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Choosing the right cloud infrastructure is relative

While walking around claiming that cloud is gaining momentum is accurate, the fact of the matter is that companies are embracing different types of cloud technologies. When the cloud first emerged, pundits and corporate decision-makers believed Software as a Service was where the industry was heading. More recently, however, experts began to realize that implementing a cloud infrastructure was more reliable and cost effective.

A recent Enterprise Irregulars report highlighted this notion, stating that Platform and Infrastructure as a Service models are quickly gaining momentum in the workplace. Yet choosing to implement a private or public cloud infrastructure can also be a tricky decision, as both offerings have their benefits and setbacks.

In many cases, organizations opt for the public version because executives believe that it keeps costs low. While this is accurate, it does not necessarily hold true for the long run, as maintaining extensive solutions in a public cloud infrastructure for a long time will often drive costs up. Conversely, the private cloud is more expensive upfront but provides executives with complete control over their cloud resources and will be more cost effective in the long run.

A recent study by eWeek found that approximately 36 percent of businesses are using the private cloud, with another 29 percent are planning to use the technologies in the coming years. This suggests that many decision-makers recognize and are capitalizing on the benefits associated with managing their own cloud infrastructure.

Conversely, a separate report by IDC revealed that worldwide spending on public cloud services is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 22 percent through 2016, eventually reaching $12.2 billion. These predictions demonstrate that a large chunk of the business world is still interested in the public model, likely due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the global economy.

While these two studies suggest that businesses are taking various approaches to the cloud, together they show that the cloud is becoming a top priority for most organizations, regardless of which model executives find more appropriate to support their operations. Although some may find managing a private cloud infrastructure is more beneficial to them, smaller firms may appreciate the outsourced responsibilities of the public cloud more advantageous. For this reason, decision-makers need to take the time to assess every cloud option, weigh the pros and cons and select the technology that best aligns with their long-term objectives.

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