|By Amy Bishop||
|December 2, 2013 08:45 AM EST||
Cloud this and cloud that are on the lips of every IT professional. Beyond being an overhyped buzzword, cloud computing is a technology that’s innovating the way that many businesses, from startups to enterprises, handle their IT needs. Whether it’s specific applications or a complete infrastructure, cloud technology continues to transform the IT landscape.
What is the public cloud?
Businesses have a few different cloud options to choose from: Public cloud services are run through third-party providers, whereas the private cloud is controlled directly by the business itself and distributes computing resources within the company. It’s also possible to use a combination of both. The public cloud provides a cost advantage and an overhead advantage to businesses, since you don't have to pay for equipment cost or maintenance. However, the disadvantage is that you don't have direct access to the hardware or software. It’s hosted offsite at the cloud service's facility, which can raise some security concerns.
IT as a service spurs public cloud adoption
Being able to adjust quickly to the demands of the marketplace is essential for many businesses, and with a highly connected world, infrastructure demands can change at any moment. IT as a service allows businesses to adjust their level of service as needed. If you run an ecommerce site that gets overwhelmed during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holidays, you can get additional server resources through the cloud without having to provision and deploy physical hardware. This agile model also allows you to control your budget, since you’ll be buying service levels instead of hardware that you may or may not get full usage out of after the traffic spikes.
Public cloud advantages in the enterprise
The public cloud offers a great deal of advantages for your enterprise-level business. Software as a Service (SaaS) provides you with cloud hosted applications that don't have to be deployed or maintained on your own hardware. All your employees need to do is login to the application through an Internet-connected device, and they can access the software. This also allows you to skip software deployment on thousands of workstations, giving your IT department a break.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provide you with ways to offload the operating systems, development platforms and physical hardware to the cloud. If your headquarters doesn't have room for a fully secured data center or server room, but you need another 10 servers pronto, you can get access to those resources through a public cloud service provider.
The provider also handles all the troubleshooting, monitoring, maintenance and many other essential tasks, so you can use your IT department for more immediate needs. The equipment that public cloud providers use is often top of the line and optimized to provide you with high availability and performance, both necessary for a busy enterprise.
Although both public and private clouds have their place, public cloud adoption is dominating due to its cost efficiency, performance and availability. When you want to make your IT dollar stretch as far as possible, the public cloud is the resource on which to spend the most.
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