It’s no longer a question of should we be in the cloud, but instead how should we be in the cloud. Most companies are shifting towards adopting cloud solutions (UK cloud adoption now stands at 84%) due to the benefits of streamlined business processes, increased flexibility, and anytime anywhere access.
But as your business develops its strategy for implementing a cloud computing solution, you need to decide what is right for your business. Is it public cloud, private cloud or a combination of the two – hybrid cloud? Here we take you through some of the differences to help you make the right decision for your business.
The more common cloud computing model, public cloud has become synonymous with other terms you may have heard – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Find out more about these service models here.
With public cloud, a cloud service provider makes resources, such as software and data storage, available over the internet. This can be free to consumers but is normally charged on a subscription basis to businesses (think Google Apps or Dropbox).
The applications are stored on shared physical hardware which is owned and operated by a third-party provider at their location, which means there are no hardware or maintenance costs for you to worry about.
Public cloud is often the least costly cloud option; each individual customer operates on a low-cost, pay-as-you-go model.
The technical bit…
The pooling of shared physical resources means infrastructure costs are spread across a number of users. Processing power and memory, for example, are shared securely across many customers which spreads the cost and delivers a high level of performance.
Businesses can scale computing power up and down as business demands change, within a matter of minutes. Public cloud provides you with great flexibility and ease of access to share and store important files.
Private cloud is a cloud computing model where services are only available on a private network, built on a bespoke infrastructure that’s purely dedicated to one particular business.
Typically built within the company’s firewall, this type of model is best suited for sectors that have to deal with strict data, regulation and governance issues, or those that carry out highly sensitive tasks, such as the healthcare and education sectors.
For example, a company may be required by regulation to store sensitive data internally, so they may chose private cloud so that they can still benefit from some of the advantages of cloud computing inside their business infrastructure.
A private cloud is built for a single client and is hosted either on-site or at a service provider’s data centre. Since the infrastructure is only used by one customer, private cloud is usually a more complex and expensive option.
The technical bit…
On-premise private cloud is hosted within an organisation’s own facility, and the business incurs the capital and operational costs for the physical resources. Externally hosted private cloud is hosted by a third party specialising in cloud infrastructure, but is still used exclusively by one organisation.
This model delivers all the agility, scalability and efficiency of the public cloud. However, the nature of the infrastructure does mean that there’s no multi-tenant, shared pooling of resources among various customers.
Within private cloud, your business alone is using the physical hardware and you therefore don’t share the related costs with others. There is also often a higher level of complexity involved in setting it up.
This cloud computing model allows you to securely combine public cloud with private cloud. Certain data will only be available on the company’s private servers, whilst the rest will be stored on public cloud servers.
This can be a flexible, agile and cost effective solution for those companies that have special circumstances. For example, they may have to deal with strict data, regulation and governance issues in some parts of their business but not others. So they may choose to use the private cloud for their more sensitive operations, but then use the public cloud for the rest of their business operations.
The technical bit…
Hybrid cloud architecture requires both on-premise resources and off-site server based cloud infrastructure. The downside is that you have to keep track of multiple cloud platforms, and you have to ensure that all aspects of your business can communicate with each other.
I hope you found this article useful and informative. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the different cloud offerings in the comments box below.
NoBlue is one of the UK’s leading providers of NetSuite’s range of cloud software for business. If you’d like more information on how NetSuite can benefit your organisation then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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