Increasingly, organizations are relying on the cloud infrastructure, making it the epicenter of SDx innovation. The cloud uses data center servers (virtualized to allow one or more virtual server instance to run on a single physical device) and software networks to dynamically allocate resources to deliver applications to remote end-users.
The cloud is managed by software that allows users (cloud providers or enterprise customers) to control the compute, networking and storage resources and partitions them to let multiple-tenants or applications share and scale those resources. Typically, clouds come in three flavors:
- Public – providing network capacity, storage or applications over a public network, such as the Internet. Public cloud providers typically offer organizations a “slice” of their cloud data center resources, enabling customers to benefit from the efficiencies derived from a shared (multi-tenant) infrastructure.
- Private – using a cloud infrastructure that is dedicated to a single company and accessible only via a private network connection. The infrastructure (servers and network) may be managed internally or by a third-party managed services provider (managed private clouds).
- Hybrid – combining public cloud with private cloud platforms. Organizations often deploy multiple clouds to support temporary capacity fluctuations, using a public cloud to handle bursts of activity that exceed their private cloud capacity, or to appropriately address the needs of different applications, using private clouds for more sensitive apps and public clouds for less critical services.