The umbrella of cloud computing is a big one. Like any technology in the early stages of adoption, there are competing models, each claiming to be the optimal configuration and each, more than likely, suited to specific kinds of businesses and specific kinds of business needs. Indeed, the number of cloud permutations is nearly as diverse as the number of companies using them.
Still, over time, there are consistent models that begin to emerge. Here’s a look at some of the top cloud computing models in production today:
1. The Internal Cloud. This is, in many ways, the most common type of cloud computing. The internal cloud occurs within a single organization, allowing them to implement virtualization for in-house services. The premise is that internal infrastructure including server, networks, storage and applications will be connected and virtualized, which in turn allows It to move things around in such a way as to maximize efficiency. This is different from a simply virtualized situation in that it allows a higher degree of automation and even a chargeback capability for the other business units.
2. External Cloud Hosting. This type of cloud model uses an external service via a cloud provider, and it’s access by the organization via the Internet. This is probably the most cost-effective way to utilize the cloud. The big concern with this model, of course, is security. Performance is also a concern, in many quarters.
3. The Hybrid Cloud. The Hybrid cloud model mixes both internal cloud computing and external cloud hosting. This is where most businesses shine. It allows a highly customized approach, and lets a business use the cloud when it makes sense and avoid ti when it doesn’t make sense.
4. Traditional SaaS. SaaS is still out there, and it’s especially common among SMBs. A small business that uses 37Signals for project management or Google for its company email is adopting the cloud on the most micro of levels.
As you can imagine, each model fits some business models better than others. Large corporations might benefit from the internal cloud, whereas smaller businesses will most likely be external or traditional SaaS. As cloud computing continues to evolve, businesses will continue to shift back and forth through these four major paradigms.
Internal Cloud Computing
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