More and more businesses are appreciating the advantages of moving their computer operations into the cloud. From scalability to flexibility to reduced costs, cloud computing is something that can allow a company to focus on the business at hand rather than worrying about their computing needs. But there are several different types of clouds each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article we ask what are the differences between private cloud, public cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud? To find out more, read this article.
As the name suggests, a private cloud is one that is used by a single company or organization and is not shared with any others. In a private cloud the software and applications are typically proprietary platforms created by and for the business. There is often a unique firewall that protects the business infrastructure which can only be accessed using encrypted connections.
Private clouds are prized for their high levels of security and privacy. They can also be more easily customized as no other businesses risk being affected by modifications or enhancements.
One of the main disadvantages of private clouds is the cost. This is not only because of the exclusivity afforded by a private cloud but because of the need to manage and maintain the systems that occupy the cloud. Private clouds often require a dedicated IT team to maintain the operations.
Public clouds are shared by several businesses or organizations. They all have access to common cloud computing platforms and infrastructure administered by the cloud service provider.
Because of the aggregation of a large number of businesses, features such as scalability are maximized. There is also security in numbers as large cloud installations allow for higher traffic surges and provide greater redundancy to prevent downtime. Companies who use public clouds benefit from lower costs while still having access to top of the line infrastructure.
The main disadvantage associated with public clouds is the compromise in security. While still secure, the number of participants involved in a public cloud prevents the ability to achieve top level security compliance requirements.
Community clouds are the most recent innovation in cloud computing. They are cloud spaces inhabited by several businesses that are part of the same profession or community. While the various businesses share online tools and software that are supported by the cloud service provider infrastructure, each business also has its own private space within the cloud.
Community clouds work well for businesses within industries that are highly regulated such as finance, healthcare and law. They can also benefit organizations that rely on sharing software systems or programs.
Community clouds may not be ideal for every type of business, especially when competition and proprietary information are a major concern.
A hybrid cloud is used by a company that needs a high degree of security for some of their operations, but not others. Sensitive information resides in a private cloud where security levels can be heightened. Data that doesn’t need to be as judiciously protected inhabits the public cloud which allows for easier scalability at a reduced cost.
Hybrid clouds are ideal for companies that deal in both large quantities of data that don’t have high security requirements as well as smaller amounts of data that requires protection with the top level of security standards. A hybrid cloud also allows the company to allow public accessibility while still maintaining strict control of sensitive information.
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