Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud – Which to Choose?
When it comes to business, cloud computing is on everyone’s mind. This next generation of computing technology is proving to be extremely beneficial for organizations of every size.
With this increased consideration of the cloud, many are deciding how to best integrate it into their business. There are three main forms of cloud computing: public, private and hybrid. When considering the move, you shouldn’t just pick one of these at random. The choice should be strategic, based on the characteristics of your business. Each cloud model is best suited for certain types of organizations and needs, so picking the wrong one could backfire. It’s important to consider security, compliance, cost, efficiency, integration and scalability.
A public cloud is based on the popular definition of cloud computing – it provides services, applications and computing resources off-site via the Internet. Multitenancy is a huge part of the public cloud, as the resources used are shared by multiple organizations. This leads to greater efficiency, amazing scalability and lower costs, all of which are huge draws of public cloud computing. Businesses typically use a pay-as-you-go model, truly purchasing the cloud “as a service,” similar to how electricity or water services work. The cloud provider is responsible for the infrastructure costs, allowing businesses to see costs based only on usage. Opposite of these benefits are a few of the downsides: less customization and greater vulnerability. Many organizations fear that the public cloud is insecure. While it certainly doesn’t allow for tailor-made security policies, cloud providers have recently focused a lot of attention on bettering their security. The reliability of the public cloud depends on the provider, and that’s why it’s important to conduct research before making the switch. A multi-tenant environment is best suited for small or medium businesses that need to bring their services to market quickly, heavily rely on Software as a Service, and have fewer compliance obstacles.
Private cloud, on the other hand, is one that maintains the services, applications and computing resources within a private network. These resources are dedicated solely to one organization but can be hosted either on-site or off-site with the help of a third party provider. This single-tenancy is where the word “private” comes from, though many believe it refers to security. While greater control over security is definitely boosted in a private cloud environment, it still always depends on the quality of the specific situation. A dedicated cloud offers the benefits of advanced security and control, more flexibility and easier compliance with regulations. This cloud model is clearly beneficial to organizations large enough to be able to manage these resources on their own, but it also has its downsides: reduced cost savings and increased management and responsibility. With a private cloud, the company is responsible for a significant investment in server and storage hardware, costs avoided by the public cloud. A private cloud environment is best suited for large companies that need to conform to strict industry regulations and standards and regularly uses business-critical data and applications that require high levels of security. This includes healthcare providers, government organizations and financial institutions.
The cloud model that is significantly increasing in popularity is hybrid, which fittingly combines both public and private clouds. This method allows organizations to decide which aspects of their business they want in each environment, allowing them to take advantage of all the benefits. Hybrid cloud computing accommodates the need for scalability as well as security. It is viewed as the best of both worlds because companies can complete non-sensitive operations and collaboration in the public environment while ensuring that critical data and applications remain secure in the private cloud. But, like the other models, the hybrid cloud isn’t all perks. Its cons include greater complexity and increased management requirements. It requires organizations to keep track of various platforms and ensure that all facets of the business can communicate with each other. The hybrid environment is best suited for organizations that experience business fluctuation but still deal with confidential information. This includes e-commerce businesses, which see constant traffic shifts but also deal with personal and payment information. The hybrid cloud allows these types of businesses to complete processing and basic operations up-front, while keeping the private information, well, private.
So…where do you go from here?
At this point, you have the information you need to make the best decision for your organization. Consider the characteristics of your business, including your size, needs, industry regulations, user experience, etc. These considerations will help you determine which cloud model is right for you. Then, find a provider! Our cloud solutions are extremely customizable, allowing clients to experience the cloud model of their choice with the benefits they need. Thanks to RapidScale’s next generation computing solutions, you can experience the perfect service for you.
Contact us today to help you decide between public, private and hybrid cloud offerings.