How to Choose Between Public, Private or Hybrid Clouds
Organizations continue to move some or all of their software applications to the cloud at a rapid pace. Cloud computing has become an integral resource in the mix of enterprise IT assets.
There are a number of reasons why many organizations continue to migrate to the cloud.
Improve Customer Service
The cloud provides easy access and a reliable environment for customer service and self-service applications.
Reduce Capital Investment
Software as a service (SaaS) applications hosted on the cloud reduce or avoid investment in the software and hardware that would be needed to host these applications internally.
Lower Operating Costs
SaaS applications hosted on the cloud reduce IT operating costs to manage and operate software applications internally.
Faster Software Implementation
Implementation of SaaS software applications is easier and faster.
Improve User Collaboration
Increase collaboration with software that connects users and facilitates collaboration.
The reasons for moving to the cloud are compelling. The question is how to choose between a public, private or hybrid cloud. The right choice depends on an organization’s requirements and IT strategy.
A public cloud is operated by a third-party which owns the hardware, software, and infrastructure. The cloud-service provider furnishes computing and storage services over the internet. Public cloud users or tenants share the hardware, storage, and network. Tenants access services and manage their accounts with a web browser.
Public clouds are often used for storage, office applications, and email.
The benefits of a public cloud include:
- Virtually unlimited resources – Scalable resources available depending on need.
- Highly reliable – Network of servers prevents failures.
- Lower cost – Only pay for services used. Hardware or software purchase is not required.
- Maintenance – Cloud-service provider furnishes maintenance.
A private cloud is a resource used exclusively by one organization. It can be located onsite at the organization, or be hosted by a third-party provider. A private cloud is operated and maintained on a private network, and the hardware and software are only used by one organization. With a private cloud, an organization can custom tailor the cloud resource to meet its computing and storage needs.
Private clouds are often used by organizations that require more control of their IT environment, such as financial institutions, research organizations and government agencies.
The benefits of a private cloud include:
- Greater flexibility – Organizations can custom tailor the cloud environment to meet business requirements.
- Increased control – Private cloud resources are not shared with other users, so controls and security levels can be set by the user.
- More scalable – Private clouds can be more scalable than on-site IT operations.
A hybrid cloud is an environment in which an organization runs some applications in the cloud, and others on-premises, for example:
- More sensitive applications are run on-premises for greater control and security, and less sensitive operations are run in the cloud.
- IT operations are scaled to shift less sensitive applications to the cloud to balance workload when needed.
It allows organizations to scale IT operations, and avoid large IT investments that would be needed to handle temporary surges in computing and storage demands.
The benefits of a hybrid cloud include:
- Highly flexible – Public cloud available to be used when needed.
- Increased control – Maintain on-site IT operations for sensitive data.
- Controllable cost – Pay for extra computing and storage resources only when required
- Easy Transition – Phase migration of applications to the public cloud.
There are many reasons to include a cloud-based resource in the mix of IT operating assets – flexibility, avoidance of investments in hardware and software, scalability, and lower costs to name a few. The choice of a public, private or hybrid cloud depends on an organization’s business needs and IT strategy.
A well-chosen cloud-based resource, whether it is public, private, or hybrid, can help facilitate an organization’s digital transformation, and provide the IT assets needed to support strategic plans.