As an alternative to the three tiered classification of cloud based services – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) – cloud computing can also be classified based upon how the underlying networks are implemented and accessed by the client. The following article provides and overview of the two principle models Public and Private Clouds.
These models do not describe strict architectures and so a variety of configurations can be employed to achieve each model of cloud computing. Furthermore, each model can be used to offer each tier of cloud service as mentioned above.
Public Cloud
When most people think of cloud computing they think of a typical public cloud model where the services on offer are available to public customers through a public network, usually the internet. The accessibility of this model allows for cloud services to be supplied to …

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The notion of running everything in the cloud was first pushed by Microsoft at the 2009 Worldwide Partner Conference when CEO Steve Ballmer introduced the enterprise level cloud computing platform Windows Azure. While Azure was more of a “supercomputer in the sky” for shared computational power, it’s not something the average SMB would likely use. However, during that same week Microsoft presented BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) to address the needs of the SMB market.
BPOS delivered Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communicator, and LiveMeeting through the cloud and was designed to give SMBs a way to move from traditional licensing models and expensive hardware requirements to a pay-as-you-go service plan. However, the number of SMB customers that could take advantage of BPOS was limited because something was lacking; a better Outlook client to handle the mail. Add to that the number of organizations using older versions of Office which were incompatible …

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