Having just spent a week in the company of a team of IBM cloud computing experts, there is something that I find surprising.
It seems that every company in the IT business has suddenly become a cloud provider. Granted, some of them have been in the cloud space for quite some time, but it seems that almost every provider redefines the goalposts on a regular basis regarding what it means to provide cloud.
From the standpoint of a cloud customer, a main consideration is whether they should need Private Cloud (where the customers own physical hardware), or Public Cloud, (where the physical hardware is owned by the cloud service vendor). Private Cloud is represented by the left-hand segments and Public Cloud by the right-hand blue-colored stacks.
Hybrid Cloud (a mix of Public + Private) turns out to be a favored solution of many established businesses, giving them best of both worlds, where they can continue to use some of the physical hardware they have already invested in, and benefit from the flexibility of the OPEX-only nature of Public Cloud.
One of the most innovative solutions on the cloud market which offers an ideal mix of the flexibility of access to physical hardware, combined with the instant scalability of public cloud is the BareMetal offering provided by SoftLayer.
In other public cloud provider environments, you will usually find ALL resources are virtualised, and ALL resources are shared. In other words it is difficult to impossible to tell where exactly your data resides and how much of the resource it is getting on the machine it actually sits. Certainly there may be applications and clients that will not notice nor care about this, however, what of those who signed up to Public cloud elsewhere, and who did not have any other option at the time than such a totally shared environment would do well to consider the benefits of Bare Metal.
Bare Metal means that the physical servers are reserved for the client in the data centre, and are not shared with other clients. Flex Images can automate deployment of standardized images across physical or virtual machines, and can automate deployment and portability. Most importantly, SoftLayer Bare Metal allows for the widest range of OS and API choices on the market, giving significantly more flexibility and control than competing platforms.
If this is coupled with the unique 3 layer, network-in-network, design of the SoftLayer datacentre, where each physical server is reachable via 2x public, 2x private, as well as 1x management network connections, then the SoftLayer client has a huge comparative advantage over other cloud instances. Beyond this, the possibility of addressing and transferring data between SoftLayer data centres without charge or penalty addresses another important painpoint for many clients.
If your company is already receiving a cloud service either physical or virtual from elsewhere, then you would be well advised to challenge your provider according to the areas of comprence in the graphic above. You may find that they’ll be dismissive of being able to provide solutions across all areas of the graphic above as an incomplete portfolio is rarely advertised.
Either way, why don't you talk to me or my IBM SoftLayer colleagues to discover how the cloud service which supports approx 50% of the app traffic on both iOS and Android (That’s IBM SoftLayer in case you were wondering!) can help you.
Chat with me via my IBM homepage http://ibm.co/GerClancy