I love ice cream, especially soft serve ice cream. Traditionally there wasn’t much variation in soft serve ice cream. It was available in three flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and twist. You could change it up a bit by adding chocolate or rainbow sprinkles, but all in all it was pretty straightforward ordering your ice cream. Recently I’ve found ice cream stands offering flavored soft serve. They pour vanilla into a dish, add flavoring and color, and put the mix through a dispenser to create a host of new flavor options. My personal favorite is coconut soft serve with chocolate sprinkles. Yum!
I tell you this story about ice cream because like soft serve, many enterprises believe that there are only three flavors of cloud communications—public cloud, private cloud or hybrid. Pull the lever on the left of the Cloud dispensing machine, and you get private cloud, which usually consists of a customer building their own data center(s) and hosting a communications solution with purchased licenses. Pull the lever on the right, and you’ve got public cloud, typically a communications service managed by a third party, delivered over the public internet in a subscription model. When you use the middle dispenser, a hybrid cloud blends the two solutions together.