Cloud computing and delivering applications in the Cloud have taken a life of their own when it comes to what companies are claiming. For example, we have seen vendors that run a multi-tenant application in a private data center put their email service in the Cloud and now they claim to be a Cloud company.
What we define as true Cloud Computing is a service that is running through a public cloud. While other delivery mechanisms may have merit, we simply want to ensure that you fully understand the differences between a true public cloud delivery model versus some of the false facts that are being unleashed by marketing departments that are trying to bring a company's old business model into the next generation of delivering value, consumer style, facing services for the enterprise.
Below are a set of truths when it comes to evaluating what is a true Cloud Solution:
The Platform Runs in a Public Cloud
This means that the full solution runs in a public cloud like Amazon.com AWS or Microsoft Azure. Meaning part of the service cannot be in a private data center and another part in the Cloud.
The System Breathes
The service should leverage Cloud fundamentals of being able to automatically scale up during peak usage and then scale back down when the load is light. This allows software providers to have to spend significant money on hardware to meet peak demands. The savings are reflected in more value to the customer for the cost.
Disaster Recovery is Global
When running in a public cloud, there are many options for how to handle catastrophic disasters in different areas of the globe. If a certain region of the world is hit with a flood or internet hack, then the system should automatically direct user traffic to one of the many different other data centers that are part of public cloud offerings. This should be inherent in the system and should not be charged for by vendors.
Innovation is Fast
Companies that deliver services in the Cloud, must be able to keep up with customer and market demand. Most Cloud Technology companies subscribe to an Agile development methodology, which means that you are constantly innovating and delivering new features to your customer base. Only companies that deliver their service in the Cloud and only support the Cloud are able to do this. Imagine the difficulty of trying to build a feature that must work across different databases or different software releases. The Cloud eliminates that aspect of no-value added work.
Same Code Line = Insane Quality
When you have thousands of users utilizing the service every minute, the quality must be rock solid, otherwise you will have a lot of very upset users! When you are only managing a single production code line for all customers, all at the same time, the ability to deliver insanely high quality software is crucial to the business. Cloud technology provider engineers don't make less mistakes then say a on-premise or on-demand engineer, but with instant feedback and proactive monitoring, they can resolve issues as they come up and roll them out to all users before most users have even noticed an issue. Only in the Cloud can you setup monitoring that will evaluate almost every permutation of the service, given the quantity of users.
Cloud Business Model
The business model of true cloud companies is to deliver a uniform service to all costumers. Companies that follow a hybrid model that utilize both on-premise and on-demand solutions are forced to split their resources to deliver software. This results in redundant overhead—overhead that could be avoided using a cloud solution and the savings passed on to customers.