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What are the different types of cloud platforms for Credit Unions?

Credit Union cloud

Credit Union Cloud Platforms

If you are a bleeding edge technology adopter and feel that you could never try a new way to deploy technology than this post isn’t for you. However, if you are beginning your research on cloud computing cloud platforms and trying to determine how will impact your Credit Union or business this post is for you.

Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Community Cloud, Rain Cloud…. What does it all mean? These new technology trends are pushing us to consider cloud solutions for everything! So what is the difference between all of these platforms?

Private Clouds

You may be running a private cloud with out even realizing it! Private clouds are infrastructure platforms built with the sole purpose to serve your organization and your organization only. If you have built a virtual server environment with centralized storage, networking and management you already have your own Private cloud. If you have not deployed this setup for your infrastructure you are already behind the technology curve.

Private Cloud DrawbacksCredit Union cloud

Reduced Elasticity– Private clouds ARE more elastic however they are still like the “buy a server for every application” concept where you have to buy compute memory and disk to support your platform. You are usually stuck carrying some sort of extra capacity to support bursting compute and memory needs.

Responsibility-In a private cloud model you are also responsible for the infrastructure management. Using solutions like V-Block, VMWare and Cisco’s Cloud in a box can minimize this labor and responsibility, but this comes with a HEAFTY price tag. Private clouds aren’t all bad. Certainly for those who have the in-house expertise and management they will

Public Cloud

On the opposite extreme is the public cloud option. Public clouds are ones that are completely outsourced. Amazon and Rackspace. They are designed and built to support the widest range of possible uses. Operating system and application agnostic they are able to support all kinds of IT environments.

Public Cloud Drawbacks

Less Control -Public clouds provide less control of infrastructure. Usually the infrastructure layer is completely managed and does not provide much flexibility. While a public cloud option is built broader to support more environments they are usually very strict on their guidelines. You can do more with them but you are restricted to work within their box. This is done to keep their processes standardized, which reduces labor and improves uptime.

Majority Rules– A draw back of public clouds is that they ARE public. Their Development and direction is always going to be in the direction of the majority. This is where community clouds come in!

Community Clouds

Community clouds are solutions developed to fit a specific need or vertical. If you have specific application needs or security concerns about moving to a cloud computing strategy then the community cloud is the right one for you! Community clouds use the same building blocks as public or private clouds however they are usually developed with more specific security and controls that are geared for a vertical. Community clouds will usually only have clients that are in your vertical or services market. This is beneficial as then needs of a specific vertical are usually very similar. This also presents an environment enticing to application solution providers. If there are a group of clients all in the same community cloud the application provider will be more likely do design a solution that will work in that environment.

While Amazon and Rackspace are charging forward and growing more and more useful everyday, regulated and security conscience industries will usually flock to those environments designed and developed specifically for them. If you are in one of those categories a community cloud strategy is probably best for you!

Do you have concerns about where your cloud data will end up? Are you confused about which applications should be migrated first?

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