Demystifying Public, Private, & Hybrid Cloud

To determine the type of cloud services best suited to your organisation, an examination of the options is needed. And whilst this is best achieved talking directly to cloud experts, we’ve pulled together an overview of the key differences. 

From the smallest business to the largest enterprise, you would be hard pushed to find an organisation that does not use cloud in one form or another. Companies continue to expand the scope of their cloud services due to the robust security and reliability options that are available.

Cloud providers vary in size and capability, but as a rule, they all manage, monitor, secure and update the platform … and clients simply use it to run services, applications, and to store information.

Exactly what is Public Cloud?

Some of the main services that we use every day are examples public cloud, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Salesforce. BBC iPlayer, eBay, and Netflix are examples of the many public cloud services we use in our personal lives.

Public cloud services operated by Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and others offer shared computing resources to anyone wanting to buy them. Although individual company workloads run on shared infrastructure, data is separated and isolated from other users of the service.

With no hardware required and minimal maintenance costs, public cloud is very scalable and accessible option. It’s cost effective, reliable, resilient, and providers invest in the very best security and protection.

Consideration should be given to data ownership and location imperatives, as the public cloud provider infrastructure is virtualised, and depending on the Cloud provider, often and spans the globe. The ownership of backup and recovery services should be examined, and migrations to public cloud services can be complex.  

And finally, whilst they are in theory highly secure, the sheer size and scale of the operation gives cybercriminals the opportunity to join the service and try to attack from within. Consequently, highly sensitive information and data tends not to be migrated to public cloud services.

So how does Private Cloud differ?

In contrast, private cloud services provide dedicated equipment and resources - and in some cases, organisations purchase and deploy their own hardware in third-party datacentres. Private cloud services are essentially the next best thing to running your own in-house infrastructure. Cloud providers have considerable resource expertise, and services are much more reliable and scalable than in-house platforms run by the IT department.

In common with public cloud, private cloud services require little user maintenance and are highly flexible, and secure. Enhanced exclusivity means private cloud tends to be more costly than public cloud, whilst workload migrations are generally less complex. Backup and recovery services are easier to manage, though there may be some shared services to consider.

Are Hybrid and Multi Cloud the same thing?

No, technically they are not the same, but increasingly the terms are used to mean the same thing, as cloud environments invariably blend a range of services.

The term multi-cloud applies when organisations use different public cloud platforms for certain workloads. For example, Microsoft Azure might be used for email and collaboration applications, whilst AWS is used for web presence and online services. Public cloud providers tend to be stronger in one area than another, so enterprises often ‘cherry pick’ best of breed services.

Hybrid cloud traditionally brings together public and private cloud services to work as a single entity using shared resources to achieve business objectives. The term hybrid is often used when multi-cloud services operate alongside private cloud but run independently.

As cloud continues to evolve the strict definition of terms becomes less important, and most organisations are now using a blend of cloud options to run day to day operations.

The most important consideration is the development of an IT environment that meets specific requirements for security, performance, compliance, business continuity, flexibility, and cost effectiveness - irrespective of terminology.

We provide a full range of integrated cloud service options and has an eco-system of leading cloud and security partners. Our professional services teams help organisations plan, implement, and run services to meet business outcomes and strategic objectives. 

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