From Software as a Service (SaaS) to virtualized infrastructure, public cloud service providers help your business access computing and storage resources without a large upfront cost.
Public cloud services—in one form or another—have become a must-have in businesses of all sizes. Whether it’s a cloud-based CRM application or a developer platform, your organization likely already uses a mix of public cloud resources. Understanding your options and how to match business needs to the right services can help you maximize ROI and work more effectively.
The public cloud is one type of cloud deployment model. While a private cloud is powered by infrastructure you own, the public cloud provides resources over the internet from a cloud service provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. The public cloud offers a variety of services, from bare metal to virtualized compute, storage, and networking. This offers a cloud resource sharing environment in which you can purchase services in the amount needed. In this multi-tenant architecture, many users may consume the same hardware resources. However, only your users can access your organization’s data.
Benefits of the Public Cloud
Because they’re so accessible and easy to scale, public cloud services can give your business the speed and agility to get to market fast—or to simply experiment with new applications and services and see what works.
As for upfront costs, there’s minimal investment to get started. Services are priced as pay-per-usage, so you can buy more capacity as you need it. This is good news for workload scalability. And because your IT team is not responsible for the hardware, public cloud services are relatively low maintenance.
Workloads that may be needed only for a short period of time are especially suited for the public cloud. For example, a startup company that can’t afford to wait months to prove its viability can adopt the public cloud to quickly scale compute, networking, and storage to meet its needs.
However, if your organization has concerns about moving certain data or applications off premise, check first with your cloud service provider to understand their security offerings. In addition, some local regulations may require you to keep sensitive data on site or within the borders of your country. In these cases, the private cloud might be your best option.
"Using Google Cloud Platform, our machine learning training times have improved by 20%, giving us one-fifth more compute power to redirect to experimentation and innovation. We built a Kubernetes cluster of 150 64-core Intel® Xeon® Skylake processors in just 15 minutes." —Michael Bishop, CTO and co-founder, Alpha Vertex
Public Cloud Use Cases
Thanks to the wide range of options offered by cloud service providers, you can purchase and consume the public cloud in a way that best suits your needs. For example, under the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model, you can buy instances of hardware resources, and then have your IT team manage the operating system, databases, and data. This allows you to create a virtualized environment with virtual resources.
Or, if you want to be as low maintenance as possible, you can choose Software as a Service (SaaS) for applications like your CRM software or payroll. There are other services at every level in between, depending on how much your IT team wants to manage.
The OpEx-weighted structure of the public cloud can be beneficial for AI applications in particular. This is because AI projects often start with experimentation and need time to prove long-term business value. As such, CapEx investments are often not ideal.
Intel-Powered Public Cloud Solutions
Some workloads are best suited to the public cloud while others are a better fit for private infrastructure. Most organizations will see the best results with a hybrid, multicloud approach. Intel works with ecosystem partners, such as VMWare - Intel Virtualize ASAP, Red Hat, and Microsoft, as well as top cloud service providers (CSPs) such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, to ensure you can use your preferred combination of public and private cloud resources.
Intel delivers a strong foundation for cloud computing, both on premises and in the cloud. Since the beginning of cloud computing more than a decade ago, we’ve collaborated with CSPs and others in the ecosystem to optimize and deliver co-engineered solutions with the workload-optimized performance our customers know and trust. Intel has millions of CPUs deployed globally supporting cloud services. Regardless of the cloud service provider you choose, Intel is working behind the scenes to provide consistent, powerful performance, scalability, and application compatibility. The result is the unique ability to move seamlessly across cloud services with little to no re-testing or re-validation.
Public Cloud Developer Resources
Large public cloud service providers offer developer frameworks and Intel® Integrated Development Environment (Intel® IDE) tool suites to help your developers work faster and more efficiently. This could be a key consideration in your selection process. Additionally, Intel works with cloud service providers to deliver integrated frameworks and libraries optimized for the provider’s cloud services available in their online marketplace.
When choosing a cloud service provider, evaluate their specialized service offerings and match them to the needs of your business to drive faster innovation. For example, many cloud service providers today provide analytics as a service offerings, including database as a service and data lake services.
Moving Forward with the Public Cloud
As you fine-tune your mix of cloud resources, consider each application individually. You don’t need to place all of your workloads with the same public cloud provider. Remember that a multicloud approach will most likely give you the most control and flexibility, allowing you to match each workload with your budget, technical requirements, and other business needs.