There were two separate announcements today concerning the launch of managed services offerings for systems deployed by public cloud infrastructure.
The first one comes from OpSource in the form of a Managed Service for the Cloud offering, while Rackspace Hosting coincidentally announced a similar Managed Cloud for Cloud Servers service. Both vendors are claiming to offer the first managed services offering for the cloud, even though there are probably other hosting providers that would claim that they have been doing the same thing for some customers without necessarily advertising it as such.
What's interesting about this is that the nuance between a managed service in the cloud and your garden-variety managed hosting agreement basically comes down to two simple distinctions: In a cloud implementation, the IT infrastructure is shared; in a managed hosting environment, the IT infrastructure is dedicated.
As managed hosting has been around for a while, you might wonder what the big deal is. But as Keao Caindec, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for OpSource notes, some companies need more hand-holding than others when it comes to transitioning to the cloud. They simply don't have the people or the skills needed to manage remote virtual servers running somewhere outside of their existing IT environment.
If you're starting to feel that the number of variants of cloud computing is starting to perhaps make the whole concept dissipate a little more, you're probably not alone. But when you get right down to it, there are four basic things to remember:
The odds are good that sometime in the next two years, your organization will be employing all four of these options to one degree or another. So rather than getting caught up in all the nomenclature, the thing you really need to remember is that the cloud is now a lot like Burger King: You can have it your way.