Make Sense of the Cloud: Private, Public or Hybrid?

The cloud industry is getting a lot of buzz lately with big players making major moves. VMware has a new hybrid cloud strategy while Dell dumps its plans for a public cloud service, opting to focus instead on selling private clouds.

In an earlier post, we talked about how you can prepare your business for transitioning into cloud technology. With all the shake-ups and changes going on, how do you determine what kind of cloud service works for you?

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Public cloud
Public clouds are owned and managed by third-party service providers and are made available over the internet. They are operated on large-scale infrastructure which all users share.

Pros
• Lower costs as you can benefit from economies of scale and the flexibility of a pay-per-use setup
• You can adjust the computing capacity based on business demands at a given time
• Highly efficient

Cons
• Higher security risk
• Compatibility problems between cloud-based applications and local workloads

Private cloud
In a private cloud, the infrastructure is maintained on a private network and is dedicated to only one enterprise.

Pros
• Better data security
• Can be customized according to your standards and applications
• Ownership and control of platform

Cons
• You have to build and maintain your own infrastructure
• Limited in size and scalability

Hybrid Cloud
An attempt to be the best of both worlds, the hybrid utilizes both public and private clouds for different aspects of business.

Pros
• Flexibility in spreading out applications (i.e. managing sensitive data in a private cloud while doing collaboration projects on the public cloud)
• You can choose how to allot resources to each platform depending on your needs
• Good transition phase for deciding whether you want to get into full-on cloud computing

Cons
• More complicated management in overseeing both types of clouds
• Integration problems between the two platforms

In choosing which type of cloud technology suits your company, determine which benefits are most important to you and how you can mitigate the downsides that come with it. The big players may be shaking things up with major moves but you still have to make decisions based on what will work best for your business.

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