfaction with their experiences to date. However, the language of cloud computing is still often masked in hype and contradiction and is arguably preventing some organisations from either progressing to adopt cloud services or selecting the most appropriate Deployment and/or Service model for their needs. A greater understanding that their is no universal proposition and therefore how to determine when and how to deploy cloud based solutions is key to unlocking the Cloud’s full potential for any organisation.
It’s important to understand that the Cloud is not going to be right for 100 per cent of businesses 100 per cent of the time. For most organisations, it will be a complementary extension to their on-premise IT capability and not a wholesale replacement.
Organisations will typically find themselves managing a portfolio of deployment options at any given time, from on-premise through to co-location, hosted services, managed services and Cloud solutions.
Practical considerations should weigh heavily on the choice of Cloud deployment. The choice of Service and/or Deployment Models for a specific Cloud solution will be influenced by a combination of technical, commercial, governance, and legacy investment factors. The Cloud solution right for one company may not be right for a company of a similar size in another industry. As such, many organisations select multiple deployment models as described below depending on the application, size and complexity of business etc.
Public Clouds are intended to be used by multiple parties at once and are designed to provide maximum value for money through a standardised and hi-scale approach on shared infrastructure. Public Cloud is the most logical deployment model for delivering SaaS. Many public Clouds operate internationally for scale or geographic resilience, but this gives rise to concerns for some businesses over where their data is being stored at any particular point in time which means they may prefer a Private or Hybrid Cloud approach.
Private Clouds are intended to be restricted to a single customer or trusted community. However, dedicated components can vary between providers beyond storage, processing and RAM to include the network security and hypervisor elements. These are popular among organisations looking to access the benefits of Cloud Computing but retain higher control and flexibility of configuration compared to a public Cloud. Private Clouds can be run inside a company data centre or be hosted by a third party. IaaS is a delivery model best associated with Private Clouds where data sovereignty is a key issue. Hybrid Clouds as the name suggests is Cloud capability that joins either private and/or public Clouds, or on-premise infrastructure to private/public Clouds in order to provide a customer or community with an appropriate or even bespoke environment to meet their specific operational needs. One of the biggest challenges organisations face in adopting Cloud or other hosted services is
to determine the appropriate Deployment and/or Service Model, which should
be driven by practical considerations
Organisational size and IT maturity – e.g.
what skills are in house and what
capability to implement and operate IT
Nature of the Application/Solution – e.g.
new solution areas and fixed life projects
are far more likely to be hosted/provided
as a service.
Existing Investment – i.e. organisations
wish to maximise the life and value of
investments already made in technology
(e.g. server rooms) and software licensing.
Data Sovereignty – e.g. concerns over
regulatory, legal jurisdiction and perceived
security fears restrict the nature of how
some organisations adopt Cloud
Connectivity – i.e. accessing high speed
Internet is still not a given in many parts
of the UK and the wider world. Bandwidth
constraints can constrain perception of
suitability for Cloud or hosted services.
By establishing common understanding on the meaning, opportunities, and risks associated with this rapidly growing sector, organisations will be able to deliver the Cloud on their own terms and take full advantage of what the Cloud has to offer.
Tags: Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Security, Service Providers, Software-as-a-Service