Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular among businesses small and large, and although it may be a phenomenon that has been around for a while, there is still concern and confusion surrounding what it is and which cloud should be used.
So, what is cloud computing exactly?
Well, cloud computing refers to performing computer-related tasks using services that are provided entirely over the internet. Everything from software to computing infrastructure is now readily available in the cloud, and its presence is only growing stronger by the day.
Which cloud is for me?
Depending on the needs of your business, IT manager and personnel, there are several options to choose from when deciding which cloud model is best.
Cloud models can be categorized into four different types. The dicision to choose which model is best for your business should not be troublesome because, as you will see, the differences and advantages between these four types are relatively clear.
The Public Cloud
Chances are you are already leveraging off public cloud services in your personal or professional life. What defines a pubic cloud is that it is external to the businesses using it, where the cloud service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the public over the internet.
The public cloud is a great option for those business who want to start their journey in the cloud, but do not want to commit to more complex cloud services (generally used for more intricate solutions or more sensitive data) just yet. A lot of businesses benefit from this type of cloud due to the ‘pay-as-you-go’ options that are typically provided. Businesses can begin integrating their practices in with the cloud without having to make a huge investment. Public cloud services are ideal for businesses who need temporary added computing capacity, a platform for collaborative team projects, a service to develop and test new applications, and/or need a location to house apps such as email.
The Private Cloud
Although public clouds provide a great deal of safety, private clouds allow an even larger measure of security due to the fact its services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. The private cloud also allows businesses to have complete control over the data and applications that are being housed in the cloud. Essentially, what differentiates this form the public cloud is that it is not outsourced and is also directly managed by the owning business.
If your business is ready to run its own data centre or your business IS your data and applications, then the private cloud is a strong choice. The private cloud is also very popular for businesses that operate in industries with very stringent security and data privacy regulations, such as healthcare and insurance. The ability to facilitate the availability of the content on the cloud internally and externally from any device, anytime, anywhere, is another advantage of the private cloud.
If businesses can overcome the high costs associated with the purchasing and maintenance of the software and infrastructure needed to run a private cloud, then this is no doubt a great choice. For small and medium sized enterprises, the private cloud can also be the source of a competitive advantage.
The Managed Private Cloud
These cloud services go beyond the offerings of a private cloud, by including solutions that support enterprise-class workloads. It also differs from private and public clouds in that the software runs on a server, which serves a single client organization, and is managed by a third-party.
These cloud services are great for business that require increased capacities but are not ready to make investments in on-site infrastructure and equipment. This option also has the possibility of providing faster implementation at lower costs.
The Hybrid Cloud
These clouds employ private clouds, but at the same time leverage third-party cloud capacity in order to help respond to unexpected surges in additional demand for the servers. Businesses are able to maintain full control of data and applications that are deemed sensitive while at the same time housing less-sensitive data in a public cloud, ensuring resources are being used efficiently and allowing for a more flexible cloud computing experience.
Hybrid clouds are quickly being adopted by businesses who are looking to leverage off both private and public cloud offerings.
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