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What cloud alternatives work best for enterprisewide applications?

What cloud alternatives exist for enterprisewide apps? 

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Some companies have used a public cloud to support individual departmental applications, including test and development and some short-term projects. That position is similar to organizations that have used public cloud compute and storage services on an ad-hoc basis but are now looking to develop a more comprehensive cloud strategy for the way they use on-demand services.

While the public cloud is the most economical of cloud-deployment types, it is not the only -- or in many cases -- the best option. For companies worried about cloud performance and compliance issues, public cloud alternatives promise a greater degree of privacy, security and control. An enterprise can choose to deploy a private cloud where it is the sole tenant behind a firewall. The virtualized infrastructure can be deployed either in the enterprise's data center or in a provider's facility. Providers can still apply an OpEx-based pay-per-use pricing model that allows businesses to build out capacity with minimal upfront investment. At the same time, the single-tenant cloud configuration has greater security and better potential to meet compliance, performance and stability requirements.

Organizations with less stringent security, performance and availability requirements that want an even lower price point can deploy a virtual private cloud. A virtual private cloud is actually a segment of another cloud that is cordoned off so that just one tenant is supported. This allows for greater security and reliability and easier auditing from a compliance perspective.

Finally, a business that wants to maintain a high degree of control over mission-critical applications, but may want to tap into extra capacity on occasion, can deploy a hybrid cloud model where an application workload runs within a private cloud but can be migrated to a third-party public or private cloud when it needs additional capacity.

This was first published in April 2013

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