Public, Private or Hybrid: What Type of Cloud Computing Is Best for Me?
We sometimes fall into the trap of talking about the cloud as if it’s a mystical entity. But our cloud data isn’t stored in the invisible ether around us; it’s stored on physical hard drives in a remote location.
Demystifying the cloud and explaining it in practical terms is important to help businesses make better decisions about their cloud computing infrastructure. In this guide, we’ll take things a step further by discussing the three main types of cloud computing available to businesses: public, private, and hybrid clouds.
How do these different approaches work? And which one is best for your business needs?
Understanding the Types of Cloud Computing
Businesses, influential experts, and even some tech professionals refer to the cloud as one homogeneous whole. But in reality, there are many types of cloud computing.
The core concept is always fundamentally the same. With the use of cloud services, data is hosted and served remotely, allowing users to freely and conveniently access that data as they see fit. This arrangement tends to reduce costs, streamline operations, and even improve security. But where that data is stored and how it’s managed can change depending on what cloud services you’re using.
The main types of cloud computing we’ll look at in this article include public cloud services, private cloud solutions, and hybrid models.
Public Cloud Services
Public cloud services are, as the name implies, available to the general public. Any business owner who wants to make use of these services can pay for a subscription and begin using them immediately. You’ve likely seen these advertised by major cloud service providers—and you’ve probably used services like these whether you realize it or not.
Effectively, you’ll be sharing resources with other users. This usually isn’t much of a problem, but it can raise some additional complications.
These are some of the biggest advantages of public cloud services:
- Little to no maintenance requirements. With public cloud services, you’re tapping into a product that already exists and working with a company highly experienced in providing cloud services. Additionally, part of your subscription costs cover maintenance needs. Because of this, you should have little to no maintenance responsibilities for keeping your cloud services up and running.
- High scalability and flexibility. Public cloud service providers try to make their services as convenient and accessible to as many potential users as possible. Accordingly, they offer a wide range of packaged services that can be augmented over time. If you’re looking for something scalable and flexible, public cloud services are ideal.
- Reduced complexity. As we’ll see, building private cloud solutions can be complicated and overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what your needs are. If you’re just getting started or you need a simple solution, public cloud services are advantageous.
- Appropriate pricing. Compared to what you get, public cloud services tend to be inexpensive. The companies offering these services have considerable resources and experience, so they can afford to offer relatively low rates.
However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well:
- Fewer options. Because there are set packages to choose from, you may have fewer options with public cloud services than you would with a private cloud solution. If you have niche or complex needs, there may not be a viable solution for you here.
- Less control. Some business decision makers like to have as much control as possible over their cloud services. But when you go with a public cloud service provider, you’ll have to sacrifice at least some control.
- Lower security. While most public cloud providers take security seriously, it’s hard to rival the security provided by a private cloud solution.
If you want to save money or just need the basics, public cloud services are probably best. This is especially true if you’re not especially concerned about personal control or security.
Time to switch to the cloud? Get in touch with CTMS and start your digital transformation today!
Private Cloud Solutions
Private cloud solutions are exclusively dedicated to the business using them; there’s no sharing of resources, and most of these solutions are customized from the ground up. Cloud resources can be on premises or hosted offsite with third-party vendors. Either way, the business using this solution has total authority over how it operates.
These are some of the advantages:
- Totally dedicated resources. These resources are yours. You’re not going to share them with anyone, and you never have to worry about receiving lackluster service.
- High security. If cybersecurity is a high priority for your business, private cloud solutions are a must. You’ll have total control and transparency regarding how your private cloud solution is built, and you can use any and all security measures necessary to protect your sensitive information.
- Total control and customization. Decision makers often appreciate the ultimate flexibility and customization of a private cloud solution. You’re building this from scratch, so you can make virtually anything you want.
- Scalability. Public cloud services are marginally scalable, but private cloud solutions can be too if they’re built with scalability in mind.
However, we also need to acknowledge the potential downsides:
- Upfront costs. Creating a private cloud solution from scratch can be expensive, especially when compared to the cost of a public cloud service.
- Infrastructure limitations. If you’re building your solution onsite, you may have limited space and resources to work with.
- More maintenance needs. This is your cloud solution, so whether you do it yourself or hire a third party, you’re responsible for ongoing maintenance.
Hybrid Cloud Computing
So what is a hybrid cloud computing model?
Effectively, it’s a mix of both public and private cloud solutions. There are many ways to approach this, such as using public cloud services for some needs and private cloud solutions for others. You could also rely primarily on public cloud services while using private ones to augment your capabilities or security.
Because hybrid cloud computing models are so open-ended and flexible, they’re arguably the best approach—especially if you want to tap into the advantages of both public and private models.
Out With the Old, In With the Cloud
Are you orchestrating or managing cloud services for your organization? Feeling a bit lost on whether it’s best to pursue a public, private, or hybrid cloud? Our team of IT consultants can help. Contact CTMS for more information or a free consultation today!
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Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) supports organizations nationwide with high-quality, customizable business IT tools and cybersecurity strategies for dealerships and more.