Which type of cloud is the best? This is a high-level debate going on and a dilemma that every IT company faces.
Public, private, and hybrid clouds all have their merits and drawbacks. When should you go for one type of setup over the other two? In this article, we’ll analyze all three and give you the answers.
In public, the cloud service provider makes the information (applications, data, and storage), accessible to the general public. Anyone with internet access can use the link to view or modify the data. Public cloud examples include Google AppEngine, Sun Cloud, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and Windows Azure. Public cloud is an off-premise solution and as such has a reduced implementation time. You only need to install host monitoring software.
The cloud service provider covers a majority of the maintenance costs, such as hardware, bandwidth, and updates. Public cloud lets you pay as you go, so you only have to spend for the capacity up to which you used the cloud services. You only pay for what you use and not for what you don’t. As a result, resource wastage is minimized to a large extent.
You can also easily scale the public cloud to meet your needs. However, with a public cloud, since there is a dependency on the provider to maintain security, you may not be able to define your own security rules. Hence, for sensitive data, public cloud should be evaluated carefully.
Although public cloud means that the provider takes care of the new features, upgrades, and functionality, you have no control on when the cloud service provider deploys these upgrades. This could cause problems for companies who have set schedules or those with peak periods.
The services of private cloud can be accessed only through a private internal server. The software is on-premises, which is both a positive and a negative. Private cloud is a centralised server that functions either in a VM the vendor provides or a software that your company can install on a host that you choose.
Either way, this setup has the least constraints as you are in control of the datacenter. You don’t have to share the information with any other external users, meaning your business has exclusive rights to the platform. It essentially functions like a VPN would.
If you require specialized hardware or have configurations that wouldn’t work on a normal cloud server, you should opt for private cloud. Private cloud may also run faster for your users than public clouds and would have a lower latency.
This is especially important if you have a large amount of users all on at the same time. You also get remote access to the IT infrastructure which is useful in case of emergencies. Private clouds are also the most secure as data is encrypted, and security rules are under your control.
The downside is the high cost involved and time required for maintaining the server. Private cloud is a data-center owned by a single company (your own). As a result, you have more flexibility and fewer restrictions here than with public cloud as you are the one in charge of all the operations.
At the same time, you must be responsible for maintaining the server and fix any problems that occur. You must also fork over extra cash for virtualization, software, and management tools. If you have a lot of regulatory rules to abide by, private cloud is the better fit so you can customize it according to your needs.
Some people opt for a hybrid approach by combining both public and private clouds. Hybrid cloud gives you an internal server that you can control while utilizing the public cloud whenever necessary.
Both internal and external cloud service providers are responsible for maintaining the hybrid cloud. This way, while you do give up some control, the responsibility doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders. You can use the hybrid cloud as a bridge between public and private, availing the public resources just to test the waters. Hybrid cloud enables cloud portability, meaning you can move applications and data between the two clouds.
Hybrid cloud is also cheaper than private cloud. With the hybrid cloud, your data is both easily available as well as damage resistant. You can use your private cloud copy for quick access to the information while turning to your public cloud copy if disaster strikes.
Regulatory requirements may also require parts of your data to reside in private cloud while the rest remains in public cloud.
Here is a comparative summary of the three types of cloud setup in a table format:
|Attribute||Public Cloud||Private Cloud||Hybrid Cloud|
|Pricing Model||Pay as you go||Takes more investment||Reduced upfront costs and CapEx|
|Deployment||Instant||Higher deployment time||Medium|
|Resources||Multi-tenant||Private||Some private, some public|
|Scalability||Most scalable||Limited||Highly scalable|
|Customization||May not adhere to your company’s requirements||Most freedom||Improved|
|Security||Good||Most secure||Relatively high|
To know more about what type of cloud fits your requirements the best, call the cloud experts at Indiqus for an in depth discussion.