Not every cloud setup is created equal. Not only does each cloud provider have its own nuances, but there are also different types of cloud computing platforms.
Learn the differences between private and public clouds and the various options available in cloud computing.
Choose what’s most important, and that will dictate your cloud storage solution— public, private, or a hybrid.
Public Cloud – Ease of Use, Less Costly
A public cloud is usually less expensive to use, manage and maintain than a private cloud — which means most businesses operating in the cloud are operating in a public cloud. With a public cloud, your data is hosted inside a third-party data center. As a result, all of the maintenance, upgrades, and updates are handled by this third party.
The pay-as-you-go model allows a business to only pay for the resources you use, which can be appealing. And since all of the maintenance, updates, and upgrades are handled by the third-party vendor, you can also eliminate those types of ongoing costs.
Another major advantage of the public model is its relative simplicity, especially when considering the prospect of a business’s entire staff using various applications to perform their daily work. When adding BYOD mobile considerations and the capability to work from home, public service offerings make sense for many enterprises and some smaller and medium-sized firms. For many companies, usability and ease of use trump all other factors.
Although your data is still technically separated from other data in a public cloud, many organizations view it as insecure. So if your company is looking for more privacy and needs to meet industry standards like HIPAA or PCI, then a public cloud probably isn’t the right choice for you.
Private Cloud – More Privacy, Maximum Control
The private cloud works a little differently, mainly because the company itself hosts it. In other words, the data lives in the company’s data center — not with a third-party. Because of this, however, things can get a little more expensive.
All of the management and maintenance that goes with this private cloud is now the company’s responsibility; this includes the cost of these items. Nonetheless, this additional work and expense does involve a significant benefit.
A company has maximum control over its data with a private cloud and how it’s processed and stored. While access to important corporate data is obviously more secure in this scenario, it comes at the expense of usability and mobile access. In fact, a private solution is the only option in some highly regulated industries where data security is paramount. This means greater security — which goes a long way for a business that deals with very sensitive data or for one that needs to be HIPAA- or PCI-compliant. Also, none of a private cloud’s resources are shared. The dedicated data center manages only one company’s data.
However, at the end of the day, a private cloud still operates similarly to a public cloud. You can receive the same level of flexibility that a public cloud receives – it will simply come from an on-premise data center.
For some, a hybrid solution may be the best option: keep all-important corporate data secure behind some private cloud-based services stored securely using an array of on-premise servers with tightly controlled access. Read more.