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Cloud Computing - Blue Sky Thinking or Head in the Clouds?  (Part 2)

Posted 21st April 2011 by Jagvinder Kang, Director

Cloud Computing Models

Introduction

In the previous edition of the Technology Column, we looked at the different types of Cloud computing services. In this edition, we will continue the theme on Cloud computing by considering the different Cloud models, namely: Private Cloud; Public Cloud; Hybrid Cloud; and Community Cloud.

Cloud Computing — Models: Private Cloud

Just as there are different Cloud services, so too, are there different models which vary from one end of the spectrum to the other. We start this Technology Column, by looking at one such end of the Cloud spectrum, by considering the 'Private Cloud'.

A Private Cloud consists of a pooling of resources which are dedicated to a particular organisation. This might be hosted and managed internally by the respective organisation, or it might be outsourced, but either way, the resources are dedicated to a particular client.

There are pros and cons with this approach. The dedicated nature means that a more tailored offering can be produced. However, with any form of bespoke offering, there is always the trade-off against cost savings. The more tailored and dedicated the offering, the less an organisation is likely to realise in terms of cost savings. In addition, there are more constraints with regard to quicker scalability of solutions, due to the dedicated nature of the infrastructure.

Therefore, it is a model which might be more suited for high security types of requirements, or where more stringent service levels are required. This is because the bespoke nature, allows a similar tailored approach in terms of the contractual arrangements as well. This follows from the fact that where there is a higher value proposition for a supplier, there is usually a greater willingness to enter into a more negotiated form of contractual arrangement — although the customer needs to bear in mind, that some of those negotiation costs will be reflected in the service charges.

Cloud Computing — Models: Public Cloud

Having looked at one end of the spectrum by way of the Private Cloud, the other end of the spectrum is the 'Public Cloud.' This is the model which the media is promoting, when it evangelises the transformation which Cloud Computing is going to bring to the world.

The Public Cloud is a model which involves a third party organisation using a common infrastructure, which is shared amongst clients. As such, it offers optimum economies of scale, compared to the Private Cloud model.

The shared infrastructure means that not only are there the advantages of economies of scale and greater flexibility from a scalability perspective, but there is the possibility of providing a more cost effective disaster recovery and business continuity offering as well, due to the centralisation of large resources.