By Sungard AS
Private, public and hybrid cloud infrastructure services explained
Choosing the right cloud solution for your business is key to ensuring a balance between your needs for performance, support and security and your budgetary considerations. What is right for one company, or even one workload, isn't necessarily right for another. With public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructure to choose from, let's briefly recap the definition of these offerings and how each type serves different business needs.
All clouds are data centres, comprised of compute and storage resources connected by a network. These resources are virtualised into a shared pool that can be segregated for different customers, applications and purposes, and intelligently and automatically orchestrated. That is what gives the cloud the flexibility to respond to the ever-changing needs of the applications running on them, as well as the fluctuating utilisation and availability of each resource. Applications can be deployed rapidly without the need for custom-provision boxes and, once up and running, can be dynamically scaled on demand. Smart, automated and adaptive, the cloud can be a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to the on-premise data centre.
When most people think of cloud computing, public cloud-based services tend to be what springs to mind. Hosted by a third-party provider, the infrastructure is shared by multiple tenants, each of whom only pays for what they use. In exchange for giving up a degree of control, businesses can offload the burden of infrastructure management and don't have to pay up front for hardware. The public cloud is a popular choice for everyday business support applications like email, HR and CRM systems, as well as providing a test environment for application development.
Private cloud infrastructure is fully dedicated to a single business, which can control and configure the environment to fit its unique needs. Many larger organisations invest in a private cloud network to give them total control over application management and data security, and enable them to monitor and optimise performance and demand. A private cloud is often used to run core business applications that provide a competitive advantage, such as R&D, MRP and SCM systems, or sensitive data that needs to be protected to comply with regulatory requirements, such as in healthcare or finance.
Hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds, and is becoming the 'new normal' for a growing number of organisations. As you might expect, it offers the best of both worlds by making the most of a company's existing resources and infrastructure while adding the benefits of cloud services where and when needed. This enables organisations to create new, innovative applications with unpredictable demand, which can be deployed on private cloud infrastructure and then burst into public cloud during demand spikes.
Cloud computing is not a one-size-fits-all solution but should be based on your business's individual service delivery needs and priorities.
For more advice about choosing a cloud infrastructure solution, get in touch.