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Cloud Confusion – What Type of Cloud Do I Need?

Public or Private Cloud?

Your customer is confused.  They’ve heard their competitiors’ are about to ‘move to the cloud’. The greatest marketing the IT industry has ever achieved was coined by techies, so the customer, who may have expertise in manufacturing dog food, has no idea how it can benefit them.

In my previous blog “Cloud Confusion – What Does Cloud Mean?”, I highlight the importance of communicating your cloud offering clearly on the landing page, so that a potential customer knows they are in the right place.  In this article I want to tackle the cloud hosting categories. In my opinion, these are more easily defined, as they have a prefix descriptor as a reference; Public cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid cloud.  However, when we refer to a private cloud, for example, we don’t necessarily mean it is hardware for our sole use and security and when we say public cloud, we don’t mean that everyone has access to our resource.  So even this is a slight naming misnomer.

Public Cloud

A public cloud hosting is a set of datacentre cloud resources made available to the public only over a wide area network – easy the description even has ‘public’ in it.  The resource is shared amongst many customers and your data, applications and services could be hosted or moved to suit the provider.  You wouldn’t even be aware that it had moved, that’s the beauty (and beast) of cloud.

Private Cloud

So, a private cloud means it’s private, right? Well, yes and no. A private cloud could be hosted just like a public cloud, or it could be on your LAN (on-premise).  The difference is it is protected by a firewall and the resource is allocated exclusively to a set hosted by a cloud provider in a datacentre, anywhere.  There is no alternative definition for the on-premise cloud that you own, administer and access via LAN, so you see what I mean by the glossary not helping?  Let’s call it ‘truly private cloud’.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of an on-premise private cloud that provides security and flexibility and an off-site public cloud that allows you to benefit from the infinite resource of the service provider.

Converged Infrastructure

What about the term converged infrastructure?  Since I wanted the ultimate definition, as of today, before someone changes it again, I naturally went to Wikipedia (and donated) and was pleased to find that I was still current.  Converged infrastructure is a term used when modular components of IT equipment are brought together and managed as one. The components are orchestrated by the software, which is tasked with finding the optimum way of supplying the resource required by the user.  This simplifies the user experience and brings consistency to larger complex hardware banks, such as data centres.

And Hyperconverged Infrastructure?

Hyperconverged infrastructure is when converged infrastructure is supplied in a reduced physical format, such as 1-3Us of hardware rack space. Storage, compute and networking hardware and services are physically consolidated and supported by a single vendor.  Although, I have seen hyperconvergence used as a USP, when in fact the product is just the storage, or in some cases, just the software to hyperconverge one service.

At Innovate IT, we are re-formatting the cloud once again and calling it ScaleCloud. So now when I say ScaleCloud is a hyperconverged, truly private cloud appliance, with hybrid capability, you’ll know that translated, that means a 1U complete physical cloud appliance that you host on-premise that will work seamlessly with public cloud.

If you would like to save money, whilst increasing IT security and agility then contact [email protected] or visit

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Tabitha Rawlinson
Director of Operations @ Innovate IT Ltd
As Director of Operations, not only is Tabitha responsible for the daily business logistics, but also has the additional responsibility for delivering the product development pipeline in line with the company’s technology road map and ensuring it meets with the customers’ future needs. No mean feat, but with 10 years experience in product development in the energy sector for a global corporation, she brings a wealth of experience. Tabitha has an honours degree in Chemistry from The University of Kent and a PhD in Polymer Chemistry from Reading University.