In this post, I wanted to offer a quick breakdown of the various cloud deployment models. Moving to the cloud in general means giving up some control and possibly some functionality for a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), whether in a Public, Private, or Hybrid cloud.
If you select an Application Service Provider (ASP) model, you will give up control of the hardware, networking, and the physical plant. If you go with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), you usually deploy on a pre-built server configuration. With Platform as a Service (PaaS), i.e. Microsoft Azure service, you basically select the application and the rest is managed for you. Finally the Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, i.e. Office 365, enables you to sign up for the services ($$) and use them.
When moving to a cloud model you usually give up some of the functionality of running the software locally. For example, currently the Enterprise-class FAST Search for SharePoint is not part of Office 365. However, with each new release of our software, we strive to eliminate such tradeoffs. It will be interesting to see what functionality companies are willing to trade off for cost saving and speed of deployment. Jeff DeVerter1 told me that the CTO of Rackspace likes to say, “The Cloud is for everyone, but not for everything.”
I also think that the positive effect of reduced capital expenditures for hardware infrastructure needs to be reviewed from more than an accounting viewpoint. The effect of having more capital to spend on IT innovation, new services, and the Return on Investment (ROI) from these investments should not be over looked when making such tradeoffs.
To help you make cloud deployment decisions, I recommend you refer to the architectures and various white papers at our TechNet Cloud Solution Hub via the link below and the second reference at the end of this blog.
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By Philip E. Helsel, MCT
References:1. DeVerter J (2011) Content Delivery Networks and SharePoint, SharePoint in the Cloud | LinkedIn Group
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