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    How To Choose Between Public, Private, or Hybrid Clouds

    May 7, 2021

    Choosing the right cloud solution for your business is crucial to ensuring you have the right level of computing support and security to meet the needs of your company.

    From the pay-as-you-go, shared environment of the public cloud, to the more customizable, dedicated infrastructure of private cloud computing, to a hybrid solution that combines the benefits of cloud architecture with your existing legacy IT, the options available for your business vary widely, so it’s important to consider what will work best for you.

    What is right for one company is not always right for another. To make the best decision for your business, you must compare the key functions of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.

    We’re here to help by outlining the differences between these cloud solutions, including who they make sense for, the pros and cons, and which applications fit best in each, as well as additional cloud considerations.

    1. PUBLIC CLOUD

    What are the benefits of public cloud?

    The affordable, pay-as-you-go services offered by public cloud providers allow companies that are still growing their infrastructure to only pay for what they are using and easily scale up or down based on demand.

    By buying into a shared infrastructure that is maintained by a third party, businesses don’t need to make an upfront hardware investment, saving them money and configuration time. The flexibility of this service is perfect for those with fluctuating or unpredictable IT needs, which is often a trait of newer companies.

    Who does public cloud make sense for?

    Public cloud solutions make sense if you have workloads with fluctuating levels of utilization. They also make sense if you don’t require a lot of governance or control around where your data sits, or if you don’t care about the technology (i.e., hardware) that supports the data.

    However, government institutions could also turn to public clouds because providers have created segmented deployments that adhere to regional governments’ data regulations.

    What are the cons of public cloud?

    Getting started with public cloud solutions is very easy. However, they’re very difficult to leave. Factoring in conversion cost, network cost, and the time and investment it costs to operate the cloud platform, you may pay double to get out what it cost you to get in.

    What applications fit best in public cloud?

    Applications in testing and development stages work best in a public cloud platform because they don’t require governance and have varying levels of utilization. Web applications make sense because many public cloud platforms provide coverage models that allow for localized delivery, letting you distribute applications closer to your end user’s access point.

    If you’re archiving data, storage rates for large data sets are better in the public cloud. Additionally, big data analytics are best suited for public cloud.

    2. PRIVATE CLOUD

    What are the benefits of private cloud?

    Investing more in a private cloud network, where all systems are run from a dedicated server, will provide you with total control over application management and data security. This means that performance and demand can be monitored and optimized specifically for your needs.

    Who does private cloud make sense for?

    Private cloud computing is ideal for businesses working with sensitive data that must be protected to comply with data regulations, or if they require a higher level of computing customization.

    Private clouds are also ideal if your workloads run in a more consistent fashion because the pricing for compute makes more sense. In addition, workloads are more easily transferable in private cloud, the toolsets are more widely available, and workloads don’t require much transformation to take advantage of the cost benefits and operational efficiencies of private cloud.

    When looking into private clouds, here are some questions to consider:

    • What kind of access and control does the provider or platform offer?
    • What security and regulation requirements does the provider offer by default?
    • What format will your data be in?
    • What kind of connectivity options will you have to other public cloud or SaaS providers?
    • How easy is it to migrate your data?
    • Is the provider heavily dependent on specific hardware?

    What are the cons of private cloud?

    It’s going to be more expensive to host large amounts of storage in a private cloud. The “delivery region” can also be a major drawback, as private clouds don’t typically offer the same delivery coverage as public clouds.

    What applications fit best in private cloud?

    Databases make the most sense in the private cloud. With private cloud, you can maintain ownership of your data. This makes it easier if you’re looking to transfer to a different software provider.

    3. HYBRID CLOUD

    What are the benefits of hybrid cloud?

    The more complex hybrid cloud solution allows businesses the greatest degree of customization when it comes to their IT services.

    By making the most of a company's existing resources and infrastructure and adding the benefits of cloud services where needed, businesses can create a computing solution that can be configured to meet almost any set of individual requirements.

    Who does hybrid cloud make sense for?

    A hybrid cloud strategy focuses specifically on what applications and data you require to be most successful. Instead of dumping everything into one cloud location, you’re picking and choosing based on a particular use case.

    It’s perfect for companies that already have legacy systems in place and have the personnel and resources to move between multiple operations according to their needs.

    What are the cons of hybrid cloud?

    Hybrid clouds are more difficult to manage, particularly if you don’t have a team in place with the acumen, skillset and scale to support different platforms.

    Important cloud considerations

    Before you opt for a cloud solution, it’s important to take the following concerns into consideration and how they affect the functionality of your business:

    • Cost
    • Security
    • Flexibility and scalability
    • Performance
    • Control
    • Application stack
    • Delivery region

    Each of these factors will depend on the state of the application, the compliance and security requirements of the data it touches, and the business process it supports. Once you understand all this, you can better determine which platform makes the most sense for each workload.

    Remember, cloud computing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Choosing the wrong option could impact your security and performance. Understanding the key differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions is a good place to start. So take the time to research the cloud options and contact the experts to find out which choice is right for you.

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