It’s not about shared vs. dedicated. It’s about the application

GoGrid CEO and Founder John Keagy, Nimbula CEO and Co-Founder Chris Pinkham, and SoftLayer CTO Duke Skarda - Structure 2011Users have different reasons and preferences for deciding between shared and dedicated resources in the cloud. But most shouldn’t be making those decisions based on the infrastructure, but based on the application that they’re trying to run, according to executives from GoGrid, Nimbula and Softlayer at GigaOM’s Structure conference on Thursday.

The three panelists — GoGrid CEO and Founder and Executive Chairman John Keagy, Nimbula CEO and Co-Founder Chris Pinkham, and SoftLayer CTO Duke Skarda — agreed that what’s most important when making infrastructure decisions around cloud services is the type of application that they’re using, how flexible it is and what degree of reliability or security is required.

While dedicated servers have their advantages, Keagy said the decision to run dedicated hardware generally comes from a market mentality, and is not based on what a customer needs but what he has used in the past in using on-premises equipment. At the same time, there’s also a group that grew up on services like Amazon Web Services and still relies on those types of shared services.

“A lot of the world just knows one or the other,” Skarda said, noting that people tend to gravitate toward what they know. But instead, Skerda said they should be thinking, “What is application doing and what’s the best architecture for that?”

Pinkham agreed: “Focusing on the infrastructure is not the right focus,” he said. “Customers should be focusing on the application. Different applications have different requirements… What matters is, what are those requirements?”