Aug 2, 2012

At SingleHop,  we are always looking to the future of the web hosting industry; which almost certainly brings you face to face with the term “cloud computing”.  Being new to the industry can be quite the challenge, so learning the proper meaning behind such terms and technologies is top priority.  I’m lucky enough to work with some of the brightest and most talented engineers and developers in the industry; having them as a resource helps tremendously with the learning curve.  With cloud computing being such a hot topic, I’ve decided to bring you the knowledge I’ve learned in a four-part blog series that will dive into cloud computing and give you a better understanding of all that is involved.

To begin, it is important to know where the term “cloud” came from.  Cloud originated with visual diagrams, which were used to represent the internet; where a cloud would be surrounded by branch offices, mobile users, and other endpoints who all communicated through the cloud. With cloud computing becoming so prevalent, understanding just what it is, how it works, and the differences in cloud computing has never been so important.  In fact, a recent survey showed 65 percent of IT professionals indicated they were uncertain about what cloud computing actually is.

Cloud computing represents the future of infrastructure for web hosting companies, other businesses, and governments alike.  This new wave of infrastructure brings added bonuses for all who take advantage of it by not only offering extremely customizable scaling, but also being very cost effective, allowing organizations to save money on  new hardware purchases and  new software licensing.  Other benefits include:

  • maintenance and security (public vs private)
  • reliability
  • enhanced sharing and collaboration
  • anywhere/anytime availability

Different cloud options can be utilized to fit your business model as well.  Learning the distinction between each type of cloud can help you decide which one best fits your priorities.  For now, I will go over a quick overview of each cloud type:

Public Cloud:
Refers to what could also be called a shared cloud. The idea here is that your storage or processing needs are hosted on servers that also handle other customers. Your organization, for example, could spin up its own database on a public cloud, while behind the scenes the cloud provider was hosting your database on a large server that also held data for dozens of other organizations. One benefit of public cloud solutions is that the sharing of resources should translate into lower costs.

Private Cloud:
Private clouds are operated solely for a single organization.  Private clouds use dedicated servers to host a company’s data and can be scaled by adding more dedicated servers or by scaling the already allocated resources.  This private product is used for organizations for advanced security, as the company is the only one with access to the cloud’s content, and fault tolerant solutions that are not possible in a public cloud.

Hybrid Cloud:
Hybrid clouds are any combination of both public/private cloud and dedicated servers.  These clouds remain unique but are still bound together, offering the benefits of both cloud types and dedicated servers.  Customizable features such as security and the underlying infrastructure make these clouds ideal for creating extremely robust configurations that strike an ideal balance between resources and costs.

At SingleHop, we pride ourselves with being on the bleeding edge of cloud technology; offering cloud solutions to a wide range of users, both large and small.  We have designed an award winning automation application, called Leap3, as a command center to help customers easily deploy resources across different operating systems and applications.  Gaining knowledge on each cloud type can be beneficial in determining which one is right for you.

In the next three parts of this blog I will go over in greater detail each type of cloud, so be sure to check back next week for “Lost in the Cloud Part II: Public Cloud”.

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