Companies of all sizes and specialties are reaping the benefits of moving away from traditional on-site solutions to cloud-based technology.
If your organization is considering a full or partial adoption of cloud computing, one of the first decisions you have to make is whether to go for private or public cloud technology, or a hybrid of the two.
Getting this decision right is crucial and requires an understanding of their differences, advantages and limitations. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at private and public clouds, as well as the hybrid cloud, and help you determine which one is best for your organization’s needs.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Before diving into the different types of cloud computing, it’s important to understand what it is.
In short, cloud technology is the delivery of computing services, including servers, storage, software, databases and more, over the internet. Instead of physically owning, managing, and maintaining all your IT resources, you can access them through the cloud.
As such, cloud computing eliminates the need for businesses to build and maintain costly, on-site IT infrastructures. Businesses only have to pay for the computing resources that they use.
What’s more, cloud-based solutions are scalable and flexible. While an internal server may max out in response to an unexpected surge of user requests, cloud computing can quickly allocate the necessary resources without a loss in service.
A private cloud is a cloud computing environment that is used exclusively by one organization. Computing resources are delivered via a secure private network that no other entity has access to.
This is typically the preferred option of large enterprises with high data privacy and security requirements.
Some businesses with complex management structures or legacy applications may also opt for a private cloud since this option offers full control over all aspects of the environment, making it easy to customize and manage the infrastructure.
- Security. Private clouds offer enhanced security due to the lack of public access, making them a good option for organizations that deal with sensitive information.
- Customization. Private clouds allow for complete control over the infrastructure and the ability to customize it to meet specific business needs.
- Integration. Private clouds can be used to integrate old legacy applications with virtualization technology.
- Cost. Private clouds can be expensive to build and maintain independently, requiring significant capital expenditure, especially for smaller organizations operating on a tight budget.
- Expertise. Private clouds require a team experienced in cloud computing, making it difficult for some organizations without large IT departments to effectively run a private cloud.
- Limited scalability. Private clouds may be limited by finite hardware limitations.
Public clouds are cloud computing environments where service providers offer computing resources, such as storage and servers, over the internet.
This computing option is available to the general public, often on a pay-per-use basis as with Dropbox or Netflix.
Public clouds are ideal for organizations that require scalability and agility quickly, without the extra cost and complexity of managing their own IT infrastructure.
Both AWS and Azure offer robust public cloud solutions that can scale in line with an organization’s needs. AWS offers Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), while Azure offers Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Blob storage services.
- Cost-effective. Public clouds don’t require the same level of capital expenditure as private clouds, making them ideal for startups, small businesses, or organizations on a tight budget.
- Scalability. Public clouds offer unlimited scalability, making them well-suited to businesses experiencing rapid growth or fluctuating demand.
- Maintenance. Public clouds offload maintenance responsibilities, allowing organizations to focus on their core business processes.
- Security. Public clouds present a challenge in controlling data security due to public access.
- Limited Customization. Public clouds offer limited customization options due to the shared nature of the hosting environment.
- Reliance on the provider. Public clouds provide cloud-hosted infrastructure but lack control over the physical layer.
A hybrid cloud is a mix of public and private cloud infrastructures. It’s perfect in scenarios where the business values both security and scalability.
A hybrid cloud allows you to utilize public cloud resources for non-sensitive workloads while maintaining privacy and control over critical data with a privately-owned cloud. This allows an organization to delegate resources effectively between cloud providers, saving money while retaining control over sensitive data.
AWS provides AWS Outposts, a fully managed service that allows companies to replicate AWS infrastructure in their data centers while also offering AWS cloud-native services. Azure, meanwhile, offers Azure Arc, which provides users with centralized management for servers and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) hybrid deployment options for on-site and multi-cloud environments.
- Scalability. Hybrid clouds allow organizations to scale, providing extra capacity to meet sudden surges in demand.
- Customization. Hybrid clouds give organizations off-the-shelf control over the infrastructure, making it easier to tailor according to their needs.
- Flexibility. Hybrid clouds use different elements to create the most effective solution, merging the advantages of public and private clouds.
- Security. Hybrid clouds introduce a more complex security landscape that must be managed effectively.
- Complexity. This complexity means a more experienced team is required to manage the environment effectively.
- Cost. Hybrid clouds can be more expensive than public clouds, but cheaper than private clouds, depending on the resources used.
Public vs Private vs Hybrid Cloud: Which is Best for You?
Choosing between public, private, or hybrid clouds depends on your organization’s needs.
Those with sensitive data, strict compliance requirements, and complex applications should opt for a private cloud whereas small businesses or startups looking for cost-effective solutions could go for a public cloud. For those organizations that lie somewhere in the middle, hybrid clouds are an ideal choice for meeting security and scalability requirements while still maintaining complete control over data.
When determining which cloud solution is best for your needs, it’s important to assess your requirements carefully. Start by asking questions regarding the sensitivity of your data, the level of necessary customization, your staff’s expertise, as well as financial constraints to get an idea of which would best suit your organization.
Choosing the best cloud type for your organization with the help of Vertikal6
This isn’t a dialogue you need to have by yourself.
At Vertikal6, we’re lucky to have Cloud Solution Architects on our roster who have been certified on major cloud providers platforms like Azure. In close collaboration with your organization, we can design dynamic cloud solutions that will meet the needs of your business, bring down costs, and maximize flexibility to serve your future growth. We can also help with your organization’s full or partial cloud migration.
To find out more, get in touch with us for a free strategy session with no obligation.