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Cloud computing comes in private, public, or a combination of the two, a hybrid cloud solution. What are these different types of clouds, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

An Overview of the Private Cloud

Private cloud hosting typically involves on-premise infrastructure for your company. These private clouds exist on your business intranet or within a hosted data center that belongs to the company.

There is also the option for a virtual private cloud, which isolates a network but costs less because it is a multi-tenant system amongst various individuals and organisations who buy hardware and create subnets.

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Pros and Cons of the Private Cloud

If you already have a data center on premise, a private cloud can be an easy solution as you can take advantage of the existing infrastructure. This solution also allows for a high degree of control over resources and data, as your company will be handling the service and its security.

For organisations requiring compliance, a private cloud is ideal. It ensures that no other clients can access sensitive information.

One of the biggest disadvantages of a private cloud, however, is the work involved in designing, building, and – especially – maintaining it.

Because it is on premise, your company will have to do all of the management of this cloud. You will need to upkeep equipment and infrastructure, which can be costly if something needs to be replaced or if you need to scale up rapidly.

Having on-premise infrastructure that contains your data can also be risky. Your location may experience a disaster of any sort. You should have some sort of off-premise redundancy or backup system if you are currently relying on on-premise infrastructure for your business needs.

An Overview of the Public Cloud

When you use a public cloud service, your data is stored off-site at a provider’s data center, and it is managed by that company. Your data is typically stored using the same hardware, storage and network devices as other public cloud service customers, but you will not share data with other tenants.

Many public cloud services operate using a pay-as-you-go model, so you are only paying for the resources that you actually consume. This can be economical compared to buying your own infrastructure for a private cloud server.

Pros and Cons of the Public Cloud

With a public cloud, you can very quickly scale up and down as needed because the service provider has the infrastructure already. All you have to do is ask for more or fewer resources.

Because a public cloud service keeps your data off-site, it can be very beneficial for data recovery and disaster management. Typically, these companies duplicate data in various centers. If something happens in your workplace, it won’t affect any data stored in the public cloud, so you can easily access important files and applications.

With a public cloud service, you are not responsible for management at all, which frees up time for your business. However, you have less control over the data, and need to consider the security of your chosen solution.

The Difference Between Private and Public Cloud

Private clouds are popular amongst companies and organisations requiring a high degree of security and compliance or control. A private solution is a natural choice for large businesses that can run a data center on-site.

Public clouds are popular with smaller companies that cannot afford to invest in private infrastructure, or want to spend that part of the budget elsewhere. Public cloud computing is not nearly as expensive as private cloud setups, and they allow for scaling, which is key for companies that are just starting out, or companies with unpredictable demand for resources. It’s worth being aware of the fact that, if there’s a huge spike in activity, the price will also spike in the same way. Of course, it will reduce once the activity subsides, but it’s worth being aware that pay-as-you-go model can mean unexpected price increases.

But what about companies that require a specific level of security, but also want to use cloud solutions in place of some existing hardware? Or the companies that would like to keep data privately, but could benefit from a public service that utilises that data.

The Solution: Hybrid Cloud

Given that there are advantages and disadvantages to both public and private cloud computing, it is not surprising that many companies are turning to a hybrid of the two. With the hybrid cloud approach, you no longer have to choose between a resource-intensive yet secure private cloud, or an affordable but shared public cloud service.

With the hybrid approach, organisations can use private cloud services for secured data and other operations that require the control of on-premise infrastructure, while using the private cloud for various other operations. Both cloud systems work with one another seamlessly, so each platform works at its most efficient performance possible.

Rightscale 2017 state of cloud pie chart

RightScale’s 2017 State of the Cloud survey shows that this is a solution that is here to stay: 85 per cent of surveyed enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, and 58 per cent of enterprises are planning to use a hybrid cloud solution in 2017. Both numbers have grown from the year prior.

There are various ways to roll out a hybrid cloud platform, whether it is using an integrated service from separate cloud providers, or integrating existing public cloud services into a company’s private infrastructure. The key is to find a design that works best for your company, to ensure that the right services and data are on the right type of cloud.

A managed cloud service helps ensure that your company’s approach is as efficient and effective as possible. With a managed cloud service, your organisation’s data, applications and resources will be shared between public and private services in a way that makes sense for your regular operations and your long-term goals.

A hybrid cloud solution will help you to maximize on cost-efficiency and security while ensuring scalability and flexibility. Regardless of where you’re at in your hybrid cloud journey, feel free to send any queries or questions into our experts below using the form below…

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