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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Chris Janz, Michael Jannery, Lori MacVittie

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The Growing Adoption of Private and Public Clouds | Part 2

(Public Cloud Architectures)

While technology changes on a regular basis, IT teams have had a standard approach to administration. In recent years, however, there has been a drastic shift in data center administration. One of the biggest shifts is the adoption of private and public clouds. In part two of this series, we will examine public cloud architectures.

From small businesses to major organizations, companies are moving to cloud architectures to meet a variety of different application needs, such as CRM and email. According to IDC, worldwide spending on public IT cloud services is expected to be more than $107 billion in 2017. They believe the next phase of cloud adoption will focus on being more user and solution driven in order to continue to drive growth and innovation across all industries that depend on IT. Public cloud services are generally used for servers, storage, and backup infrastructure. Ultimately, public cloud infrastructure is about cost, scalability and flexibility.

Cloud service providers are working to expand their capabilities to offer a wide range of hosted IT options from co-location to self-service public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). According to cloud storage solution provider, Coraid, customers of cloud services have become more savvy to the potential and pitfalls of going to the cloud and expect to achieve lower total cost of ownership, scalability and flexibility by deploying to the cloud. As a result, companies like Coraid are working hard to expand their capabilities and transform their businesses to respond to cloud customers’ needs.

In order to make cloud solutions attractive to businesses that are unsure about the technology, service providers need to prove that the infrastructure is easy to manage, flexible, offers scalability based on a specific business need, and quite possibly most important of all, offers high performance for the price. They need to get IT onboard with the idea first. While many may think this should be easy, this may actually prove more difficult than expected. IT may feel they may lose control of their data and server management. In reality, IT departments are gaining a technology partner. By partnering with a cloud provider, the on-site IT department is freed up to deal with other enterprise-level projects.

Quite possibly one of the most important positives to a public cloud is the location independence it provides. Public cloud services are provided via an Internet connection which ensures the data is available no matter where the client is physically located. It is this level of flexibility that IT teams will appreciate in case of an emergency or other unexpected event. Some companies actually utilize a mix of public and private clouds; a private cloud will protect very sensitive data (financial, etc.) and utilizing a public cloud architecture for less sensitive data. For example, Amazon Web Services runs on a public cloud.

Ultimately, deciding on whether a public or private cloud is right for a specific organization requires careful thought and research. The third-party selected for implementation should be utilized as a source for expert information on which solution makes the most sense for that specific business.

More Stories By Sara Williams

Sara Williams is a consultant at Coraid. Coraid is a leading provider of network storage solutions. Coraid delivers scale-out performance, Ethernet simplicity, and an elastic storage architecture to handle massive data growth. Designed from the ground up for virtualization and cloud architectures, Coraid's platform has been deployed by more than 1,700 customers worldwide.

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