Today, every small or large business is moving to the cloud to leverage its benefits of on-demand services and many more. It has changed the market’s perspective by making all the services, such as networking, software, hardware, etc., available with one click. To cater to different business requirements, different types of clouds are available: private, public, and hybrid clouds.
In this article, we will be discussing different types of clouds in detail.
What is a Private Cloud?
Companies are moving to the cloud to manage their critical applications without maintaining the required hardware. A private cloud is an on-demand cloud deployment model where all the cloud-computing services and infrastructure are hosted privately in data centres owned by companies. It ensures faster delivery of resources at affordable prices.
It is well-suited for enterprises with critical information to store in the cloud and a high budget to maintain their personal data centre with dedicated resources. Due to dedicated resources, it is highly secure. Many companies prefer private clouds for high-end security facilities. To manage a private cloud, the company should have enough internal resources.
Types of Private Cloud
Depending on your business requirements, such as who manages the cloud, where it is hosted, and others, the private cloud is classified into four major types: virtual, managed, hosted, and on-premises. You can choose any type of private cloud that suits your requirements.
- Virtual private cloud-this type of private cloud model offers the benefits of a private cloud using public cloud resources. Some assume private clouds and virtual private clouds to be exact, but there is a significant difference between both. In the case of the private cloud, the company itself acts as the service provider, while in the case of the virtual private cloud, the public cloud provides the required services. In short, a model that provides a private cloud solution using the public cloud.
- Managed private cloud-this type of private cloud model does not share the infrastructure. You can refer to this model as a “dedicated cloud model.” Usually, third-party vendors manage private clouds. That vendor offers consistent support and maintenance, applies regular updates, and manages all the private cloud resources. In some scenarios, vendors can manage the software applications within the cloud.
- Hosted private cloud-the hosted private cloud vendors provide servers that are managed by their data centres and manage the security throughout. The hosted private cloud model allows the users to access various services, such as additional resources for scaling the business, a consistent support team, a user-friendly dashboard, and others. Not only that, you will get help to manage your servers.
- On-premise private cloud: this model is entirely different from the hosted private cloud model, allowing users to host the cloud environment in their local data centers. It ensures security as every resource and infrastructure is managed and maintained by the company itself. If you want to opt for this cloud model, you must have an internal data centre to host the cloud server.
Advantages of using Private Cloud
Having a private cloud can put a dent in your budget, so you must have a considerable budget for owning a private cloud and leveraging its benefits. You can have several benefits while using the private cloud, such as.
- Robust security—private clouds are generally preferred when enhanced application security is required. This is due to the private cloud’s isolated environment and additional security layer.
- Performance as the private cloud is managed, used, and maintained by a single company. That single company uses all the resource services, so there is no need to share those resources with any other company, which improves the performance of the applications as they will get resources quickly without any wait.
- Control over resources: A company using private clouds has complete control over resources, services, and infrastructure. It helps them customise the cloud services as per their requirements. Also, they can scale up and down the resources as per the business fluctuations.
Challenges of using Private Cloud
There is no doubt about the freedom, security, and facilities you get while using a private cloud for your business. But it comes with some challenges, such as managing the cloud infrastructure internally and others that should not be ignored. We will discuss the potential challenges that you might face.
- Additional cost: compared to other cloud models, private clouds are more expensive as companies have to maintain their infrastructure, software, and hardware. Not only this, you need to spend on licences for the OS and software required for smoother running of applications.
- IT team requirements: you must invest a significant amount of time in establishing the necessary infrastructure.Also, you will require an in-house IT team to manage all the resource servers. In the case of server failure, IT has to invest its time and resources to tackle the issue.
- Limited scalability: private clouds are not scalable compared to the public cloud. If the business demands were to go up, they might provide the required resources to handle the increased workloads.
Best practice to implement Private Cloud
Today, many companies use private clouds to create a vast market share. The number of companies that are using the private cloud keeps on increasing. Every company looks for a cloud model that fits every size while maintaining security, customization, etc. Below are some best practises you can consider while implementing a private cloud.
- Make sure that you select a hypervisor private cloud provider for better services.
- Make sure that the chosen private cloud provider comes with managed services.
- Ensure that the cloud service provider has a user-friendly interface to manage everything.
- Your private cloud storage should be interoperable with other environments.
What is Public Cloud?
A public cloud is another commonly used cloud computing model. This model provides resources, such as virtual machines, storage, etc., to users who want to access these resources remotely.
You can opt for public cloud services or subscription plans with a pay-per-usage model. These are beneficial for companies that do not want to maintain their on-premise resources. Also, the cloud ensures high scalability to meet increasing business demands. Due to its pay-per-use facility, companies only use limited resources.
Types of Public Cloud structures
One of the significant benefits of the increased popularity of public clouds is their ability to provide services to all connected users, irrespective of their location. The public cloud is completely virtualized as it provides an environment that shares resources among several companies. With the public cloud, every user can seamlessly use the shared resources while maintaining the security of their own data.
Public cloud architecture ensures that there will be no data loss due to its built-in redundancies. A service provider keeps copies of a file across servers to help the companies recover the data during any failure, ensuring fast data recovery. Public clouds can have different architectures depending on their users’ services. The most commonly used models are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Let’s discuss them.
- Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud model where the provider distributes the resources (software) hosted in the cloud. Users can access this software via internet connectivity from anywhere. Using this model, the users do not have to maintain and install the software on their devices physically. It works as if the software is actually on their device. It lets the companies reduce their expenses for maintaining the software.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): This cloud model enables businesses to develop software without having to install the underlying infrastructure.It means the provider creates an environment for the users using a broadband connection. This model accompanies version control and compiles services for managing the entire infrastructure.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): In this type of cloud model, a company outsources its entire data centre to a cloud service provider.
- Everything from storage servers to networking hardware will be hosted by the provider, making cloud adoption easier. The provider will host everything from storage servers to networking hardware, making cloud adoption more straightforward.
Advantages of using Public Cloud
Before you opt for the public cloud, you must consider the potential benefits and help your business grow. Below are some benefits of using the public cloud within your organisation.
- If your company is using cloud services from a trusted and renowned service provider, you will have access to the latest technologies in the market. Not only that, if your applications are compatible with the new technology, the provider will automatically upgrade them. Some cloud users do not have this leverage, depending on their plan.
- Virtually unlimited scalability: public cloud resources can be easily expanded with the business’s changing demand, especially during traffic hikes. Due to its logically separated cloud locations, it ensures redundancy and availability of resources.
- Flexibility: Due to the flexibility of the public cloud, users can store large volumes of data and access them from anywhere. Most companies opt for cloud storage for disaster recovery to retrieve the data in case of any failure.
- Cloud Data Analytics: With the public cloud, you can use cloud data analytics to gather useful metrics regarding your data and its storage.
- The public cloud can easily run analytics on large amounts of data of any type and generate a detailed report for your review.
Challenges of using Public Cloud
Using the public cloud has several advantages, but it also has some limitations. Below are a few of the challenges you may encounter.
- Runaway costs: As cloud costs rise, it becomes more difficult for businesses to keep track of where their money is going.The public cloud is cheaper than the private cloud, but some organisations spend more than that due to mismanagement. If you do not manage your data, you will face challenges with a limited budget.
- Cloud expertise: sometimes it is challenging to find the right employee with a suitable skill set. Cloud computing is vast and requires all-rounder skills. If the company does not get the right resources, it might not be able to manage the complex infrastructure.
- Limited control over resources: Businesses that use the public cloud for their operations will face the additional challenge of having limited control over their IT stack.They will decide when and how to manage the infrastructure. Also, if any issue occurs, you need to run to the provider’s IT team to resolve it, and it may take time.
What is a Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud is a cloud model that combines the benefits of private clouds with one or more public cloud services that provide proprietary software that allows for instant communication among various services. By adjusting the available workloads between cloud solutions as needed, a hybrid cloud strategy allows businesses to provide greater flexibility.
Businesses can easily control their personal and critical data with hybrid cloud services. Any company can store sensitive data on a private cloud while also leveraging the robust computational resources of a managed public cloud.
A hybrid cloud uniformly manages public and private cloud resources and reduces the likelihood of process redundancies. Sometimes, managing environments separately increases security risk if each solution is not optimised to work with the others. A hybrid cloud architecture eliminates this security challenge by reducing the attack surface of private data on the public cloud.
Benefits of using Hybrid Cloud
With a hybrid cloud, any company can quickly deploy its sensitive workloads to an on-premises cloud. This cloud model helps those companies who want to leverage the combined benefits of private and public clouds. This model comes with unending benefits, some of which are listed below for your reference.
- Flexibility-companies closely work with various data and adjust their infrastructure as per them. The significant benefit of hybrid clouds is that they use traditional systems and the latest cloud technology without relying on a specific vendor. Companies can easily migrate their workloads to and from their traditional infrastructure and a vendor’s public cloud as per their business requirements, ensuring high flexibility.
- Cost management: In the case of the private cloud, companies have their own personal data centre infrastructure that requires investment in instalment and maintenance. While in the case of the public cloud, all the resources and services include operational expenses. On the other hand, hybrid cloud users can choose any environment to run their workloads that fits their budget.
- Agility and scalability: Companies can leverage more resource options than physical data centres with a hybrid cloud. Whenever there is an excess demand that a local data centre can handle, the company can access the extra resources from the cloud. It enables businesses to rapidly deploy large-scale resources in response to changing business demands.
- Resiliency and interoperability—using a hybrid cloud, a company can run their workload in both private and public clouds as per their requirements. Not only that, if you want, you can seamlessly run one component of the workload in both environments and interoperate.
- Compliance: Some companies have crucial data and must follow some restrictions on the locations where they can store their data. It means they can’t move their workloads to the public cloud. However, by utilizing the hybrid cloud, businesses can keep their data secure in a private environment while running workloads in the cloud. Companies have to meet the regulatory requirements and can still leverage the cloud’s benefits.
Challenges of using Hybrid Cloud
There are numerous benefits of using the hybrid cloud as compared to private and public clouds separately. But there will come some points where you might face challenges while using a hybrid cloud for your business. Below are some challenges that you should consider.
- Private and public cloud environments coexist in the hybrid cloud approach, but compatibility and synchronization may be difficult to achieve. A hybrid cloud application’s back-end data centre component may not respond as quickly as the front-end public cloud component, resulting in latency issues and other complexities.
- Data Handling: If you do not manage the movement of data across the cloud, you may face security and cost issues.To ensure complete security, you need to encrypt the traffic. Make sure that you populate your workload in the right environment to avoid the movement of the data across cloud environments. Also, ensure that all the data is in the public cloud to avoid any movement and unnecessary cost hikes.
- Complex access management: one of the significant challenges of a hybrid cloud is authentication and authorization. Companies must set up appropriate access protocols to access the data from both private and public clouds. On top of that, companies must apply identity and access management and single sign-on tools for secure access management.
- For skill gap-handling and managing the hybrid cloud infrastructure, companies should have skilled IT teams. The candidate must have enough skills to handle the resources, networking, and infrastructure of the cloud environment. The expertise must involve public cloud infrastructure, services, etc.
Use cases of Hybrid Cloud
Before you opt for the hybrid cloud model for your business, make sure that you understand and go through the possible use cases of the hybrid cloud to determine if this cloud model fits your business requirements and helps your business grow in the long term. We have discussed a few of the uses of the hybrid cloud, showing its benefits.
- Digital transformation: with time, technology is getting more advanced and offers several new tools and techniques for easing the work of many organizations. In this race, cloud models also upgrade their services and help the IT world modernize. However, for a variety of reasons, some businesses are unable to evolve and abandon their physical data centre infrastructure.In that case, hybrid cloud models allow companies to migrate only those parts of the workload or infrastructure to the cloud and run some applications on-premises.
- Disaster recovery- A hybrid cloud model allows a company to easily create copies of their workload and backup them to the cloud. If a failure occurs within the data center, workloads will fail over to the cloud environment and continue to operate as usual using on-demand cloud resources. You must implement it carefully to avoid the problems associated with hybrid cloud breakups, such as bandwidth and management issues.
- Development and Testing- You can use the private and public cloud benefits to develop and test applications in response to changing resource requirements.
- Data processing – Businesses can use a hybrid cloud to run applications on public cloud services while also running analytical queries on data stored on private infrastructure.
Cloud computing has come so far, and almost every business is relying upon cloud computing services to run and store their workloads of every type. To cater to different demands from different types of businesses, three different cloud models are available: private, public, and hybrid clouds. Each has its pros and cons and is entirely different in implementation and caters to business needs.
To achieve business success, you must first understand cloud models, their benefits and challenges, as well as how they affect your business. To learn more about the different cloud models, please read this article.