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What is the difference between Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and SaaS?

What is the difference between Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and SaaS?

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With all the talk about cloud hosting services these days, we at Tidestone wanted to write a blog about the three main differences between Private Cloud hosting, Public Cloud hosting, and SaaS. Each of the three options has a significant benefit, depending on your company’s internal IT capabilities, budget, and organizational needs.

The first option is called Private Cloud and has been around for quite some time. This is also known as collocation or hosted, and in less modern times has simply meant “space in a datacenter”. That meant that you would purchase hardware and rent space in a datacenter to store your infrastructure, enabling you to take advantage of things provided by the datacenter like backup power and high speed Internet. Private Cloud hosting has now moved to virtualized servers, but the concept remains the same. You own or rent a certain number of machines (or space on servers) and they are typically dedicated to your company. This means you are not sharing resources with other companies in the datacenter. It is also possible to integrate hardware into a Private Cloud if desired and have a hybrid hardware/ virtualized environment. The hosting provider is typically responsible for the hardware operation of the environment whether it be the virtualized hosts or the hardware servers. You would be responsible for managing the hypervisor and up. This means creating virtual machines, installing operating systems, configuring networks and installing and managing applications. Private Clouds almost always require you to sign a contract.

Public Cloud is a much newer model and is also referred to as “Pay-As-You-Go” and “Self-Service”. Public cloud hosting, such as Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and Amazon EC2 allow you to go a web portal, enter a credit card and start creating virtual machines. There is typically no contract or obligation involved with Public Cloud hosting, and you only pay for the resources that you use. Public Cloud is usually billed by the minute, and you can easily scale up your resources or shut machines down as needed. Public cloud, by definition, is one large multi-tenant environment. The provider manages multiple hardware servers and storage arrays and presents them in whatever sized “chunk” you need. You may create a single virtual machine using 4 GB of memory that is running on a pool of servers with many hundreds of GB of memory available.

SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, is a form of cloud computing that may run on either of the above platforms. SaaS is a way of presenting an application to customers as a seamless, web based solution. The application in most cases was written from the ground up to be SaaS so that it can take full advantage of multi-tenant environments, using only a single instance of source code. The multi-tenant and single source code allows for the application platform to be upgraded all at once. True SaaS products offer free upgrades because when they release new code, the entire platform receives the update. Intaact ERP, Office 365 and Salesforce are examples of true SaaS products. SaaS is almost always a per-user/ per-month charge that covers all software licenses, upgrades and sometimes even technical support.

Now that you’ve learned about Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and SaaS, we’re going to tell you how our GP hosting practice here at Tidestone Solutions was designed – YourCloud. We really liked the SaaS model, especially for ERP solutions, because our customers typically have limited or no internal IT support. The SaaS model allows your IT resources to work on more important projects for the company and allows your Microsoft Dynamics GP experts to handle your GP administration. The problem with this, is that GP was not originally designed to be a SaaS product with one single code base and multi-tenant support. Microsoft Dynamics GP does support multi-tenancy in some respects, but still utilizes one code base per tenant. There are many reasons why GP will most likely stay this way. Because of this, we decided to choose a public cloud infrastructure for flexibility, add our internal GP administration experience, and present GP to our customers as a SaaS-like product. To the customer, GP functions as SaaS because all you see is the GP application itself. With YourCloud, we offer free upgrades, although we do have to upgrade each tenant individually, and all back-end resources are managed by Tidestone Solutions. If you have an issue with anything related to your GP application, you can call us for your technical support. This one-stop support for your ERP software solution is very appealing to our customers. Soon, we’ll be adding a Web Client infrastructure for all of our GP YourCloud customers. Learn more about our offering by contacting a Tidestone Solutions consultant today!

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Learn more about our offering by contacting a Tidestone Solutions consultant today!

info@tidestonesolutions.com  |  207-761-2133  |  www.tidestonesolutions.com

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