Cloud Computing: As Service or As Architecture?
Last week I saw an incoming link at my blog site from privatecloud.com, a website promoting private cloud computing inside enterprises backed by EMC. Due to curiosity, I browsed the website and found a video by VMware CEO Paul Maritz on cloud computing. BTW, my website is also featured at the home page. Thanks privatecloud.com!
In the video, Paul talked about the cloud computing, mostly referring to services over the Internet, can also be an architecture pattern for enterprises. When that architecture is implemented, you will have a private cloud on premise. Although not using cloud services from any service provider, you still get almost all the benefits in a private cloud.
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From the system architecture perspective, your applications built within a private cloud aren’t much different than those built using external cloud services. If both of the services follow the same interface spec, your application may switch between public cloud and private cloud either statically or dynamically.
When it’s static, you actually use the public cloud as the extension to your private cloud; when dynamic, the public cloud can be your extra resource pool for balancing your peak workload on demand.
The key difference for the private cloud is that you have to host the service by yourself, which could be a lot of work from system acquisition to maintenance. The benefit from this is that you have full control over everything from data to the computing resources.
To have a private cloud, you have to build your system using cloud computing as architecture pattern. If you also leverage the cloud services, you will have a hybrid cloud. (Isn’t that doublecloud as well?)
Although enterprises can build their own software for the services, the chances are they will most likely buy software for cost reason. It also takes a lot of expertise to build large scale system software that provides cloud services. This is basically not what most enterprises’ IT teams want to do.