The ubiquitous presence of the cloud is undeniable in this modern era, fundamentally changing the way we conduct our daily routines and perceive ourselves. Whether it’s the mobile applications on our phones, the digital tools on our computers, or the remote management of our home appliances, the cloud is now the gateway to all things accessible and remotely controllable.
As the prevalence of cloud solutions continues to escalate, businesses must embrace their adoption to stay competitive. One crucial factor to weigh when shifting operations to the cloud for the first time is to determine the ideal type of cloud service that can cater to the company’s specific requirements.
It’s crucial to note that there are various cloud architectures accessible to businesses, such as public clouds, private clouds, and a hybrid of the two. While each one offers unique perks, it may not be necessary for every organization to utilize all three options.
Let’s clarify that point.
An explanation of what the cloud is would be beneficial.
Chances are, you’re already acquainted with cloud computing and its services, given that a vast number of people access it through their smartphones. With cloud services, you can save and access data, while simultaneously using an array of compatible applications to manage that data.
The cloud is an extensive global network of servers, each one serving a distinct purpose. This makes it perfect for commercial purposes, providing a wide range of services such as data storage and management, content delivery, and applications amongst others.
Initially, the primary objective of the cloud was to facilitate remote data storage and hosting of web applications (like Google Drive, Calendar, and Docs). But as of today, the cloud has evolved beyond that, empowering businesses to design applications and services that can seamlessly expand in proportion to the rising demand.
It’s evident that a lot of businesses are now prioritizing the three cloud service categories mentioned earlier. Furthermore, selecting the most suitable cloud service based on a company’s specific needs, resources, and goals is crucial. With multiple cloud service options available, it’s crucial to evaluate them carefully, ensuring the most suitable match is established.
Let’s examine the different cloud service alternatives and determine which one is the best fit for your organization.
What is a Public Cloud?
A public cloud computing environment can be accessed by anyone, with the choice of either free or paid service. These public clouds are based on the usual cloud computing model, offering resources over the internet. Public clouds provide a dependable, secure, and scalable array of services.
Public clouds can mainly offer three distinct service models.
- Subscribing to a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider enables users to access hosted software on a networked computer, free or by paying a subscription fee. Google Workspace is an exemplary illustration of such a platform, granting access to Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Gmail.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – is a complete deployment and development environment, hosted in the cloud.
- Offers on-demand computing, storage, and networking capabilities, frequently referred to as “infrastructure as a service” (IaaS).
Public clouds offer several benefits.
- Enhanced security.
- Swift and straightforward setup.
- Minimal to no maintenance.
- No long-term commitments required.
- Enormous scalability.
- Speed and flexibility.
- Worldwide reach.
- Maximum possible availability.
- There is no chance of failure.
Google’s range of products such as Drive, Calendar, and Gmail serve as an excellent illustration of a public cloud. Enterprises frequently select Google Workspaces, specifically designed to cater to their requirements instead of those of the general public. Public clouds prioritize security due to safeguarding huge user data volumes.
Some more instances of providers of Public Cloud are:
- To put it simply, Amazon.com’s Web Services
- Microsoft Azure
- IBM Cloud platform
The following cloud computing environment is called a private cloud. It is a service dedicated to individual users or clients accessible either via the internet or on-premises (e.g. Nextcloud). The primary distinction between public and private clouds is that the latter is not open for general use.
It’s worth mentioning that a private cloud can only offer two cloud service models: IaaS and PaaS.
On their own, private clouds can’t match the scalability level provided by public clouds. However, it is probable to accomplish more scalability using a public cloud or a technique called Cloud Bursting. Cloud Bursting involves setting specific resource and capacity thresholds, such that whenever they are met, an application run on the private cloud is moved to a more robust public cloud.
Owing to their restricted scalability, private clouds are often utilized for smaller deployments. For small businesses, an on-premises private cloud is an ideal option for internal use. The numerous private cloud providers available today eliminate the need for an IT team to configure and maintain a full-fledged cloud server. Companies offering private clouds include:
- Dell’s Cloud Computing Solutions
- The IBM Cloud on IBM Cloud
- Microsoft Cloud platform
- Cisco Technologies
- Black Hat Conference
- Amazon.com’s Web Services, simply put
- Platform.sh cloud hosting platform
A private cloud has several advantages, including better resource efficiency, cost savings, increased security, streamlined compliance with regulations, and improved flexibility.
A hybrid cloud combines public cloud services with an on-premises private cloud infrastructure, providing organizations with enhanced deployment flexibility. Orchestration software is used to enable communication between the public and private clouds, enabling workloads to be transferred between them based on factors such as availability, performance, and cost. This offers organizations more deployment options.
Setting up a hybrid cloud infrastructure necessitates more effort than deploying public or private clouds separately. A company must have the necessary resources in place to accomplish this effectively. Among these are:
- An Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform to function as the public cloud.
- On-premises private cloud infrastructure.
- Strong Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity with sufficient bandwidth between the public and private clouds.
A major drawback of implementing a hybrid cloud is that organizations have no authority over the public cloud elements. As a result, the responsibility for ensuring interoperability between public and private clouds falls entirely on the private sector. Before the two can be combined, a number of issues must be resolved. As a result, it is critical to successfully establish a compatibility layer to allow for communication between private and public clouds.
The private cloud’s software compatibility layer must incorporate features such as these.
- Orchestration and Automation capabilities
Although it adds complexity, a hybrid cloud may be more suitable for a company’s needs than a public or private cloud on their own.
Some benefits of a hybrid cloud are:
- Cost savings.
- The ability to scale while preserving granular control has been improved.
- Speed and flexibility.
- Enhanced business operations uptime and reliability.
- Heightened security.
- Improved handling of potential threats.
- Lower-cost hardware.
In fact, the benefits rarely outweigh the challenges of establishing a hybrid cloud correctly.
Which Cloud Provider suits my company best?
Deciding on the suitable cloud provider for your company is relatively simple. Public cloud is likely the best option for businesses that require scalability and cost-effectiveness. Those who need stronger security measures can opt for a private cloud. Alternatively, organizations with sufficient IT capabilities may benefit from a hybrid cloud solution that provides a combination of both.
There are various options available for your cloud storage solution, and the decision you make can significantly impact your business’s success in a competitive market. Investing time in researching and making an informed decision can guarantee a reliable and suitable solution for years to come.