Hard Decisions & Hybrid Choices in a Cloudy World.


 Launching a web application has never been an easy. Regardless of what it actually is, if it will be used by people, it has to be reliable, scalable, and functional. The infrastructure that it lives on has to be affordable, easy to use, and appropriate for both where it is today and where it will be tomorrow. If you’re doing something that involves customer information, like an ecommerce project or a political campaign’s fundraising website, then it also has to be secure.

Sometimes the Cloud is the right choice. Frankly, many times it is Public Cloud architecture, that gives you the ability to rapidly increase and decrease the resources allocated to your virtual machines. This is its inherent advantage and it’s a big one.

So it’s no surprise that many in the web dev world are very much into Public Clouds... One needs not look far to find a popular consumer or business product hosted on one of the world’s many Public Clouds.

But the Cloud has its disadvantages and many organizations still choose the workhorse of the Internet and the Dedicated Server to base their applications on. And often time with good reason. Here are a few:

Control. Think of the Cloud as an apartment building and a dedicated server as your own House on 30 acres of land. Think about it, the building (physical structure) is the server, and when on 30 acres of land, it is dedicated to you. But when you are in an apartment building, you share the structure with a lot of other families. That’s clearly an oversimplification, but I think it gets the job done :-)

Privacy. For the same reasons, using your own dedicated hardware keeps other users from it. That’s not to say that the Cloud is insecure, but if done incorrectly, it can be a lot easier than a dedicated server.

You have consistent, predictable load.  If your web application gets 100 users an hour, every hour, and you can set your watch by it, then it is probably cheaper and more affordable to leverage your own hardware than paying for resources.

Of course, there are many more reasons. And a similar list for why you should consider using the Cloud instead.

Here is what most people don’t get: You don’t always have to make the choice. When you choose a platform that can handle both, like SingleHop’s, then you can choose which type of infrastructure “building block” makes the most sense for that specific PART of your solution. Let’s explore this for a moment:

The Public Cloud allows you to deploy virtually limitless resources in the form of Virtual Machines very rapidly. These Virtual Machines can be scaled up and down rapidly. They can be moved around just as easily. But to get this elastic functionality, you have to be in a very large pool of resources--one that other people need to be able to use also. Thus, it is a shared pool of resources, but your VM’s are isolated from other VMs. The potential for leaks is there, but is unlikely.

Creating your own Private Cloud is more costly, but if you deploy a large enough private pool of resources, you can have the same elasticity for your VMs. While your resource pool will be limited, you can move resources around between functions more easily.

Lets say you have an application that has 3 parts to it. The front end might get hit harder during busy shopping times, but it is a simple shopping cart that only sends information to the billing system.

You could then deploy the front end on the SingleHop Public Cloud and dynamically increase the resources to it when it is in high load, reducing them when not.

You can deploy a dedicated server to store the customer data behind the scenes. This server would be isolated and secure, it might not even have an Internet connection -- only the SingleHop Private Network.

And viola, for a fraction of the cost, and without giving something up, you have deployed a Hybrid Solution.... One that takes advantage of two distinct technologies.

Imagine what you could do if you threw Private Cloud into the mix?