Migration to the cloud is a part of the digital transformation process for many companies. Some consider moving their business’s software to the cloud a necessity. Indeed, by using cloud companies, a business can gain flexibility and scalability while reducing costs. How important are the differences between different kinds of clouds?
There are four types of clouds: Private, Public, Hybrid and Community. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. It is good to learn how they differ before you make your choice. Which will be the best for you?
Public cloud for business
Companies that use cloud solutions don’t require their own, local data centers. A public cloud is a business solution based on the standard cloud computing model – a cloud provider delivers resources and space in their cloud to customers, who connect to it using the Internet. The hardware resources are shared between users.
Advantages and disadvantages of a public cloud
A public cloud has pros and cons. Before you choose this solution, you should define your needs and check them against the capabilities of a public cloud, such as:
- Scalability – cloud services are scalable, which means that you can get more storage space or reduce it any time.
- Reducing costs – storing data and applications in the public cloud is cheaper than maintaining your own, physical data center. You don’t have to invest in any specialized hardware or particular applications to use it.
- Mobility – with your documents and applications in a public cloud, you can access them anytime from anywhere on the earth using the Internet.
- Maintenance in the hands of providers – you don’t need specialized IT crew to manage your cloud solution. Everything is taken care of by the solution provider. Users can focus on managing their businesses.
- Reliability and data recovery – the chances of cloud system failure are really low. There is also little chance of losing data stored in a public cloud.
Some would say that this is just the perfect solution for business. Perhaps it is even great for you, but what are the disadvantages of a public cloud?
- Decreased security – if you are running a company which collects sensitive data, you should certainly think about different scalable solutions. If there is a lot of data sharing and processing, and you have many integrated systems, special cybersecurity practices may be needed.
- One infrastructure for everyone – all users are using the same infrastructure. There is no place for customizing solutions in a public cloud, but that is why it’s so cheap. All maintenance and management of a public cloud is in the hands of the resource provider. A public cloud may be inadequate for companies with complex architecture or processes.
- Customer support – a public cloud usually doesn’t come by default with a fast and dedicated customer support, which may cause problems for business customers in case of failure. Greater support services affects pricing levels.
- Flexibility – although public cloud services are scalable, very often providers don’t grant customers the freedom to install the operating systems of their choice. That is one of the main reasons why a public cloud won’t fit the needs of companies with compliance regulations.
Private cloud – a dedicated environment for your company
Imagine a cloud solution adjusted to your specific needs – that is a private cloud. You get dedicated storage and whatever hardware resources your company chooses. Private cloud users gain extra privacy and data security – both very important if you deal with a huge quantity of sensitive information. The resources you’ll be given, if you decide to use a private cloud, are not shared with other customers.
The user has full control over the environment and can adapt it accordingly, so its performance is usually better compared to a public cloud. It is better to consult a specialist about choosing these solutions, as your company might not need such a solution or could find developing a private cloud too consuming.
Private cloud – what are the pros and the cons?
A private cloud can be a wise choice for medium and large sized businesses and enterprises with considerable resource and data security needs. Let’s check out the most important benefits of using a private cloud:
- High security and privacy – You have direct control over our customers’ data and you can assure their safety.
- System configurations are possible – private clouds can be configured to precisely meet the expectations of your organization.
- Better performance – you can choose the hardware your infrastructure will run on, so you can influence the performance.
Private cloud solutions exceed public cloud solutions in some ways, but in the hands of inexperienced users, they may be impractical, the main disadvantages are:
- More expensive than a public cloud – Make sure that you really need a private cloud. It is more expensive than using solutions shared among many users.
- Requires IT specialists to maintain – setting up infrastructure and maintaining it comes with higher costs and requires more time. You need to have an expert who will attend to your private cloud.
- Big one-off expense – initially, deploying a hybrid cloud incurs significant costs, even though afterwards a hybrid cloud enables saving money.
Hybrid cloud – the best of both worlds?
A hybrid cloud combines the advantages of private and public clouds. It helps to maximize the efficiency of the company – ensures high performance and security for customers (as in private cloud) with reduced costs and scalability (as in public cloud). This means more flexibility and a better price – no wonder, this solution is getting popular fast.
Hybrid cloud solution – what are the advantages and disadvantages?
A hybrid cloud provides the advantages of both public and private clouds, such as:
- Scalability – you’re using as much computing power and storage space as you need. When your needs grow, your cloud space can get bigger as well and if you don’t need it, you can reduce it.
- Spending money – while a hybrid cloud may seem like a big upfront investment, it does make it possible to save money on migrating data and files if you decide to make some changes in your company’s internal systems.
- Fast reaction time – a hybrid cloud is designed to meet your company’s particular needs. All changes can be made very fast. Customized cloud solutions also allow you to react quickly to handle your clients’ needs or complaints without delay.
- Multi-level security – a hybrid cloud allows to store sensitive data on private servers including many layers of security configured on our own. On the other hand, applications and non-sensitive data can be stored in a public cloud with all its benefits
All technologies have disadvantages though, and a hybrid cloud is no different:
- Complex security – a hybrid cloud includes a public cloud, which is in risk of being breached, so additional security solutions are needed. All of the services within private and public clouds need to be in line with the same security policy required by the company.
- Setup and maintenance complexities – handling both public and private clouds requires experienced specialists with technical knowledge to establish fluent, reliable and safe data transfer over the network between both clouds
Community Cloud for easy collaboration
A community cloud is a sort of a private cloud. Using it, different companies can collaborate on a shared platform. It is great for joining the projects and applications used by a vast community. Community cloud can be hosted in a data center of one of the participating parties or by a third-party cloud service company.
Why to choose a community cloud – pros and cons
As with all the cloud solutions, a community cloud gives you scalability. What are the main benefits of using it?
- Collaboration – there is compatibility among users’ technologies, so all of them can collaborate easily in the community cloud. Besides this feature it is perfect for remote work.
- Security – a community cloud works similarly to a private cloud, so data stored on it is secure. Desired security level can be configured for each user.
Sharing access to data between many organizations could be risky. Data housed in the same location could be accessed by any other user. Community clouds are quite a new concept, so they’re not a good fit for all businesses.
Choosing the proper cloud model for your company may not be so easy. Contact us and consult with our specialists to find the best solutions for your business.