Cloud Hosting: Identifying the Essential Elements
Cloud hosting remains a hot topic in enterprise IT circles. In the beginning, companies were trying to separate the marketing hype from reality. But today cloud technology is very real and businesses are moving quickly to understand and reap the benefits.
Basically, cloud hosting means your applications and data will reside on a virtual network instead of a computer. The “cloud” refers to this virtual network. By their nature, virtual networks allow you to access your applications and data from any location, at any time and through any device.
Even with this straightforward definition, cloud hosting solutions can come in many flavors. Because the “cloud” has become the latest and greatest buzz word, providers wanting to jump on the bandwagon are marketing all kinds of cloud solutions. So companies need to carefully analyze available offerings and compare them to their requirements.
The Essentials of Cloud Hosting
All cloud solutions should have five critical characteristics. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST), the required attributes include:
- On-demand self-service – This feature is the mainstay of all cloud hosting solutions. By moving applications and data to the cloud, you can use services at any time and from any location as your needs dictate.
- Broad network access – The beauty of cloud hosting is the ability to access the services you need from any device. With users relying more and more on mobile devices, laptops and tablets, tapping into resources through these platforms provides real value.
- Resource Pooling – Virtualization allows multiple users to share computing resources. Cloud hosting makes services available to everyone in the company at the same time.
- Maximum Agility – With cloud hosting, companies can deploy resources as needed. If demand changes, you can scale up or down quickly, easily and economically.
- Measured Service – Because you use IT resources on-demand, you only pay for what you use.
As you can see from these essential elements of cloud hosting, enterprise can reap significant value. Every one of these characteristics has the ability to lower capital and operating costs, improve productivity and enhance a company’s responsiveness. Furthermore, cloud hosting allows IT operations to match supply and demand quickly and easily. Gartner, Inc., a well-respected industry research company, refers to this concept as “real-time infrastructure.” Gartner elaborates in a 2011 research report titled “Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing,” by analyst David Mitchell Smith.
Confirming the continued adoption of cloud hosting solutions, Gartner estimates the market for public cloud infrastructure services will grow to $9.95B by 2013. IT departments and enterprise executives won’t be able to ignore the transformational benefits cloud solutions provide. Cutting costs and increasing agility will remain top motivators for cloud deployments.
CyrusOne offers an enablement platform for the cloud called “Sky for the Cloud™.” We provide the data center infrastructure or the “ home” for the cloud in a customized data hall so businesses can successfully run their cloud systems. It’s designed for optimizing Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and enabling fast interconnection to an ecosystem of business partners, content providers, networks, carriers, Internet service providers and Ethernet buyers and sellers.
“Sky for the Cloud” includes peering within a single location to more quickly and affordably pull content from the edge of the Internet to the heart of the data center. The new platform will provide interconnection of all CyrusOne facilities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix.