Businesses worldwide have started implementing the use of cloud solutions for handling the storage of their technology needs. These solutions allow for off-site servers and hardware that is easy to access via the internet. There’s no doubt that this off-site setup allows for reduced business expenses in housing physical infrastructure and paying staff to manage it.
Considering moving to a cloud solution? You’ve likely been overwhelmed with all the options out there. From public clouds to hybrid clouds, which one is best for you? The truth is that each cloud computing solution offers different benefits for different businesses. We’re going to define each type of solution and explain when it’s best used.
1. Public Clouds
The most popular solution offered is public. The providers of this solution provide infrastructure and services for a large group of customers. This type of solution works best for collaborative projects and software development. Due to the easy scalability and pay-as-you-go structure, public clouds are an excellent option for developers to create and test their applications before switching to a private option.
The major pitfalls of public clouds are that users are under the full control of the solution provider. The solution provider could decide to change its platform at any moment or even shut down its operations. This situation requires consistent monitoring and quick response times from your business regularly. Public networks are also susceptible to more security issues as users don’t have any control over the security measures implemented for the network.
- A massive amount of space offers easy scalability
- Pay as you go structure
- Quickly managed through a self-service web portal
- Under full control of solution provider
- Must-follow terms and conditions of solution provider
- Susceptible to significant platform changes and provider shut down at any time
- Unpatched security issues
Recommended For: Public clouds are best for those businesses that are not looking for a high level of data security or for companies that are just starting and have minimal investment funds. Public clouds tend to be preferred by software developers who need the convenience of easily scaling up their space without the massive infrastructure investment at first. Many developers, once finished, will switch from public to private for a more secure application.
2. Private Clouds
Private cloud computing offers a more secure solution for businesses that want their data to be accessible only by authorized users of a single organization. The actual infrastructure can be positioned on-site or accessed via a colocation provider. Since private clouds are under the full control of an organization, there is no threat of sudden changes or shutdowns.
While private clouds can be an ideal option for businesses with strict data collection and storage regulations, they can be very costly. Unlike public clouds, where you can use the massive amount of available space to expand easily, private clouds require more infrastructure and software to expand, making scalability time-consuming and expensive for any organization, big or small.
- Can only be accessed by one organization
- Customizable security and system control
- No-risk of sudden changes
- Can be hosted on-site or accessed online
- Must pay for software and infrastructure
- Expensive scalability
Recommended For: Private clouds are highly sought-after by businesses who work in industries with highly-restricted data regulations. These include financial organizations, government agencies, healthcare providers, and schools.
3. Hybrid Clouds
As the name suggests, hybrid clouds are both private and public clouds where businesses can utilize public clouds for some aspects of their business and private clouds for others. The hybrid model allows for seamless interaction between both private and public platforms. There are typically two ways to utilize hybrid clouds.
The first is cloud bursting when private clouds are used as a primary solution to store data and house exclusive business applications in a secure environment. In the cloud bursting model, public clouds are used as a backup resource to ensure exclusive applications’ seamless operation when the user demand increases beyond the private solution’s limits. This solution helps to save the business money as they don’t have to buy more infrastructure and servers to handle high demand times.
The second hybrid model is based on using public clouds for outsourcing non-critical business applications. Those deemed non-critical are applications like basic productivity tools. However, most applications and data storage is housed in private clouds for more secure access. This multi-cloud architecture allows businesses to take advantage of private security for regulatory needs while still enjoying cheaper public computing for basic tasks.
- Allows for a cost-effective solution
- Ensures a business can always meet user demand
- Can be more difficult to setup
- Can make business data more susceptible to threat when user demand is high
Recommended For: Businesses who deal with frequent spikes in demand. Some well-known businesses that use this hybrid model include Airbnb, Uber, and Netflix.
4. Community Clouds
Community clouds are commonly shared among businesses within the same industry. They work essentially as private clouds but shared among a handful of companies. This model allows for a multi-tenant environment that reduces the high cost of infrastructure and software for private clouds. Each community solution is jointly managed by members of the various businesses that utilize it. Community clouds can be housed on-premises, such as in a shared industrial building or at a chosen data center.
- Much cheaper than a single organization private solution
- Allows for optimal data security at more affordable costs
- Network security depends on effective management of infrastructure
- Relies heavily on other solution partners staying in operation
Recommended For: Common users of community clouds include those in the financial services sector, healthcare organizations, and government agencies.
As you’ve discovered, you need to choose from these four cloud solutions. These include public, private, hybrid, and community clouds. Picking the right one for your business to use comes down to a few main factors.
- Price plays a significant role in your ability to choose the ideal solution for your business. You may not have the money in your budget to use any private solution if you’re just getting started.
- Security Requirements vary depending on your industry. Some government regulations may require your business to have a private solution for data storage.
- User Demand, for some businesses, fluctuates tremendously. Having the available infrastructure to handle high times of demand is a must to keep customers coming back.
- Industry Partners can be a great asset to save money on data storage and operation solutions. Those with many industry partners may opt for community clouds instead of footing the large private clouds bill.
Choosing a cloud solution requires diligence and understanding of your business’s various options and the many benefits that those options can provide. By analyzing the factors above, you should be fully capable of selecting the right type of solution for your business.