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What type of cloud solution is best suited for your business?

Let’s take a look at the different types of cloud deployments and see which one is best suited for your business.

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Image: KnowTechie Store

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t make use of the cloud in some way. On a very basic level, the cloud makes it possible to access your business files from anywhere. When you take a more complex look at the cloud, it can make your business more efficient, reliable, and competitive through several online tools.

The cloud has become a crucial piece of the technology pipeline. But what type of cloud should you use?

Wait, what? There’s more than one type of cloud? You bet there is. In fact, there are a number of different types of clouds. But we’re going to be looking specifically at types of cloud deployments. Why? Because although types of cloud computing services (such as IaaS, Paas, and SaaS) are very interesting to members of the IT community, understanding the differences and benefits of cloud deployments is much more immediate and accessible to those who aren’t quite as in touch with their inner geek.

In other words, you don’t have to have an understanding of the cloud as would a group of .NET developers to grasp the benefits of a cloud deployment. Let’s take a look at the different types of cloud deployments and see which one is best suited for your business.

Private Cloud

a picture of a virtual private network with cords plugged in
Image: Unsplash

The private cloud is exactly as the name suggests—a cloud that is not accessible to the public. You might think that private clouds are only found within company data centers, powered by software like Nextcloud. That is one take on the private cloud — a very popular one because Nextcloud is not only open source, it’s free.

This type of private cloud can greatly benefit small- to mid-sized companies who need to have a central repository for files and collaboration. Of course, Nextcloud offers a host of features you won’t find in other cloud options (like video chat, theming, tag management, user access control, password management, installable apps, and much more). This makes Nextcloud a viable option for almost any company.

But the private cloud isn’t only relegated to company-owned, on-premises, off-the-shelf hardware. The private cloud can be any cloud, hosted on-premises or via a third-party solution (such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, etc.). In order for a cloud to be private it must:

  • Only be accessible by the company.
  • Be controlled, scaled, and customized by the company.

The private cloud can be of any size—a single computer or a multi-node cluster.

The benefits of the Private Cloud are:

  • They offer much more security and privacy for a company.
  • The company has complete control over the cloud.

The drawbacks of the Private Cloud are:

  • Depending on the size of the company, the cost can get pretty high.
  • Limited scalability.

Public Cloud

Image: Unsplash

As you might expect, the public cloud is a cloud the general public has access to. For example, Google Drive and Dropbox are both public cloud options.  Why? Because everyone can access the service. Even though individuals (or even companies) have private access to their data, those individuals and companies aren’t the only ones on the service.

So file storage and email are good examples of public cloud services. Another common use of a public cloud is for application development and testing. Because of the public nature of these types of clouds, anyone can use them.

That doesn’t mean businesses would be best served on these types of services. Yes, any business can make use of the G Suite set of tools (and many do). But for any business that requires a heightened sense of security and privacy, the public cloud is not the best option.

The benefits of the public cloud are:

  • Ease of use.
  • Low cost.
  • Low to no maintenance.
  • On-demand scalability.

The drawbacks of using a public cloud solution are:

  • Fewer security measures.
  • Non-compliance with security measurements (such as HPPA).
  • More likely to be targeted by hackers.
  • Limited flexibility.

Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds. The best way to explain this type of cloud is to imagine your business has a private cloud that’s connected to a public cloud to scale up resources when you need them.

In other words, there may be times when the workload your company places on the private cloud is too great and could cause it to fail. When that happens, you’ll be lucky you have a hybrid cloud that will offload that added work to a connected public cloud.

Considering the public cloud is more capable of handling massive workloads, your company won’t miss a beat. And once the workload returns to normal, all traffic will be directed back to the private cloud. This functionality is called Cloud Bursting.

It might sound complicated, but it works and does a great job of saving you money. Instead of paying what can be an exorbitant cost of handling the extra workload that may or may not occur, you only pay for the use of the public cloud only when you use it. That is the foundation of the hybrid cloud.

The benefits of the hybrid cloud are:

  • On-demand scalability, only when required.
  • Allows businesses to use public cloud for high demand services like video conferences and private clouds for sensitive assets (such as client data, financial information, etc.).
  • Better business continuity.
  • Cost savings on a per-project basis.
  • Best balance of control, performance, and scalability.

The drawbacks of using a hybrid cloud are:

  • Significantly more complex than either private or public clouds.
  • Possible bottlenecks during data transfers between clouds.
  • Transferring of data between clouds can affect regulatory compliance.

Most large businesses deploy hybrid clouds. However, there might be reasons for your company to depend solely on the private cloud. If you’re a small business, an on-premise private cloud or a public cloud solution like Google Suite might be the ideal solution.

No matter which route you go, take care to use it wisely and make use of strong passwords and Two Factor Authentication, so your data is safe.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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