Public vs Private vs Hybrid Cloud


Public vs Private vs Hybrid Cloud

Posted 06 April 2021

With so much value to bring to the table, Cloud computing is gradually becoming an accepted standard option for data-driven businesses. More and more companies are adopting cloud services to run their applications, streamline their workflow, maximize efficiency, and manage their networks. Although the benefits are well-known, what is often not understood is the difference between the types of cloud models and which platforms will satisfy the different needs of the customer. Public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions are differentiated in how data is stored, how customers interact with it, and how applications will run. ☁️

So, which Cloud model is the best solution for your business? 🤔

Public Cloud: Low Entry Cost, Speed-to-Market, Extremely Scalable

The most common and well-known form of cloud computing used by companies of all scopes, ‘Public Cloud’ is a service provider which makes resources available to the public via the internet. With this option, your company shares hardware, storage, and network infrastructure with other companies and the resources are owned and managed by a third-party vendor (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, AWS). 💻

The defining feature of a public cloud is cost-effectiveness. Some public cloud deployments are even free. You get a package of high scalability and fast speed-to-market combined with relatively low costs of the services. Since it is also almost fully managed itself, you save maintenance costs by not having to employ a large in-house team of IT professionals to run, manage, and optimize the server. 💰

However, because data generally shares a common location, it is not as secure as other services. Industries, such as finance and healthcare, require very high levels of security and are subject to strict privacy controls so a public cloud option may not be the best fit. But for small to medium-sized businesses the security measures of a public cloud service is more than sufficient. 🔒

Private Cloud: More Secure, More Control, Typically More Expensive

By contrast, a private cloud is a service that is not shared with any other organization. The private cloud user has the cloud to themselves. Think of it this way – a public cloud is like renting an apartment in a shared block, whereas a private cloud is like renting a similarly sized house that is more private. The house is typically more expensive than the apartment but is more secure. Maintenance in the apartment is all taken care of by the building supervisor, whereas maintenance in the house is handled itself by the owner. 🏠

In other words, the private cloud is a private extension of a company’s IT department with the help of a third-party service. The obvious benefit of private cloud over a public cloud deployment is security. The business operating the private cloud has complete ownership, control, and maintenance of all the data which is always the preferred option for government institutions, legal & financial organizations, IT companies, and any other organization with a lot of sensitive information. Private cloud infrastructure also retains the same scaling features as a public cloud without compromising the security of any data. 📈

Although some private clouds offered by third-party service providers can offer pricing which is similar to the large public cloud prices, if you are building a private cloud in-house, there are noticeably higher up-front costs and, in most cases, a higher total cost. Most companies opting for this service would also employ somebody trained to keep everything running. Mobile users may also have limited access to the private cloud since higher levels of security are in place. 💵

Hybrid Cloud: The Answer?

A hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private services, taking the middle ground. The hybrid cloud merges the advantages of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of a public cloud with the security of a private cloud. For example, you can use your website on a public cloud for leveraging scalability and could store your database in a private cloud to secure the data. ☁️

The greatest benefit of a hybrid cloud infrastructure is its scalability and security, yet it also offers an affordable and cost-effective middle option as businesses can separate information to the environment it’s best suited for. Data that is safe to store in a public environment stays in the public cloud, but more strictly managed data can be stored in the private cloud. The cost and workload can therefore be split.

However, the hybrid cloud also has its disadvantages, with its biggest flaw being the management. Managing a hybrid cloud strategy takes a lot more commitment and skill. The complexity of the infrastructure increases due to the combination of two different types of cloud architecture into one system, so companies should consider hiring an expert before choosing a hybrid cloud solution. 👨‍💻

Ultimately, the cloud service that makes the most sense for a business will all depend on its needs. For a smaller business with fairly straightforward needs, a fully public cloud may be just fine. But for others needing greater security, a private cloud deployment may be the answer. Knowing the features and advantages of each type of cloud platform makes the decision much easier as you can figure out what’s the best fit for your business, and maybe even opt for the hybrid cloud if you’re looking for the best of both worlds. There is no general right or wrong answer, but there is a right answer for your business. There’s a reason all three continue to proliferate as they all have their own unique applications, it’s just a question of which will serve the best purpose for your organization’s needs. 🌱



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