As mentioned in our previous post about cloud computing, Gartner research has listed cloud computing as one of the technologies that businesses can’t afford to ignore. During challenging economic times more businesses are turning to cost-effective IT solutions to expand the functionality and capabilities of their existing network infrastructure. Cloud computing is proving itself as a powerful computing model that provides cost-savings benefits and increased agility, flexibility, and uptime.
There are two major types of clouds — public and private. Understanding the difference between these types of clouds can help you determine the best strategy for your business.
Public clouds are operated by third-party providers. Public clouds are available to a wide range of organizations and are hosted outside the company firewall. In a public cloud, a third-party provider is responsible for storage and all IT related resources.
The benefit of public clouds is that they allow customers to pay only for the services they need rather than having to make large capital investments in a hardware. Businesses can take advantage of economy-of-scale because infrastructure costs are spread across many users. Public clouds also come with a wide range of hardware, scalability, and expertise that may not otherwise be available to a budget-restricted business. Public clouds can be ideas for SMBs that don’t have the resources to purchase all the hardware and fully staff the experts required to manage it.
Public clouds do have some limitations, they are designed to handle basic types of user demands and are not always suitable to meet enterprise-level security demands and compliance requirements.
Private clouds are built and managed by an enterprises’ IT team that controls everything internally. This allows for greater software capabilities as well as added security that might be lacking in a public cloud. Private clouds also allow businesses greater control over mission critical service-level agreements. Essentially, in a private cloud, the organization has the cloud all to themselves and can design it to meet their business’ specific goals.
Private clouds can be hosted on premises or hosted externally. Hybrid clouds, which combine the advantages of both public and private clouds, can increases a businesses’ flexibility and scalability by augmenting traditional private cloud power with public cloud resources to help manage surges in workload.