Making a Choice

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2010-04-08 Print this article Print

Business and technology managers may be uncertain about the differences between public and private clouds, but they need to get up to speed very quickly because the demand for cloud computing is increasing at a fast clip.

Making a Choice

The public cloud structure is also appealing to organizations that aren’t dependent on high-volume, automated sales. That describes United Seating and Mobility, which uses IBM’s LotusLive Engage for online meetings, file-sharing and project-management tasks.

If the company had done this in-house, it would have taken up a server and a half, DeHart estimates. “Being on the public cloud allows us to avoid this entirely,” he says. “It’s a leasing-versus-owning concept—an operational expense versus a capital one. And the software-as-a-service offerings are better than what we could get off the shelf.

“We certainly can’t use this cloud to work with any sensitive health data. But we can run much of our business operations on it, freeing up our IT people to focus on e-mail, uptime and cell phone services.”

The Cavs took a different approach, opting for private cloud services to support the Website for its venue, Quicken Loans Arena, affectionately known as “The Q.” Fans can go to TheQArena.com and search for information about upcoming events. If they want to buy tickets, they are directed to a business called Veritix.

Because the arena site acts mainly as a traffic conduit for Veritix, setting up a private cloud made the most sense. Consequently, the team partnered with Hosted Solutions for this service.

Since the basketball season started last fall, the arena site’s page views and visits have increased more than

60 percent, and the number of unique visitors has increased by 55 percent. By working with Hosted Solutions on the private cloud, the team avoids that “Who’s minding the data?” uncertainty that a public cloud can present.

In addition, the private cloud enables the team to handle site traffic that can make a sudden, significant leap with the swish of a last-second, playoff-deciding shot.

“The need to scale was significant,” Lillibridge says, “but we didn’t want to oversee our own dedicated hosting. It would have been more expensive, and we would have had the headache of managing our own servers. We needed dedicated services that would avoid this, while allowing our capacity to increase during peak times and decrease when we don’t have a lot of traffic.”

So, which is better: public or private clouds? The answer, it seems, depends on your company’s requirements for speed, security, scalability and resources.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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