Monday, April 27, 2015

Comparing Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds

The ability to share resources and access files from virtually anywhere and on any device has made cloud environments extremely viable in the eyes of a growing number of organizations and the general public. The “cloud” is essentially a third-party infrastructure that creates a network of machines that store data, allowing for greater flexibility in the way businesses and organizations are able to manage data. The economic advantages of using a cloud computing model are undeniable, but with various deployment models, it is important to first determine the needs of your business so you can choose if a public, private or hybrid cloud is right for you.

The most common model of cloud computing is a public cloud, where data storage is provided and accessible over a public network, like the Internet. Ideal for sharing resources and doing collaborative work, this model is typically provided as a service and is used for applications that have a lot of users. Public clouds also tend to be inexpensive and are usually on a pay-per-usage scale based on capacity, so organizations can still optimize efficiency without the high-added cost. However, because this model is built for collaboration, it offers limited security and reliability. The ease of access and availability of the data stored on a public cloud makes it inadequate for keeping sensitive or confidential information secured.

For greater security and control over a data center, a private cloud offers data storage over a private data network that is owned by a single company. Typically used by larger businesses because of the higher cost, the private cloud computing model offers security through firewall protection and gives the company complete control over information within the data center. For businesses whose assets primarily lie in their data and applications, or for those that operate within a secure industry that handles sensitive information, a private cloud should be a perfect fit.

With a hybrid cloud model, two or more different deployment models operate individually but are united under a single entity, allowing businesses the versatility of being able to manage both private and public data. Hybrid clouds are more complex to manage because they combine both in-house and external storage, but they’re useful in keeping all aspects of the business in their proper environment – secure information is controlled, while collaborative access is allowed to other less sensitive data. Especially for multifaceted businesses and organizations that store a variety of client and company data, a hybrid cloud can provide the flexibility in access necessary to operate under special circumstances.

With evidence of good economies of scale and various fiscal and organizational advantages, knowing which cloud type best meets your needs can make a significant impact on how your business manages data. Which cloud model do you think is right for your business? Let us know in the comments below!

Cloud Computing Models Infographic