Commodity Clouds vs. Enterprise Clouds vs. Other Cloud Options: What’s the Difference?

October 18, 2012 by Diana Nolting

So, you've graduated from the cloud basics.

You know what cloud is conceptually.  You know that different vendors offer various cloud-based services including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  You may even have your project picked out to charge ahead on your cloud journey. 

To get to the next level you need to know gets beyond the basics.  In a first step to distinguish between cloud options, let’s about talk different types of IaaS clouds… commodity, enterprise and more.  Cloud choice exists not for vanity or semantics, but because different types of clouds offer differing benefits which may or may not be a right-fit for your workload. One type of cloud may be better suited for your workload needs.

Commodity Clouds
Some companies design their applications to run in commodity clouds, where the workloads can tolerate more risk in regards to security and performance. This option can reduce IT resource costs, yet typically involves high application development and management costs as the burden for security and performance is shifted to the application. 

Much like the wooden tool crate to the right, it will carry your workload, but it's not the most secure and it's best if it's okay for things to get a little "banged up" while being carried around in that particular box.

Enterprise Clouds
These clouds are designed for organizations with more complex hosting needs that are especially focused on security and performance requirements. Enterprise clouds are typically better suited to companies wanting a true technology partnership with the service provider, as well as integration of vital enterprise platforms such as VMware virtualization technologies across on-site and off-site datacenters.

Much like the locked trunk on the right, the Enterprise Cloud is built for security and performance.  It's much more secure than the commodity cloud and the items in the case won't get knocked around as much, they're more protected as a whole. You can also pay for someone to carry it around and watch out for it for you (managed and professional services) and in many cases those services come standard.

Open-Standard Clouds
Some clouds are very specific in the technology and types of workloads they can take handle.  A cloud who is very stringent with requirements may tell you you can't migrate existing VMs to their system, rather you have to set up new VMs using their preferred technology. Open standards seek to avoid those challenges by encouraging ineroperability between clouds.
 

Others
Other companies leverage private clouds or traditional colocation platforms. However, these environments do not feature the self-service and multi-tenancy capabilities that some companies demand. Some organizations get around this hurdle by using a commodity-type offering for some workloads and another vendor’s cloud for other workloads for a multi-vendor strategy, though this option can be costly and complex.
 

To find out more about what the right cloud is for your particular workload, download the free whitepaper “How To Choose the Right Virtual Datacenter for Your Needs” here: http://www.bluelock.com/form/whitepaper-choosing-the-right-virtual-datacenter/

 

Images courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/.