Clouds

Public, Private and Hybrid clouds

Public clouds are based on the standard cloud computing model, an internet service provider makes resources, such as networking, applications and (object-) storage available to the public over the Internet. The definition "public cloud" is meant to differentiate between the standard cloud model and private clouds, which can be part of a proprietary network or data center that uses technologies used in cloud computing, such as virtualization or object storage.

The most important benefits of using a public cloud are:
  • Ease of set-up and low setup costs as hardware, application and bandwidth costs are covered by the cloud provider.
  • Scaling resources up and down at a moments notice
  • Pay per use, instead of paying for overhead capacity

Private clouds are essentially the same as public cloud, yet they are maintained and solely used by the organization they serve.

The most important benefits of using a private cloud are:
  • Better performance, within a private cloud the consumer has much more control over the number of instances running on the underlying hardware
  • Predictable costs, the private cloud provider charges a fixed cost for the cloud
  • Custom configuration, private clouds can be create "to order" with very specific computing or storage needs in mind

Hybrid clouds sit somewhere inbetween public and private cloud, the best way to describe a hybrid cloud is a company that has a private cloud yet uses a public cloud when they quickly need to increase their capacity.

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Public cloud providers

These providers offer cloud services to the public

Amazon Web Services
Also known as AWS, they are the unchallenged leader of the market in cloud computing. According to their most recent financial report they have generated a staggering $2.9 billion in revenue for the quarter ending on June 30, 2016. This is up from $1.8 billion during the same quarter of 2015. AWS offers a very complete range of Internet-as-as-Service and Platform-as-as-Service. The company is best known for the following services: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Block Store (EBS), Glacier storage, Relational Database Service (RDS) and DynamoDB NoSQL database.

Microsoft Azure
Azure is the cloud computing service that was created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing cloud applications and services through a complex global network of data centers that are managed by Microsoft. Azure provides SaaS, PaaS and IaaS and supports a lot of different programming languages, tools and frameworks, not just Microsoft-specific but also third-party software and systems.

Google Cloud Platform
This is a cloud compute service that has been created by Google which offers hosting on the same infrastructure that Google uses itself for end-user products like Search and YouTube. Google Cloud Platform provides developers products that allow them to build a range of applications from simple websites to complex cloud services. This cloud is a part of a suite of enterprise services owned by Google Cloud and provides a set of cloud-based services together with a host of tools used to develop applications.

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Private cloud providers

These companies offer private cloud as a service or support on-premise private clouds.

Rackspace
Rackspace is a managed cloud computing company based in Windcrest, Texas, USA. They offer a variety of services ranging from webhosting to cloudcomputing.

IBM
IBM Bluemix is a cloud platform as a service that has been developed by IBM. Bluemix supports several programming languages and services as well as integrated DevOps to build, run, deploy and manage applications on the cloud. It is based on Cloud Foundry technology and runs on the infrastructure of SoftLayer.

Openstack.Hosting: Private Cloud as a Service
Openstack.Hosting has recently been launched by Server.Biz and uses Openstack technology to build and manage private clouds, they also offer completely managed private clouds for rent.

Mirantis
Mirantis is a Sunnyvale, California, based cloud computing services company. They focus on the development and support of OpenStack clouds. Mirantis was founded in 1999 by Alex Freedland and Boris Renski and was one of the founding members of the OpenStack Foundation.

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