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Choose the right Cloud Deployment Model | STORM Clouds Services

Best Practice

Choose the right Cloud Deployment Model

Public Authorities should consider when they plan their Cloud strategy, the different Deployment Models of Cloud Computing [[i]]:

  • Private Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is used exclusively for internal applications within an organisation comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
  • Community Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is used exclusively by multiple organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
  • Public Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.
  • Hybrid Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud deployment models (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g. cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).

The following table summarises the pros and cons of the different deployment models [[ii], [iii]].

Option Pros Cons
Private Cloud + More control and reliability: IT can control the security of data, set compliance requirements, and optimize networks more effectively with cloud.
+ Customizable: IT can customize storage and networking components so that the cloud is a perfect fit for the specific organization and its needs.
– Requires IT expertise: A high-level of IT expertise is required to ensure maximum effectiveness and optimal configuration of the deployment.
– Costlier: The long-term costs may be higher due to increased management responsibilities and smaller economies of scale.
Public Cloud + Ease of management: Organisations IT departments do not manage their public cloud; they rely on Cloud provider to administer the cloud.
+ Ease of deployment: With the public cloud, there is low barrier to entry, so you can quickly configure and stand up a cloud.
+ Flexible: Users can add or drop capacity easily. Moreover, the environment is typically accessible from any Internet-connected device, so users don’t need to jump through many hurdles to access.
– Can be unreliable: Public cloud outages are quite common, leading to headaches for users.
– Less secure: The public cloud often has a lower level of security and may be more susceptible to hacks. In some cases, cloud providers may not be able to meet the strict constraints mandated by government institutions.
Hybrid Cloud + Flexible and scalable: Organisations are able to combine and match for the ideal balance of cost and security.
+ Cost effective: Organisations can take advantage of the cost-effectiveness of public cloud computing, while also enjoying the security of a private cloud.
– Complexity of management: Moving parts between public and private clouds can be a challenge.
– Requires IT expertise: A high-level technical staff is required to guarantee security vulnerability on all aspects is decreased.

In short, when choosing a specific cloud deployment model it comes down to a series of trade-offs related to cost, management and security. While public clouds may be the best option for small organisation from a cost perspective, organizations that require more control and/or security may opt for a private or hybrid cloud — providing they have the manpower and budget to manage those deployments effectively.

The STORM CLOUDS approach

The STORM CLOUDS Platform offers great flexibility to the cities, regarding the Cloud deployment model that they wish to follow. During the STORM CLOUDS project, the SCP operates both in a Private Cloud environment (hosted on Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s IT infrastructure), as well as in a Public Cloud environment (hosted on a commercial cloud provider).

Consequently, SCP supports Public, Private, as well as Hybrid Cloud deployment models. In case of the Private Cloud, the cities can install the SCP in their IT infrastructure and use it as the Cloud environment for their Smart City applications. Alternatively, cities can use an instance of the platform that is offered by an external provider and deploy their applications in the Public Cloud. A hybrid approach is also supported, as they can combine a Private Cloud, which will host the high-risk applications—those with high privacy and security requirements (i.e. applications that contain customer data and other sensitive information)— with a Public Cloud for the rest of them.

SCP can also be the foundation for the creation of a Community Cloud that will support not only a Municipality but also other Public Organisations, which operate in a city and offer services to citizens and local business.

References

[i] U.S. Department of Commerce – National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2011, The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing, viewed November 5, 2015, <http://goo.gl/6MgjdS>

[ii] Finding Your Right Cloud Solution: Private & Public Clouds, 2015, Oracle, viewed November 9, 2015 <http://goo.gl/KRolV6>

[iii] The pros and cons of public, private and hybrid clouds, 2015, viewed November 9, 2015 <http://goo.gl/D6jBYX>