One of the advantages of the cloud is that it replaces CapEx with an OpEx model and allows companies to get their applications up and running faster. The term, “moving to the cloud” refers to an organization moving away from a traditional CapEx model (buy the hardware and depreciate it over time) to the OpEx model (use a shared cloud infrastructure and pay as you use it). However, many companies are realizing that the most optimum cloud model combines the best of both CapEx and OpEx through shared resources.
There are three primary types of cloud models that are popular – private, public and hybrid.
1. A public cloud is where services such as applications and storage are available for general use over the internet. With the public cloud, the service provider is the one who is making the CapEx, so the users can buy in an OpEx or pay as you go model.
2. A private cloud is a virtualized data center that operates behind a firewall. In the private cloud, the company is making the CapEx, so development teams or business units within a company can consume the resources in an OpEx model.
3. A hybrid cloud is a mix of both public and private clouds. If a company is using resources from both private and public clouds, then this combination becomes a combination of both CapEx and OpEx models. This is similar to what companies do on their product development teams: they create a combination of full time employees and contractors to have better control over their expenditures.
Hybrid clouds give IT teams the flexibility to control costs in a way that wasn’t available before and coordinate the delivery of these shared resources to development teams in a more efficient manner. However, development teams sometimes buy capacity directly from public cloud providers rather than going through the IT team. If done this way, the IT team loses the coordination between the two cloud models and the development teams pay more for the cloud services. This is because the IT team can usually negotiate discounts due to combined volume in the organization.
The most effective hybrid model is one that focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of the shared resources. Let me know if you have any hybrid examples you’d like to share. We’re always interested in different deployment models for implementing cloud technology.Read how we implemented cloud based solutions for an enterprise search provider and a global insurance firm.