Cloud Services

PERSPECTIVE ON THE CLOUD

Cloud technologies offer organizations powerful benefits such as the ability to maximize the efficiency of shared resources, reallocate resources dynamically as necessary, minimize infrastructure investments and provide maximum flexibility and mobility.

However, defining “the cloud” isn’t simple. There are actually many definitions and marketing uses of the term.

DEFINING THE CLOUD

Here’s how Wikipedia defines cloud computing:

“Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet.”

  • Cloud Computing is a jargon term without a commonly accepted non-ambiguous scientific or technical definition.
  • Essentially, while cloud computing represents the direction that IT is headed, “the cloud” is a marketing term that can have different implications depending on perspective.

Cloud computing relies on the concept of virtualization—that is, the creation of a simulated (or “virtual”) version of something, such as an operating system, server or storage device. Virtualization essentially “decouples” hardware and software—meaning the relationship between them no longer needs to be 1:1—resulting in reduced costs.

Said another way, virtualization is a way to utilize equipment more efficiently. “Cloud computing” is a service typically associated with a subscription fee that increases or decreases based on usage.

SERVICES OFFERED

– Office 365/Google Apps
– PFIT Private Cloud Hosting & Collocation
– Client owned private cloud design and management
– Commercial cloud (AWS, Azure)

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THE CLOUD:  PRIVATE, PUBLIC, HYBRID, or BLENDED?

The cost benefits of virtualization and its reliability have been generally accepted for over a decade now. The problem for today’s organization is determining the right balance of hosting services onsite versus having them provided in one or more public clouds.

HYBRID: This type of “cloud” infrastructure extends your local servers virtualization or private cloud virtualization into one or more public cloud providers. This configuration involves the highest degree of complexity. Hybrid configurations are currently very expensive and more suited to large organizations that need to scale fast and still maintain higher levels of control for specific services.

BLENDED:  A blended solution uses a combination of local or private cloud servers combined with public cloud services where they make the most business sense. This scenario requires strong business workflow knowledge and frequent evaluation of cloud provider service offerings to consistently strike the right balance of costs, security, flexibility, and business functionality.

BOTTOM LINE:  Evolution to “the cloud” is a process that has a frequently changing idea of what level of implementation makes for the best ROI, risk management, and performance balance for a given organization

 

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