Cloud technology has been a popular buzzword for several years and even though the term ‘cloud’ often conjures up images of faraway futuristic technology, it really isn’t that different from traditional computing architecture.
The same physical hardware that forms the foundation of any computer network is still required for cloud computing. What is different, however, is that cloud technology makes storage capacity and processing power available via the internet. With cloud technology, providers can have servers spread out across the world to form a large and powerful computing network that can be accessed anywhere across the globe, provided that there is an internet connection.
In the past decade, cloud computing has become mainstream and used by many businesses and individuals. However, there is still sometimes confusion regarding the different options available for cloud computing. Let’s explore how many cloud technologies there are and what they do.
The way that a cloud platform is implemented, hosted, and who has access to it is referred to as cloud deployment. All deployments work on the principle of virtualizing computing server power into software-driven application segments that handle storage and processing capabilities. The three types of cloud deployment are public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
Public cloud companies offer infrastructure and services which are shared by all customers. Some well-known examples are Microsoft, Google, Netflix, and Amazon. Typically, public clouds have massive amounts of storage space and offer easy scalability. Often recommended for collaborative projects such as software development, public cloud services offer a simple way for businesses to design their applications to be portable and tested in the public cloud, then moved to a private cloud network for production.
The biggest advantage of public cloud computing is the cost-effective pay as you go model and its versatility, allowing businesses to acquire additional capacity on demand. One downside to using a public cloud model is that the operating system and essential infrastructure of the service remain under full control of the provider.
Private clouds are typically used by a single organization, residing behind a firewall or for organizations bound to strict regulatory requirements, and may be on-site. Users can store, utilize and access data in a private cloud service from anywhere with an internet connection (just like with a public cloud) but the key difference is that no one else can access or use those computing resources. Private cloud environments offer greater control and security, but the company that owns the private cloud is responsible for the infrastructure and software, which can be costly.
A major advantage to private clouds is that since they are not controlled by an outside vendor, there isn’t a risk that any sudden changes could occur and disrupt their infrastructure. However, a downside is that private clouds do lack the versatility of public clouds and can only be expanded when more physical storage capacity is added, which can make it difficult to quickly scale when needed.
A hybrid cloud environment combines the best worlds of private and public cloud services, allowing the two platforms to interact and seamlessly move applications and data between them.
The advantage of using a hybrid cloud is that it has the scalability of a public cloud along with the security and control of a private cloud. There are two common types of hybrid cloud architecture that is used. The ‘cloud busting’ model uses public cloud services to supplement a private cloud to provide the ability to handle an increase in traffic without purchasing more infrastructure. The other type of hybrid cloud model often called a multi-cloud architecture will hold most data and applications in their private cloud environment but will use a public cloud provider to outsource non-critical applications, like development tools or productivity software such as Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft Office.
There are many compelling reasons to take advantage of using cloud computing, whether you choose a private, public, or hybrid model. Choosing the model that best suits your business needs careful planning and security considerations. Regardless of what type of cloud environment you choose, be sure to work with a knowledgeable and professional managed service provider, like MBC to ensure the best return on your investment as well as a seamless transition into the cloud. To learn more about how our cloud solutions can help your business, get a free assessment today.