It seems as if everyone has their own definition of cloud and hosted services. In truth, cloud and hosted are very similar — both are off-premise and are accessed through an Internet connection. While some believe that these services are essentially the same, experts argue that cloud services are more interrelated with other web-based offerings. When it comes down to it, the main difference between the two services is multi-tenancy.
Multi-tenancy implements the sharing of resources and costs among a large pool of users and allows infrastructure to be concentrated in locations with lower costs, maximizing peak-load capacity and improving utilization and efficiency in systems that are often only used up to 10 to 20% of the time. Hosted services generally do not offer the same cost efficiencies, elasticity, or reliability as cloud services. As a result, cloud computing is more fitting for disaster recovery and business continuity.
The benefits for the cloud provider are amplified by only having to support a single version of software, the uniformity of its hardware environment, and its efficiency. The general rule is that if a solution is not multi-tenant, then it isn’t a cloud solution, and won’t have the same benefits.
Hosted services are technology services offered by a provider hosting physical servers that are removed from the customer’s premise. A hosted service provider owns and oversees infrastructure, software, and administrative tasks at a private location. The system is available to clients, typically through a direct network connection that uses the Internet (VPN, Remote Desktop, etc.). There are three main elements of this service: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These three combined encompass software, network capacity, and the equipment used to support operations such as storage, hardware, servers, and networking components.
Cloud services are a subset of hosted services. Hosted services, even those accessible using the Internet, cannot be referred to as real cloud solutions unless they have been built to capitalize on the collaboration and interconnectivity that is a fundamental part of the cloud. Cloud applications are web-enabled, meaning, instead of being based on physical hardware, they are based in a shared virtual environment managed by a cloud-hosting provider. Only server installation and a device with an Internet connection are needed. Many line-of-business (LOB) applications are adding this functionality to their offering. Cloud servers can be constructed to provide varying levels of performance, security, and control to configure to your business’s needs.
Cloud servers allow your business to optimize IT performance without the overwhelming costs associated with the purchase and management of fully dedicated infrastructure. These servers are the ideal fit for businesses of variable demands and workloads. Cloud services offer on-demand utilities, multi-tenancy features with seamless uninterrupted scaling, and features that are sure to meet your business’ needs to adapt and help you meet the demands of your client base.