Many organizations of all sizes and in all sorts of industries are pursuing cloud computing. This style of computing has emerged as a business necessity, and it looks to provide high levels of productivity, value, and returns on IT investments. That said, when choosing the best cloud offering for your business, understanding the various cloud models is crucial. These consist of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions.
We’ll look at each of these and what they bring to the table to differentiate themselves from the pack.
Cloud computing uses an underlying concept of offering the ability to share resources to improve performance by using various storage, networking, and computing resources to store and process data. As such, cloud resources can be both automated and adaptive. When a small problem crops up, such as a single component failing, it can be identified quickly and the workload it was doing will be automatically shifted to components that are still working. The way cloud types differ is based on the level of control and manageability.
As expected, public clouds are in fact public. The vendor who provides the infrastructure will run a cloud environment, and multiple clients gain access to the many resources from across the network. What makes public cloud solutions so popular is the fact that they are extremely cost effective and they have a high level of scalability. This makes it possible to accommodate different levels of workloads while businesses only pay for the time resources are in use. To give a few examples of projects suitable for the cloud, they might include collaborative projects that may change team members over time, testing application code, and business applications like CRM or email.
A private cloud is also an extremely popular option for businesses in modern days. This type of cloud allows all the availability, reliability, and efficiency of the public cloud but without serving multiple organizations. The one thing that private clouds do lose is the scalability available from a public cloud. However, private clouds also allow greater security and control for the business of the data in the cloud. For a company with strict privacy and security regulations, and that is very data-oriented, a private cloud can be a useful solution. When using a private cloud, the business owns all the software and hardware to build and maintain the cloud.
Extended Private and Public Clouds
It’s worth understanding that the line between a public cloud and a private cloud is slowly being blurred as more and more public cloud providers are starting to offer private clouds for businesses. On the flip side, those who are running private clouds are beginning to make public services available to other companies. Amazon is an example of a pioneer in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Their cloud used to be used for only their online store but is now extended into a public cloud.
A hybrid cloud is a combination of private and public cloud offerings that are used by a single company. For example, a company involved in multiple markets might use a public cloud to interact with customers while they work with customer data in a private cloud. This allows for the best of both worlds when considering security and scalability.
Every type of cloud is different and has its own set of benefits and problems. Public clouds are scalable but may be more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Private clouds aren’t scalable but offer more control and security. Hybrids give you both but require more management. Depending on what your company needs, any of them could be a good option. You just need to take a look at exactly what you want from your cloud provider.