Trends Report

Which Cloud Computing Platform Is Right For You?

Understanding The Difference Between Public, Hosted, And Internal Clouds

April 13th, 2009
James Staten
With contributors:
Lauren Nelson , Simon Yates , John Rymer


Cloud computing platforms are more than just shared, multitenant infrastructures on the public Internet. There are actually three infrastructure-as-a-service cloud deployment options available to enterprises today, each with unique characteristics and economics that can help optimize application and service deployment objectives. Public clouds, the first option, can deliver the best economies of scale, but their shared infrastructure model can limit configuration, security, and SLA specificity, making them a less-than-ideal fit for services using sensitive data that is subject to compliancy or safe harbor regulations. Internal clouds, the second option, sit within your data center and behind company-built protections, but they typically have modest economies of scale due to funding limitations and tend to be less automated. Hosted clouds, the third option, lie between these two, providing more custom protections like an internal cloud but with the greater economies of scale of being a service from a cloud provider. Hosted clouds are walled off with enterprise-class protections but managed as a pool. Enterprises should build a strategy that leverages all three options via virtual private cloud technologies, resulting in a hybrid cloud strategy that optimizes business service deployment efficiencies.

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