The main objective of cloud computing is omnipresence. With the breakthrough of technology, cloud computing has become very popular. In a world driven by technology, every business now utilizes cloud computing in one way or another. A Gartner report says that IT companies will spend over $1 trillion on cloud computing technology in the coming years. It is always challenging to determine which solution is best suited for your business. To get an edge over your competitors, you must understand the concept of cloud computing and how it helps companies to achieve their goals.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing resources over the internet, like databases, storage, networking, servers, and software. As the name suggests, it is the delivery of resources or services stored in a remote virtual server. If an electronic device has an active internet connection, the device has access to the resources. It does not require the user to be at a specific location to access the services. Therefore, it promotes remote working.
Cloud computing takes all the configuration and set-up-related heavy-lifting workloads away from the device/user, allowing customers to focus on business goals. It reduces the business upfront cost and eliminates the complexity of owning and managing IT infrastructure. Clients or customers pay only for what they utilize.
There are three different models of cloud computing: private, public, and hybrid cloud. Each of these models has its benefits and limitations. The cloud computing model dictates how applications, resources, or infrastructure are deployed. To decide which model is best suited for your business, you must understand how these three solutions are different from each other.
A private cloud is a model in which infrastructure is owned solely by one business or organization. The private cloud is either located at the business on-premises datacenter or hosted by a third-party cloud service provider. In a private cloud solution, resources are tailor-made for an individual business requirement that is using it. Organizations can easily customize their resources to meet their IT requirements.
Features and Benefits of Private Cloud
A private cloud allows organizations to maintain infrastructure and services on a private network. It is primarily used by medium- to large-size organizations that work with sensitive information and require complete control of their infrastructure. The private cloud has the following benefits:
- Improved reliability
- Higher security and privacy
- Total control of the infrastructure
- Cost and energy efficiency
- Continuous uptime
Pros and Cons of Private Cloud
The following are the merits of a private cloud:
It belongs to only one business or organization. You can completely customize the configuration to meet your business requirements.
A private cloud solution allocates resources much better compared to a public and hybrid cloud. It responds to demands flexibly and confirms resource availability to specific business departments. It also utilizes computing resources far more efficiently compared to traditional LAN.
In a private cloud solution, resource access is limited within the organization, eliminating data sharing. It provides a higher level of authentication, API-enabled protection, and additional layers of automation.
The following are the demerits of a private cloud:
A private cloud model has high capital and operational expenditure. The operating cost adds the expense of IT personnel expense and periodic hardware maintenance cost.
Computing resources are fixed and cannot be easily scaled up or down without adding more capacity.
The public cloud is the most popular model where resources and infrastructure are owned and managed by a third-party cloud service provider and are available for public access. Public cloud offers services either for free or on a subscription basis. You can subscribe to the services and pay for only what you use. Public cloud vendors provide a vast pool of software and computing resource choices to meet the growing demands of businesses of all sizes.
Features and Benefits of Public Cloud
The public cloud service vendor is responsible for owning, maintaining, and upgrading the servers, storage, and infrastructure. The resources and infrastructure are not private to one business but shared between multiple organizations over the network. The public cloud has the following benefits:
- Fast deployments
- No maintenance
- On-demand scalability
- Continuous uptime
Pros and Cons of Public Cloud
The public cloud has the following merits:
The public cloud solution comes with a subscription-based model where users pay only for what they consume.
No capital expenditure
In a public cloud model, all the resources and infrastructure are owned and managed by a third-party cloud vendor. Hence, it requires little investment.
Public cloud software or applications are easy to deploy. Also, there is no need to hire skilled IT professionals to manage your firm’s cloud needs.
The public cloud has the following demerits:
Lack of security
Since the resources are shared between multiple tenants over the network, the data is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The public cloud offerings are the least secure and are not suited for an organization that works with sensitive information.
No scope of customization
In a public cloud model, customization is highly unlikely because services are not deployed only for one organization.
The network performance solely depends upon the speed of the internet connection.
The hybrid cloud model combines both on-premises infrastructure and public cloud infrastructure into one solution and moves data between the two environments. Resources are shared and moved from public to private cloud deployment or vice-versa based on the organization’s business requirements.
Features and Benefits of Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud model combines the features of public and private cloud in terms of cost and security. The hybrid cloud has the following benefits:
- Highly secure
- Easy migration of resources
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cloud
The hybrid cloud has the following merits:
Cost is a crucial factor for an organization that wants cloud migration services. The hybrid cloud model is best suited for companies looking for a cost-effective model to scale their operations to meet the growing demands.
Distributing applications and workloads across multiple data centers and between private and public cloud models results in high reliability.
A hybrid cloud offering gives organizations better control over their information/content/data and improves security by reducing the probability of unauthorized access.
The hybrid cloud has the following demerits:
As organizations are operating a mix of the public and private cloud model, it adds a layer of infrastructure complexity.
Overhead of managing multiple platforms
Hybrid cloud adds the overhead of tracking multiple vendors and managing the resources between public and private cloud environments.
How to Select the Right One?
No cloud computing model is apt for everybody. Each cloud offering comes with certain features and benefits that make it suitable for specific business requirements. Before choosing any model, you must evaluate your business needs and decide what features are most important and how much money you want to invest. The Flexera 2020 State of Cloud reports that private cloud adoption is waning, while hybrid and public cloud offerings pick up more market.
Usually, government firms that work with sensitive data are more comfortable with private cloud offerings because security takes priority above other factors. On the other hand, SMBs choose to deploy the public cloud model because it optimizes costs and provides better flexibility. A hybrid cloud solution is a good blend of private and public cloud that is cost-effective, reliable, and offers better security.
All three cloud offerings have some benefits and limitations. No matter what solution you choose, there will always be some issues that you have to deal with to work smoothly. In a nutshell, you always need to do due diligence when you expose your data to a third-party vendor.