Understanding the Three Forms of Cloud Computing

Understanding the Three Forms of Cloud Computing

Most companies now organize their applications across multiple platforms in an increasingly complex line-up of technology solutions. There’s also the constant pressure to reevaluate their IT strategy to ensure they’re getting the scalability and usability they need while keeping overheads under control. One way to simplify matters is to make the move to the cloud.

The cloud itself simply refers to the internet, while cloud computing refers to work carried out online and delivered in real time to the machine in front of you, whether that’s a desktop or mobile device. Cloud computing comes in three main forms: public, private and hybrid. The most suitable solution depends on the type of data and applications you’re working with, since different levels provide varying degrees of control and security.

Public Clouds

Public cloud services provide distributed computing resources over the public internet to any individual or organization who wants them. These include some of the biggest players in the industry, such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services. Public cloud resources are typically hosted in massive data centers running virtual machines to deliver web-based applications, data storage and even entire virtualized desktops to customers.

The public cloud offers everything that most small- to medium-sized businesses need for their everyday computing. For example, teams can work on the same documents using the web-based Google Docs or access high-end computing resources using Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2). In the public cloud, all the infrastructure is shared among multiple organizations, while data is stored in virtual containers that only the customer has access to.

Private Clouds

While public cloud services are quick and easy to implement and present a very low cost of ownership, using them does mean sacrificing a considerable degree of control, particularly with regard to which apps you can use and where your data is physically stored. By creating a cloud-based infrastructure that’s used exclusively for a single organization, private clouds offer more control and, in theory at least, better security.

Private clouds may either be hosted and managed by a third-party provider with their own data center or, more often, hosted in an on-premises data center complete with a virtualization layer for increased efficiency. The latter offers the highest degree of control and the best performance, but it also requires investing in and maintaining expensive on-site hardware. For smaller organizations that demand strict security and require a high degree of control, a private cloud hosted by a third party is often the best option.

Hybrid Clouds

You guessed it – the hybrid cloud presents a mix of the two by combining the security, control and privacy of a private cloud with the scalability and cost effectiveness of the public cloud. Serving as a mid-way point between the two, a hybrid cloud draws resources from both platforms and may include a combination of on-premises data centers and virtualized resources delivered over the public internet.

The hybrid cloud requires organizations to manage a more complex array of resources and security platforms to ensure all systems can work seamlessly together. Because of their complexity, hybrid cloud environments tend to be complicated to implement, so they’re generally better for larger companies with well-developed IT departments. Hybrid systems are also suited to serving customer interactions through the public cloud while keeping company data hosted privately.

Given today’s increasingly complex business computing landscape, it’s no surprise that many companies are worried about getting left behind. That’s why GRIT Technologies is here to help your organization grow with the right blend of IT and expertise. Contact us today to find out more.


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