So unremitting is the storm around the subject of cloud computing, it’s enough to make a person feel like his head is stuffed with cotton. What’s more, the skies fill with ever-more fractured weather patterns, as this concept of arm’s-length computing rains down in increasingly complicated forms.
Let’s take a temperature reading.
The public cloud is the model that’s been getting most of the press. This communal environment, in which IT systems are shared by multiple users, is accessible to anyone, applauded for its easy access and cost-effectiveness.
But data protection is sketchy here, given that any number of people and enterprises are sharing the IT systems on which your stuff sits, and that its exact location is unknown.
Trusted clouds offer the next level of security — with limitations imposed on the number of users drawing from the same cloud — while maintaining the economies of scale that are among cloud computing’s greatest virtues. Virtual LANs provide the only access to the virtual servers and storage systems in play here; each enterprise enjoys its own.
With the private cloud—the equivalent of public cloud computing on a private network — entitlement increases again, with each enterprise aligning itself with a single, dedicated cloud to which it alone can gain entry.
Unlike in the public model, the data and processes that take place in a private cloud environment are located separately from those of other businesses, whether in a third-party datacentre or an organization’s own infrastructure.
Accenture’s High Performance Institute recently released a study that reported that the instances of corporations developing private clouds for their own use, whether or not in conjunction with public clouds, is on the climb. Particularly in situations where organizations possess a large number of servers.
Some 60% of the executives Accenture surveyed already use a private cloud and, the report predicts, by the end of 2012 private cloud use will permeate 77% of enterprises.
A hybrid cloud is a combination of private and trusted or public architectures, with associated data and applications organized according to well-defined parameters. Internal and external IT services are at play in this version, and its offer of integrating a company’s existing IT environment into the skies makes it an attractive entrée to the concept overall.
Among other benefits, hybrid clouds come with a feature that reallocates resources from an overloaded public cloud to another, if need be. This model, in which private enterprises essentially extend their resources to public clouds, is the current darling of cloud watchers.
Finally, the enterprise cloud is a closed shop. Housed in an organization’s own data centre, this cloud is the property of the enterprise in question alone. Indeed, it’s only a cloud at all in terms of its divided configuration for internal workers in discreet departments.
All of this cloud business can be busted into sense by the likes of 360 Visibility. Professional services organizations are well-served by this provider, thanks in no small part to its recent alignment with a comprehensive project management and financial management software solution, at www.workbook.net.
360 just became the North American distributor for this miraculous bit of software, which delivers a complete and rapid implementation template. It provides a detailed account of all business activity within a market segment via an intuitive web interface built in Microsoft Silverlight and based on the Microsoft SQL Server.
360 will be building a partner channel shortly and the company will make sure that the easy availability of WorkBook for professional services firms is a prominent feature of it.