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What is public, private and hybrid cloud – and which is best for me?

Understanding the different types of cloud computing models is essential to ensuring you deploy the right solution to suit your IT strategy.

There are three types to choose from including the pay-as-you-go, shared option of the public cloud to the more secure, dedicated private cloud or a hybrid cloud service that combines the benefits of the two, as well as incorporating existing legacy IT.

Each come with similar advantages, such as security, reliability and flexibility, but which option is best for you depends on your individual computing support and security requirements.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to choosing the best cloud model to suit your business.

What is a public cloud?

The most popular form of cloud computing, public clouds are delivered over the internet by a third-party cloud service provider. This model, including all its supporting infrastructure, is owned by the provider so it is fully responsible for managing and delivering the service.

As the name suggests, users share computing services with other customers in a public cloud, while keeping their data hidden from other cloud tenants.

Advantages of a public cloud

  • Metered costs as you are only charged for what you use.
  • Easy to deploy as the resources are immediately available from the provider.
  • High flexibility and scalability to meet unpredictable workload and user demands.
  • No hardware maintenance as it is fully managed by the cloud provider.
  • Application developer services are available such as Database as a Service.

Good choice for:

Web-based application development and unpredictable workloads due to public cloud’s flexibility and affordability. This option offers the least visibility and control over the infrastructure and cost, however, which means it’s not always the best choice for static workloads or meeting regulatory compliance.

What is a private cloud?

While a public cloud provides shared and metered resources, a private cloud provides a dedicated pool of resource for sole use by a single business. This can be on dedicated hardware for larger businesses or virtualised Infrastructure as a Service for smaller organisations. Those using a private cloud typically use self-service portals hosted by the third-party service provider to control resource allocation.

As the services and software are dedicated to one organisation, a private cloud offers a more secure and cost-controlled setting. Private cloud providers will normally offer complimentary IT services such as anti-virus protection, backup, disaster recovery and managed services as a low risk packaged solution.

Advantages of private cloud

  • Customisable to meet the unique needs of your business.
  • Higher security as you’re not sharing resources with other businesses.
  • More control over your data, costs and infrastructure.
  • Packaged solutions that remove the need for additional security and data protection software.
  • Compliance as you have greater control over your data.

Good choice for:

Medium to large-sized businesses that have static workloads or specific security regulations to follow. A private cloud offers many of the benefits of a public cloud, but in a more controlled and structured environment.

What is a hybrid cloud?

Combining the resources of a private cloud with a public cloud, businesses can get the best of both worlds with a hybrid cloud service. The public cloud can be used for unpredictable high volume work that needs to scale on demand, while the private cloud is in place for more sensitive predictable operations that require a higher level of security.

It is also possible with the right service provider to connect legacy colocated hardware into the same hybrid cloud network, leveraging previous investments alongside the cloud services. Protecting systems and data across multiple cloud environments can be complicated, so it’s important to keep in mind that investing in your cyber security is essential when considering a hybrid cloud service.

Advantages of hybrid cloud

  • Flexibility to transfer resources from an on-site private cloud to public cloud and vice versa.
  • Improved security by keeping sensitive data on a dedicated infrastructure that you have more control over.
  • Use of existing resources and infrastructure to lower costs and achieve good ROI.
  • Predictable cost control.
  • Customisable private end of your hybrid cloud model.

Good choice for:

Businesses that already have the systems and resources in place to move between different operations according to their needs. It’s especially attractive for businesses looking to develop new modern applications alongside legacy applications.

Cloud bundles to suit you

Here at Node4, we understand the importance of deploying the right cloud solution to suit your IT strategy, which is why we offer a range of cloud bundles to meet the needs of businesses.

Whether you’re an SME looking to host a small application, or a large enterprise in need of a data centre replacement solution, we can provide you with market-leading solutions according to your individual requirements.

What’s more, we own 100% of our cloud infrastructure and we’re Cisco Cloud & Managed Service Provider accredited, providing you with the confidence that we deliver the highest level of expertise and control across our cloud services.

Find out more about our cloud bundles and which one is right for your business.