J and I and Me
2011-02-14
  Private or Public Cloud ?
Currently Cloud is to a lot of people synonymous to "Public Cloud" i.e. some company provides virtual machines or a platform to deploy applications on. Examples are Amazon AWS/EC2, Rackspace, Terremark, Google AppEngine, force.com, vmforce etc. But an enterprise can also build its own Private Cloud. Companies like VMware offer all the infrastructure you need - and there are Open Source offering like Eucalyptus or OpenStack. Which route should you take?

Public Cloud Advantages


Private Cloud Advantages

Maybe the truth is in the middle: Only for high load you might want to offload work to the Public Cloud. But then you would need a common API for the Public and Private Cloud. Also the Public Cloud would need the same access to data as the Private Cloud - which is doable but might not be trivial. And you would still get different latency.

But: Cloud is in its core a business model. Instead of investing in infrastructure you just rent it - which drives down capital expenditure. This can only really be achieved in a Public Cloud because only then you don't own the infrastructure. Also a Private Cloud can only offer as many ressources as you have purchased.

More applications and data than you think might end in the Public Cloud. The most sensitive business data of quite a few companies are in Salesforce already. If important data cloud not be in the Cloud Salesforce would been doomed - but the reality is that they are very successful.

PS: I would like to hear your opinion. In particular if you are interested to give a talk about "How and why we built a Private Cloud successfully" I would like to hear from you!

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