Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 3: Enterprise Focus

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 3: Enterprise Focus

By Stuart P Mitchell

The third post in this series looks at some of the pros and cons of dedicated and cloud hosting solutions when it comes to providing the services that enterprise customers actually demand. Much focus in the industry has in the past been concentrated on the technical capabilities of the respective platforms but the key to adoption across enterprise is how that technology sates business requirements.

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Customer Experience

A traditional weakness of cloud computing, and perhaps a consequence of its on-demand access model is the area of SLAs and targeting enterprise consumers' needs effectively. The utility style of the service means that consumers have to some extent fitted their computing needs to the cloud services available rather than vice versa in order to benefit from the economies of scale and reduced costs. After all, the service is to a large extent defined and packaged up by the provider with the consumer tapping into it as and when they need it.

Dedicated platforms have, in the past, outperformed cloud in this area with the ability to provide customisation and control over individual servers and the use of more suitable SLAs on better defines services. Businesses have been able to take their IT requirements to a provider of dedicated hosting and build the platform around it (cost permitting) leading to a more bespoke set up.

However, there is now a concerted effort within the cloud sector to provide better targeted enterprise applications with in-built flexibility, scalability and security as well as SLAs which accurately reflect the performance of these services and the needs of enterprise. An example of this move away from a one-size-fits all model is the development of the idea of cloud application stores where organisations can purchase the components they need individually to construct a cloud package which is tailored to their business needs. In other words, providers create and define individual components but customers configure their overall bespoke service using these elements.


The benefits mentioned above and in the preceding posts in relation to the cloud result in arguably the key long term driver for enterprise adoption of cloud hosting and cloud computing in general, that of choice. Ultimately, the flexibility of the model means that anything is theoretically possible for an enterprise customer if they have the budget and their provider has the resources.

The same can be said about traditional dedicated platforms (at a greater cost) but the scalability issues encountered by businesses using dedicated servers are, as stated, negated with cloud hosting by the removal of the concept of capacity. As mentioned previously dedicated platforms can be used to provide a bespoke hosting solution for enterprise customers at any level but once the platform is established any further changes to it may require time and expense. With cloud hosting, if a business wishes to try a particular project or campaign as a short term venture they can so with minimal lead time, pay-as-you-go costing, and responsive scaling, thus reducing these costs and the resulting risks of the venture.

Part 4 of this series of posts goes on to focus in more detail on the topic of security and how the two hosting solutions compare.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

If you want to find out more about the respective benefits of cloud and dedicated hosting platforms then you can check out this blog on Infrastructure as a Service.

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