In the era of a seismic shift from local to cloud computing some might find it difficult to adapt to this new form of business. When moving to the cloud, it is important to understand the basics of cloud computing and its two most important incarnations: private and public cloud. Both of these forms have their advantages and disadvantages, so you shouldn’t actually choose one ad hoc, but rather consider what is the most suitable to your individual needs.
Private cloud is the original form of the cloud. It refers to the online services delivered from within the organizations for their employees or members. In essence, it is the organization’s data center with some cloud features such as virtualization. Every business concerned with its security is attracted to the idea of having a personal cloud. The advantages here are obvious: running a personal cloud allows the organization to be in charge of its own security and manage it according to its own standards; the teams that manage the cloud are a part of the organization which is supposed to be an additional security precaution.
Some, however, see this as a drawback of the private cloud. It is not a rare thing that an employee turns out to be disloyal, or even incompetent. So, having a personal management team doesn’t necessarily offer a security guarantee. The risk may or may not be the same as with Public cloud where you actually trust a third-party provider to manage and coordinate your hardware, along with your security.
If we leave security paranoia aside, the next important factor is the costs. Public cloud may probably sound more appealing in this case. It operates on a pay-as-you-go model and the provider is in charge of hardware maintenance and employing management teams. The monthly or annual subscription may significantly cut the IT costs, which is most often quoted as the biggest advantage of public cloud.
Besides this, there is also a hybrid cloud which represents a certain combination of the two. It may sound great to incorporate the good sides of both public and private cloud into one perfect service, but this is not necessarily so. A lot of people still refuse to accept that this category truly exists. Hybrid cloud is customized in terms of infrastructure and security and this is the reason why it is so difficult to define it. Without a proper definition, hybrid cloud is still a matter of dispute.
Basically, with hybrid clouds you have several options. Amazon virtual private cloud (VPC), for example, allows you to store your data in your own data centers and to choose your own virtual environment. But generally all the tasks could be allocated according to your own needs.
The business needs are different for any company. If the security is a sensitive issue then this is what should be invested in. Many businesses would, however, want to cut their costs. Public cloud is probably a better solution for this and should be taken into consideration when thinking about cost-benefits.
- Cloud Computing Trends until 2015 – Gartner (encryptedfilestorage.com)