By now, you’ve heard about the cloud and you’ve also likely heard about the benefits of using cloud computing for your business or enterprise.
But people outside the world of IT may not know that there are multiple types of cloud — and we’re not talking about cumulus versus cirrus. Have you heard of the “private cloud” or the “hybrid cloud”? Do you know the advantages of each?
While there isn’t a specific industry or workload that universally makes sense for each type of cloud, there are certain considerations enterprises should take into account when deciding upon the right fit: For example, does the company frequently handle sensitive customer information online? Do they have a highly secretive recipe or patented design that needs to be protected? In these cases, public cloud computing may be a riskier choice.
If you’re at a loss when it comes to the intricacies of various types of cloud, we’ve prepared a quick primer to help you sort through the different technologies, including a few key pros and cons.
In a nutshell, the public cloud is generally the most well-known and straightforward type of cloud computing. Public commodity cloud providers typically offer convenience — it’s easy for enterprises and developers to set up, use and access the public cloud. Additionally, scalability is often a driving factor for businesses utilizing the public cloud. However, this type of cloud is not without risks.
Here’s a brief breakdown of some of the main characteristics of the public cloud:
For businesses concerned about knowing exactly where their data is stored and having complete control over it — and who, ultimately, has access — the private cloud provides a higher degree of peace of mind. Additionally, private clouds may be the best option for companies that must jump through a lot of regulatory hurdles or handle sensitive data, or for companies concerned over their own intellectual property being hosted on the public cloud.
Managed private clouds are one specific form of this type of cloud computing: This service refers to clouds that, though specific to an individual business, receive some assistance (such as operating service monitoring and patching) from a third party. This allows for a company to select the custom cloud model that fits its needs while leveraging secure third-party help for maintenance.
Here are the main features of private cloud computing:
The hybrid cloud allows for a “mix and match” approach, enabling enterprises and savvy CIOs the ability to pick and choose various elements from either the public cloud or private cloud -– or a combination of the two — that make the most sense for their particular company. For example, a company could host its ecommerce website — complete with customer credit card information — on a private cloud, but could also host its non-sensitive material (such as marketing collateral, etc.) on the public cloud.
Typically, the hybrid cloud provides a balance of convenience and security — and in fact, experts predict that 2015 will see a huge rise in the number of enterprises using hybrid cloud services. Enterprise cloud providers, often advocate a hybrid cloud approach, focused on a using the right destination for the right application that makes sense for individual business needs.
Here’s an overview:
Ultimately, hybrid clouds look to be a promising solution for the future.