As cloud computing rapidly becomes more advanced, efficient and accessible, its popularity continues to grow. Research published by the International Data Group indicates that as many as 69% of modern businesses are already using cloud technology in some capacity, with further studies detailing that less than 1/3 of enterprise applications are expected to be hosted on traditional servers by the end of 2022.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering that hosting information within the cloud is often more secure than doing so within traditional servers, and around 20% of cloud-users report data recovery in under 4 hours, but apprehensive adopters may be wondering exactly how all of this works.
For businesses that are still a little unsure of how best to approach the cloud, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide covering all common types of cloud computing, public, private and hybrid.
Public cloud computing
Let’s begin with public cloud computing, a market that’s expected to be worth $800 billion by 2025. In essence it’s an IT model built to offer computing services and infrastructure through a third-party provider, with data shared between multiple organizations and broadcast across the public internet.
Opting to use public cloud servers removes the need for businesses to host any information or services within their own costly data centers, instead paying a monthly or pay-per-use fee for access. Whilst operating within a public cloud server can be inexpensive, it’s not ideal for storing sensitive data or frequently used applications, as their public nature makes them harder to secure.
Public cloud computing is the most common form of this tech, with a great example being Microsoft Azure. A cloud server owned and maintained by Microsoft that allows its users to access a variety of email, office and storage applications without the need to invest in any extra hardware or software.
Private cloud computing
The basic premise of a private cloud service remains similar to that of a public server. For example, accessing data such as your IP camera cloud storage can be done remotely on both private and cloud servers. Though in this case your information will be contained within your own private data center, only to be accessed by your organization.
The services and infrastructure used within a private cloud service will always be maintained on a private network, with any and all hardware and software only accessible to your business. This allows private clouds to be customized in line with a business’s specific needs with ease, and offers a greater level of security, which is why private clouds are most popular amongst larger organizations.
Popular private cloud service providers include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, VMware and Dell, all of which offer businesses flexible cloud services with great control and scalability. Though the major downside to private cloud computing is represented by the increased costs associated with managing your own data center, alongside hiring dedicated IT experts to maintain your private infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud computing
Hybrid cloud computing aims to leverage the benefits of both public and private clouds to facilitate the movement of data and applications between these two environments. This variety of cloud computing combines the on-site infrastructure of a private cloud with the accessibility of a public server, offering a superior degree of flexibility to businesses as they scale their operations.
With the ability to store sensitive data and applications within your own private server, alongside frequently used services within an easily accessible public network, hybrid cloud computing allows for a great deal of control whilst helping businesses to meet regulatory and data sovereignty requirements.
To date, around 82% of large enterprises have adopted a hybrid cloud infrastructure, making this approach to cloud computing the most popular method in the business world, with Amazon’s AWS service currently accounting for 33% of the industry’s market share.
With 94% of all modern enterprises currently using some form of cloud services, it’s clear that cloud computing can offer a range of unrivaled benefits to companies of all sizes, though the choice to opt for a public, a private or a hybrid cloud network will depend on the specific needs of your organization.
Public clouds are the simplest systems to adopt, they cost far less to operate and require no maintenance, though as multiple organizations will have access to these servers your data will be a little less secure. Private clouds are ideal for larger companies, with sensitive data only accessible via your own private server, though the cost to install and maintain these systems can be quite great.
Oftentimes a hybrid cloud will be the most desirable option, combining the benefits of both public and private systems to allow for a greater deal of flexibility and scalability, but ultimately the ideal choice will depend on your businesses unique requirements and workflows.