Cloud computing has been in use for a past few years, but people are still not very clear about it. Software and hardware vendors are creating problems about its security part. The confusion becomes even big when we talk about clouds. In this article, we will try to throw some light on types of cloud and their uses.
A public cloud is established when a provider like Google makes computing resources, like processing power, memory or storage, available over the internet. In a public cloud environment, the user has nothing to do with the bandwidth or hardware costs and setup is quick and easy. However, the user does pay for the resources they use. Some providers also charge a subscription fee. The most important feature of this cloud is that user does not have to install anything on his machine as the public cloud can provide all the resources.
Public cloud is based on shared physical hardware which is owned and operated by a third-party provider. Public clouds are ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that have fluctuating demands. The primary benefits of the public cloud include the speed with which you can deploy IT resources and the ability to pay only for the server resources you use. Each user can take advantage of a low-cost, pay on job completion by spreading infrastructure costs across several users. And, due to the sheer size of public clouds, you can scale compute power up and down as business demands, within a matter of minutes.
However, along with all these advantages, public cloud has a disadvantage of security as the user’s data like financial information or corporate intelligence gets circulated through thousands of systems. This has brought on the other types of cloud computing.
A private cloud is dedicated entirely to your business. It can be hosted either on-site or in a service provider’s data center. The private cloud delivers not only the ability and efficiency of the public cloud but also provides greater levels of control and security, thus, making it ideal for larger businesses or those with strict data, regulation and governance obligations. The private cloud can also customize the components to suit your specific IT requirements which cannot be achieved so easily in the public cloud environment. In general terms, a private cloud is a farm of internal resources that can be used only by the organization in which they are installed.
The hybrid cloud provides the best of both worlds. The public and private cloud in a hybrid cloud arrangement are distinct and independent elements. This allows organizations to store protected data on a private cloud while retaining the ability to bring computational resources from the public cloud to run applications that rely on this data. This increases security by ensuring that only data that needs to be analyzed goes to a powerful public server, while the other massive amounts of sensitive data stay in a private cloud.
If an organization has varying needs regarding computational resources and has both sensitive and non-sensitive applications, it should use hybrid cloud.
Hybrid clouds work on an infrastructure and application level. On an infrastructure layer, a hybrid cloud is the combination of virtual machines from different cloud services. On a software as a service layer, a hybrid cloud describes an application setup with components in different SaaS offerings or existing applications within the data center of an enterprise.
However, since a hybrid cloud is a combination of different clouds, it can be a challenge to integrate the different cloud services and technologies.
As cloud computing is getting refined, the public cloud will become more secure and more cost-effective. Till then, hybrid clouds are more likely to be the common form of corporate cloud computing.