Cloud computing environments are categorized into three types– private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds. Choosing any of these environments largely depends on the type of data you’re working with and the level of security and control you desire. You may prefer one over the other or you may opt to combine any combination of the three, but before you make any decision you may wish to compare them to arrive at an option that works best for you.
Data and information on a public cloud are provided off-site through the Internet. A public cloud environment offers greater flexibility in sharing information than its private counterpart.
You should consider using a public cloud if:
- Your organizational setup involves interaction between lots of people.
- Your Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor has a reliable security system for its applications.
- You intend to develop or code applications.
- You require expansionary capacity (which gives you the leverage to increase your data use capacity when your business grows.
- Your business involves collaborating with others.
- You have a small budget for cloud services.
The major disadvantage of using public clouds is that it is less secure and less reliable than the other cloud options. Carefully consider the nature of your project and the security and control levels it requires before opting for a public cloud.
Private clouds are cloud environments where data and information are organized and managed on a private network. A private cloud is more expensive to maintain than a public one but offers greater levels of security and control than the public cloud. It is the most reliable cloud option, but also the most expensive.
You should consider a private cloud if:
- Your organization deals with sensitive data and information. In such a case, security and control are imperative and should not be toyed with. The private cloud is the best option here.
- Your company belongs to an industry where information use and dispersal are regulated.
- Your organization has the capital and size to effectively operate a cloud data center without external input.
Private clouds are known for their reliability and security but are expensive to set up and maintain. On the other hand, public clouds are cheaper but less reliable and less secure. Therefore, many businesses shy away from these two options. Businesses instead prefer a solution that combines the advantages of both public and private clouds while, at the same time, minimizing the disadvantages of both. They often times opt for a hybrid cloud.
A hybrid cloud is a combination of private and public cloud options and gives user the best of both worlds. Using a hybrid cloud gives you the ability to spread things out in accordance with your particular needs. You may decide to keep sensitive data in a private location on the cloud and at the same time keep projects that need collaboration in the public sphere. For example, assuming your business is concerned with products or services that are targeted to unrelated markets, using the public option in a hybrid cloud will allow you to communicate with your customers, while at the same time secure their peculiar information in a private cloud.
If you decide to move your business to the cloud or you’re already on the cloud but thinking of changing your cloud environment, the comparison above should be enough to guide you in making the right decision. Examine your business needs and go for the option that works best for you.