Cloud computing gives unprecedented access and options to businesses of all sizes. Before you make the move, it is important to understand the different types of cloud computing available. This knowledge will equip you with the information you need to decide which cloud environment is right for you.
Types of Cloud Computing
The cloud environment that works for a local office with ten employees may not work for a law firm with locations across the country. The three types of cloud computing are public, private and hybrid. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Public cloud computing is often the most familiar, because most of us use it on a daily basis. The public cloud is provided as a service over the Internet. Your business is not responsible for maintaining any technology or infrastructure – the service provider does it all. Servers and other infrastructure are kept off-site. In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see the infrastructure you use daily.
Benefits & Drawbacks
The public cloud is generally the most inexpensive option, but it can’t always provide for your organization’s every need. For example, if your organization uses cloud-enabled applications, the public cloud is an excellent solution. However, if you use applications that are not compatible with the cloud (many line-of-business applications are not cloud compatible) you’ll require some form of infrastructure on-site for support.
The public cloud is simple to navigate, and no resources need to be devoted to managing any infrastructure. While you are sharing the infrastructure with other businesses (hence the cost savings), you can still scale your services up or down as you need them.
The private cloud is also referred to as an internal cloud or an enterprise cloud. The primary difference between a private cloud and a public cloud is that the private cloud, while still acting as a service, is deployed over an internal network. This means you own the infrastructure, which may be located on-site or in a data center, and resources are required to manage and maintain your equipment.
Pros & Cons
Private clouds provide the highest security available in a cloud environment, limiting your business’s exposure to risks. Private clouds also offer more flexibility in terms of capabilities than their public counterparts. These enhancements come at a cost, causing private clouds to cost more than public environments.
As the name implies, a hybrid cloud combines the power of both public and private clouds. As both public and private clouds have different strengths, a hybrid cloud attempts to utilize those strengths while avoiding the weaknesses. A hybrid cloud can be custom designed in order to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The best part of a hybrid cloud is that it gives you the benefits of both private and public cloud environments. This means you have the most options available to your business. The only disadvantage of hybrid clouds is that they can create a more complex computing infrastructure, which may take more time to setup and continually manage, versus choosing one or the other.
Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Clouds
Ultimately, you have to consider your organization’s unique needs when deciding between the different types of cloud computing. Think about what types of tasks you need to accomplish on a daily basis, software applications you require and how you want to fund your technology. By doing this upfront research you’ll be able to correctly choose between a public vs. private cloud, or a combination of the two.