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It takes a lot to get to the cloud, as I pointed out in my previous blog post. Educating yourself, as well as determining how the cloud will affect you, will help lead you to the next step – which is determining which cloud approach is right for you.
Cloud computing comes in three forms: public, private or even a hybrid approach. When determining which option is the best, companies need to take into account cost, flexibility, security, and scalability.
So what does each approach mean and which is right for you?
The public cloud describes cloud computing in the traditional sense. Resources are provided on a self-service basis over the Internet, via web applications or web services, from an off-site third-party Cloud service provider.
This approach is good for service providers looking to provide a service to a number of customers. Public clouds allow for a wider audience and reach, greater flexibility and elasticity, and it tends to be the most cost effective.
This approach may not the best approach for you if security is your number one concern or if data privacy is critical due to regulatory requirements. In this case you might need to evaluate other options.
The notion of a private cloud is usually described as offerings that emulate cloud computing within private networks. These products offer the ability to host applications or virtual machines inside a company's own set of hosts, rather than on a public host, such as Amazon EC2.
The private cloud approach is optimal approach for companies with a lot of sensitive data. The private cloud also works well for internal use, for example IT shops within organizations. Larger companies tend to lean towards private clouds, as they can leverage data center resources they already have – otherwise setting up a private cloud can be costly.
Using a private cloud can lead to some scalability issues during times of increased traffic, which is why some companies look to a hybrid approach.
The term “hybrid cloud" has a few definitions, but the widely accepted explanation is: the use of physical hardware and virtualized cloud servers from multiple environments being deployed as a single common service. With the perception and reality is that infrastructure services are be provided from multiple sources, based on resource needs.
This is a great option for organizations that need additional capacity on-demand, especially during peak times. For instance, an e-commerce site may need to scale up their capacity during the holiday shopping season, but want to be able to scale back during slower months. The hybrid approach also allows for some sensitive data options.
Once you have decided on your approach, you’ll want to find a management platform, to help you more easily deploy and manage business-critical applications on the cloud. Progress has partnered with Rightscale for this very reason, which our next post will discuss in more detail.
Colleen Smith is Vice President, Customer Advocacy at Progress. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring customer focus and accountability for improving the company’s relationship with its customers and partners, as it relates to the use of Progress core products. Smith joined the company in 2005 with 20 years of enterprise software marketing, sales and product strategy experience, and has helped transform software companies into industry leaders, built strategic partnerships, designed acquisition strategies and moved companies through aggressive growth stages.
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