Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud – Exploring the use Cases

November 8, 2016
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How do you choose the right cloud implementation model for your business – public, private, hybrid?

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How do you choose the right cloud implementation model for your business – public, private, hybrid?

Before I get into the nitty gritty, let’s first take a look at what the private cloud is. The essential difference between the public and private models is “sharing.” With a public cloud infrastructure, there is shared physical hardware which is owned and operated by a vendor, so there’s no maintenance component for the client business. The size of the public cloud means a company can scale capacity and computing power either up or down in just minutes, in congruence with business needs.

The private model, however, offers a more customized set-up that is dedicated to a particular business. It’s hosted either on-site or at the provider’s data center and offers the same scale, agility, and other benefits of the public cloud. Although the scalability is not the same as with a public cloud, a private cloud allows for more control and security, which establishes it as an ideal choice for larger enterprises such as banks and financial institutions managing personally identifiable information (PII) including those that fall under certain regulatory standards.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some use cases for each as well as explore hybrid cloud scenarios. 

Use Cases for Public Cloud

With a public cloud, the customer can move the responsibilities of management to the cloud vendor. This movement can result in reduced direct costs, and also gives IT more time to focus on revenue-generating projects such as mobile apps, improved customer portals, and similar work. For some IT professionals, a challenge arises with public clouds because they want them to be integrated into other cloud environments while also running in-house applications.

Consider these use cases for the public cloud:

  • Mobile applications, whether they are serving the needs of internal staff, partners, or customers, the global coverage and speed of public cloud providers can ensure an optimal user experience.
  • Social media content such as data pulled from blogs, forums, or social media sites can be easily offloaded and stored in the cloud.
  • Disaster recovery plans often utilize public clouds. They’re especially suited for backups of the lower priority applications, where they provide an inexpensive option that simply sits idle until it’s called upon.
Use Cases for Private Cloud

Despite some of the challenges and associated costs of the private cloud model, many bigger firms are compelled to choose private due to the security risks of public. The potential damage to a company’s brand and the loss of customer trust after a public cloud breach can exponentially surpass the costs of the private cloud. Here are some typical use cases for a private model:

  • There’s a need for high performance, for example when a company is managing large files such as video content.
  • A company might be managing an application that behaves predictably and requires minimal storage and will be relatively easy and inexpensive to manage within the private cloud.
  • In some instances, an engineering team that is tasked with maintaining an application might not be able to migrate it fast enough and requires managed services with a private cloud vendor.

Implementing a private cloud securely can prove difficult unless you utilize the help of a third-party service. This is where a qualified IT consultancy such as TechBlocks can provide critical guidance on the best practices for implementation, and perhaps discuss the case for a hybrid public-private approach.

Hybrid Cloud – The Best of Both Worlds

The hybrid cloud is increasingly the path for organizations that desire a customizable approach with reduced maintenance costs and time. Pursuing a hybrid approach is often the path IT will take to convince upper management that the cloud is safe and a good option for critical data. They can test a tier of data or applications in the public cloud while keeping the bulk of their infrastructure in a private environment. Consider these hybrid cloud use cases:

  • An organization that is tightly constrained by compliance regulations which have stymied previous thoughts about migrating to the cloud. Advances in cloud compliance have greatly improved, and open up hybrid opportunities for companies with even the highest Department of Defense-level security compliance needs.
  • A company experiencing rapid growth might need to scale data resources quickly, but perhaps they don’t have time or money to move their entire application structure to the cloud. The hybrid approach allows them to move certain application tiers to the cloud, so they can scale and grow without implementing a rushed change that might prove unmanageable.