Considerations for every type of cloud implementation

Considerations for every type of cloud implementation

Cloud Strata

There are three tiers of cloud environments and each has its own small flavors. The first is infrastructure as a service (IaaS). An IaaS typically consists of a virtual machine (VM) that’s delivered to the customer. The provider takes care of the physical assets such as servers, network, devices, disks, etc and puts the operating system on the VM. The client is responsible for the rest and owns nearly all of the security.

The next option is platform as a service (PaaS), which consists of the resources in an IaaS plus the solution stack and middleware. The client is responsible only for the application infrastructure and may end up managing the security for the middleware as well as the database and application runtime environments.

The final option is software as a service (SaaS), where the whole stack–including the application–is delivered as a service. All of the application upgrades and security functions are the responsibility of the cloud provider.


There are also three varities of cloud deployment options: private, public and hybrid. In a private cloud services are provided over an Intranet, within the enterprise and behind a firewall. These are sometimes called internal clouds and address many of the concerns regarding data security, governance and reliability. They can be wholly managed and hosted internally (private), hosted internally but managed by a provider (private managed) or hosted externally and managed externally (private hosted). The key is they’re for private use only and the location of servers and data is well known.

Many could-related concerns come into play with public or external clouds. This is where IT becomes a service (ITAS). In a public cloud, the provider covers the costs for all of the hardware, bandwidth and applications in a shared environment. Examples of public clouds would include, Dropbox and Google docs. They provide the best pricing, but also require the most planning.

Hybrid clouds allow customers to transition to cloud computing while maintaining regulatory compliance. They’re typically a combination of a private cloud and a public cloud with services placed where they meet the requirements for compliance, performance, security, etc.

Jaqui Lynch is an independent consultant, focusing on enterprise architecture, performance and delivery on Power Systems with AIX and Linux.

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