Your deployment architecture is the manner in which the system is deployed for use by a customer. Common choices include
- Customer site
- Application service provider (ASP)
- Managed services provider (MSP)
- Variant of a service provider (xSP)
- Web services
Hybrid models, in which part of the system is deployed at a customer site and part at a service provider will become increasingly common.
Customer influences that motivate the selection of a deployment architecture include
- Control desired
- Integration with other systems
- Data security/privacy
- The ability to handle peak loads
- Initial and ongoing costs
- Customer confidence in you
- Skills and experience of the system's operational staff
Corporate influences on the selection of a deployment architecture include
- Desired and actual sales cycle
- Infrastructure investment
- Financial model, most notably cash flow
- Desire to move quickly and efficiently in managing your customer base
- Geographic distribution of your company relative to your customers
The choice of a deployment architecture does not change the total of work associated with a successfully managed system. It may change the distribution of this work.
Information appliances are a growing category for deployment architectures in a wide variety of environments. Open-source licensing models, which can lower total costs of ownership, are in part fueling this growth.