Choosing between Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud
How these three types of cloud solutions differ and what they can do for your cloud needs
Cloud computing is the process of storing, accessing and managing data on external servers. It offers useful features that help small and medium businesses (SMBs) focus on pursuing growth rather than the often mundane, yet important data management. Lower IT costs, reliable collaboration tools, and easier data back-up are just a few benefits the cloud can offer your company.
While cloud computing is advantageous, companies must conduct extensive research before migrating their business to the cloud. One important aspect companies must consider is choosing the model of deployment. SMBs can deploy their data on public, private or hybrid cloud models, depending on their business needs.
Before you choose your deployment model, you should know their differences, advantages and risks so you can find the perfect fit for your business needs.
Public cloud deployment means your data is stored in external servers managed by cloud service providers (CSPs) who offer their products to several organisations. This means their servers host data for a number of clients, which is then made accessible through the internet. In this model, public cloud vendors build the infrastructures to be shared by numerous companies.
- Scalability – this type of deployment offers a high degree of scalability since you can increase and decrease your cloud usage upon your demands.
- Cost-effectiveness – public CSPs offer pay-as-you-go pricing schemes, allowing companies to only pay for what they use. It also eliminates the need to build your own IT infrastructure, thereby avoiding being locked into high upfront costs, so you can be flexible with your IT spending.
- Security – while your data is secured by service providers, it’s still important to consider adding extra precautionary measures, since your data is on shared servers.
- Fewer hardware choices – With the public cloud, it is the provider, not the consumer, who chooses where (on which servers) your data will be stored.
Private cloud servers are cloud environments built for a single company. Your data is stored on private servers maintained by your own IT team and sometimes, by service providers.
- Privacy and security – Unlike the public cloud, this model of deployment provides you with the ‘prestige’ of storing and accessing your data on private IT environments. It provides more security than public cloud since your own IT team will be managing your company’s data.
- High level of control – Since you are building the infrastructures, you can choose to opt for better hardware for optimum performance. You can also spread workloads across your environment to allow your servers to run smoothly. Private clouds allow you to have your system work for your whole business process.
- Lack of flexibility – while it offers increased security, you will lose one main benefit of the cloud: flexibility. As you are building the infrastructure yourself, you cannot enjoy the same pay-as-you-go pricing offered by public cloud providers. You must integrate your business processes with your infrastructure to maximise your investments.
- Expensive set-up – SMBs can expect high upfront costs when building their own data centres. Companies need to account for expenditure to acquire office spaces, buy hardware, hire IT professionals and pay recurring utility fees.
A hybrid cloud setup means the division of your cloud usage between private and public clouds. You store some of your data in public shared servers and keep a part of it in your in-house data centre.
- Security and flexibility – hosting your data on public and private clouds mixes the scalability of public cloud, and the security of private cloud systems. With a smart cloud strategy, you can divide the workload among the servers to enjoy the benefits of both public and private cloud.
- Cost-effectiveness – SMBs using the hybrid cloud can keep critical business information stored in private cloud systems while letting public servers handle regular data. It reduces the upfront costs of building IT environments as you will only need to build servers for sensitive information.
- Similar to its advantages, which mix the benefits of public and private cloud systems, hybrid cloud systems have the drawbacks of both cloud systems. You will have affordability and scalability of the public systems, yet lose security privileges a private cloud system can offer.
As with any technology you integrate with your system, you must conduct research into cloud deployment benefits and drawbacks so you can devise a strategy and have it fit your requirements.