Businesses are starting to see the benefits of cloud computing. According to CIO, cloud adoption reached 96%. The 2019 State of the Cloud Report also says that companies are already running 77% of their workloads in the cloud, while 81% of them even use the multi-cloud infrastructure. They use 5 clouds on average, while larger enterprises with more complex workflows use even more.
However, choosing the right cloud computing service is not easy. There are multiple forms of the cloud out there and they depend on their architecture model, type, purpose, and price.
This article explores the most common types of clouds, as well as their advantages for your business.
A Public Cloud: High Scalability and Affordability
The public cloud infrastructure is the most common cloud computing option among businesses and individual users. The mere name of public clouds tells us a lot – servers, storage, software, and other cloud resources are owned and managed by a third-party cloud service provider and are accessed over the web browser. Therefore, when migrating to the public cloud, you basically share storage and hardware with other cloud users.
The benefits of public clouds are multiple.
First, they’re affordable, as you don’t have to invest in additional hardware and software components. Second, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance of cloud components. The third-party provider will do so for you. Above all, public clouds allow highly efficient scaling, letting you adapt on-demand resources to the needs of your company.
The major disadvantage of public clouds is, unsurprisingly, security.
By migrating your sensitive information to the third-party cloud service, you’re outsourcing your security to them, as well. This simply means that, if a cloud provider experiences any cybersecurity problems or service outages, your company’s sensitive data will be exposed. The good thing is that all major third-party providers like Amazon or Dropbox use additional layers of security such as encryption. Therefore, even if a hacker intercepts and steals the files you store in the cloud, they will first need to crack complex encrypted algorithms to use your data.
Public clouds are ideal for communication services like web-based email, online office apps, or software development and testing.
A Private Cloud: Increased Security and Flexibility
A private cloud is used by a single company. It could be either physically located on-premise or hosted and managed by a third party off-site. Unlike public clouds, private cloud solutions are delivered via separate private networks and are dedicated to your company, meaning that cloud resources are not shared with other users.
The major benefit of private clouds is flexibility and personalization.
You will have full control of your cloud environments and be able to tailor them to your business’ specific IT needs. Moreover, as you don’t share cloud storage with other cloud users, this means more security of your data. This is exactly why private clouds are a perfect option for financial institutions, highly regulated industries, businesses in the tech sector, government agencies, as well as any other enterprises that want to have better control over their workflows and cloud environments.
The most obvious disadvantage of the private cloud its rising costs, since you will need to invest in the right equipment, software, and a team that will build and manage your cloud environment. That is why many small and even mid-sized businesses cannot afford it.
The abovementioned study backs me up on that. It shows that large companies favor private clouds (45%) over public ones (32%). On the other hand, 48% of SMBs use the public cloud, compared to 32% of them using private ones.
Another disadvantage of the private cloud is that it requires substantial time investments. Namely, it takes more time to build and optimize a private cloud infrastructure, tailor it to your business’ needs, and teach your staff to use and manage it properly.
A Hybrid Cloud: Getting the Best of Both Worlds
Just like its name suggests, a hybrid cloud infrastructure combines the features of the private cloud with the public cloud. The most amazing thing about hybrid clouds is that you can move your data and apps between private and public cloud environments to achieve greater flexibility.
For example, you can use the public cloud for office communications or web-based email, while the private cloud can help you store your sensitive company information, like your financial reports, employee data, or your customers’ personally identifiable data.
Using a hybrid cloud also allows options like cloud bursting that can back your workloads up during the spikes in your IT demand. Namely, if you use 100% of your private cloud resource capacity, your traffic will migrate to the public cloud, ensuring your operations are handled uninterruptedly.
From these examples, it’s obvious that such integrated cloud environments are designed specifically to provide better performance, adapting to the changing needs of your business. Most importantly, a hybrid cloud ensures high data security and reliability, given that the storage services are provided across multiple public and private data centers.
Apart from the rising costs of the hybrid cloud, another problem businesses face is its complexity. It will take time for your employees to adapt to the mix of private and public cloud solutions when performing their daily tasks.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructures: Making the Most out of Private and Hybrid Cloud
Cloud infrastructures and hyper-converged infrastructures are not the same thing, but they go hand in hand.
Namely, traditional cloud computing infrastructures can be overly complex. And, this is where hyper-convergence steps in. With its help, you can unify your multi-cloud environments within one operating system and replace multiple servers, storage units, and networks with a single minimalist hyper-converged enterprise cloud infrastructure.
Most importantly, the term hyper-converged cloud can be used for private clouds built on HCI platforms, hybrid clouds using HCI, or even industrial clouds. It helps businesses using private clouds build the full virtualization infrastructure faster and increase their first time to value. For hybrid clouds, hyper-convergence simplifies the integration of private clouds built on HCI and the public cloud.
This is exactly why the number of businesses switching to HCI grows. The recent study shows that 70% of respondents plan to invest in the hyper-converged infrastructure, while 15% use it already.
Over to You
So, which type of cloud to choose? The facts I mentioned above only prove that there is no uniform answer to this question. The cloud provides businesses of all shapes and sizes with many opportunities for deployments. You just need to pick the one that meets your business’ size, needs and, above all, resources.
Hope these tips will help you!