Organisations of all sizes have come to rely on the cloud to manage their data infrastructure securely at lower costs. The basic structure of cloud computing is based on the public cloud and private cloud.
Organisations use cloud services to manage, store or deliver their data. Deciding which service to use needs to be preceded by a proper strategy and planning about choosing between public and private cloud setups.
Public Cloud Model
Public cloud is the most popular method to deploy cloud services. A public cloud service is owned and operated by a third party service provider, who will take care of the maintenance of the cloud services and infrastructure. Public cloud services are delivered over the internet and are ideal for small to mid-sized companies. The most popular examples of public cloud are Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, and IBM’s Blue Cloud.
All the infrastructure including the hardware and the software is owned by the service provider and is shared by multiple organizations who are called cloud tenants. Public cloud services follow the pay-as-you-go model, which makes public clouds economical for organisations with varying needs. That factor, in addition to being able to handle smaller amounts of data, makes it ideal for small and mid-sized companies. Since the tenants do not own the services first hand, the pain of maintenance and management of the data centres in offset on the service provider.
Public clouds are used when data compliance and control over data is not a major concern for the customer. The major drawback a lot of organizations feel is lack of security and control over the hardware. As the servers are shared and the provider owns the maintenance rights, compliance regulation also becomes a concern.
Private Cloud Model
Private clouds are owned and operated by a single organization or entity. In a private cloud environment, the hardware, software, and related infrastructure is either located at the data-centre of the organization or is located in a controlled environment of a service provider. Private clouds differ from public cloud in their flexibility and control over the data. Private clouds by definition cannot be provided as a service.
Government institutions, financial institutions like banks, mid to large-sized companies, and any other organization dealing with sensitive information tend to prefer private clouds. The private cloud has a dedicated service provider, so it offers complete control over the data, enhanced flexibility, scalability, automation, security, and it all comes with a price.
Although private cloud offers scalability and security, it is expensive to set up and companies will have to constantly maintain the servers and do their own troubleshooting.
In real-world practice, cloud computing services are also offered in another format known as the Hybrid cloud which tries to deliver the best of both worlds. It incorporates the benefits of both public and private cloud.
Hybrid Cloud Model
Hybrid Cloud is a cloud computing environment incorporating both private and public cloud services with a coherent synchronization.
In a typical Hybrid cloud, the data can be switched between the on-premise and third-party service provider. This provides enhanced control, flexibility, and cost saving. Hybrid cloud helps organizations to handle the short-term hike in demands with minimum capital.
According to Forrester Research’s principal analyst Dave Bartoletti, “It (hybrid cloud) lets you pick the right cloud for the right workload, it doesn’t artificially limit you.”
Although hybrid cloud offers a gamut of advantages, the major concern still revolves around the security of the data, which plagues the perception of public clouds as well. As the hybrid cloud is a blend of both, transmitting sensitive information over a network which is subjected to a third-party interference is an uncalculated risk for most of the organizations.
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