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Al with Dennis Rodman
Al with Dennis Rodman

If you are wondering why I have a picture with Dennis Rodman (Detroit Pistons & Chicago Bulls), it is because he was in Las Vegas at Channel Partners.  A vendor hired him to sign autographs and take pictures to get guys like me to come see their goods and services.


Channel Partners is the annual telecom trade show event held in Las Vegas every year.  It is where we go to see and learn about all the new products and services coming out.  It is a fun but long 3 or 4 days.  We not only get to learn about new products and services that can help our clients, but we also get to meet with folks across the country from our industry to see what they are doing and what they see in the market place.


This year the focus was on the Cloud.  All the cloud services providers, data centers, and carriers were there talking about the benefits of the cloud and why it makes sense to go to the cloud.  There are some really good reasons to go to the cloud with your line of business applications, but there are also instances where it doesn’t make sense to move things to the cloud.

What we are finding is that a hybrid infrastructure could make sense.  This would incorporate a private cloud and a public cloud service.


Public Cloud Computing


Public clouds such as Amazon EC2 and Rackspace Cloud have a number of trade-offs:

    • Utility Model – Public Clouds typically deliver a pay-as-you-go model, where you pay by the hour for the compute resources you use. This is an economical way to go if you’re spinning up & tearing down development servers on a regular basis.
    • No Contracts – Along with the utility model, you’re only paying by the hour – if you want to shut down your server after only 2 hours of use, there is no contract requiring your ongoing use of the server.
    • Shared Hardware – Because the public cloud is by definition a multi-tenant environment, your server shares the same hardware, storage and network devices as the other tenants in the cloud. Meeting compliance requirements, such as PCI or SOX, is not possible in the public cloud.
    • No Control of Hardware Performance – In the public cloud, you can’t select the hardware, cache or storage performance (SATA or SAS). Your virtual server is placed on whatever hardware and network, the public cloud provider designates for you.
    • Self Managed – with the high volume, utility model, self managed systems are required for this business model to make sense. Advantage here for the technical buyers that like to setup and manage the details of their servers. Disadvantage for those that want a fully managed solution.


The majority of public cloud deployments are generally used for web servers or development systems where security and compliance requirements of larger organizations and their customers is not an issue.


Private Cloud Computing


Private cloud hosting, on the other hand, by definition is a single-tenant environment where the hardware, storage and network are dedicated to a single client or company.


Private cloud computing also has a number of trade-offs:

    • Security – Because private clouds are dedicated to a single organization, the hardware, data storage and network can be designed to assure high levels of security that cannot be accessed by other clients in the same data center.
    • Compliance – Sarbanes Oxley, PCIand HIPAA compliance can not be delivered through a public cloud deployment. Because the hardware, storage and network configuration is dedicated to a single client, compliance is much easier to achieve.
    • Customizable – Hardware performance, network performance and storage performance can be specified and customized in the private cloud.
    • Hybrid Deployments – If a dedicated server is required to run a high speed database application, that hardware can be integrated into a private cloud, in effect, hybridizing the solution between virtual servers and dedicated servers. This can’t be achieved in a public cloud.


As opposed to public clouds, private clouds are not delivered through a utility model or pay-as-you-go basis because the hardware is dedicated. Private clouds are generally preferred by mid and large size enterprises because they meet the security and compliance requirements of these larger organizations and their customers.


If you have been thinking of moving to the cloud, please call us and talk to an engineer.  We have found that some things work great in the cloud and some don’t.  I have had clients go to the cloud and then brought back a server in house because of limitations or speed.  Please give us a call and we can certainly help you out.  253-852-1543  Al