The classic cloud computing model, the public cloud allows users to access a pool of powerful computing power online. This may be IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS; a public cloud can handle all three.
One of the significant upsides to this model is having the ability to scale your service rapidly. With vast computing power at their disposal, public cloud computing suppliers are able to share between a high volume of customers. This is known as ‘multi-tenant’ architecture.
The huge scale of a public cloud gives them the spare capacity needed to easily cope with a customer suddenly needing a lot more resources. For this reason, it’s frequently used for less-sensitive applications, which require variable resources.
The private cloud offers some of the same benefits as the public cloud, allowing business to take advantage of the pros without relinquishing control of their services and data. Instead, they remain safely tucked away behind a corporate firewall.
Companies are able to control where their data is stored and build their infrastructure in whatever way they choose. This largely applies to IaaS and PaaS projects rather than SaaS.
With the public cloud, developers gain access to a pool of computing power that scales on-demand without compromising security.
The flipside is that all the added security is that private cloud access comes at a higher price. This is because most companies don’t have the scale of Google or Apple and are unable to create similar economies of scale.
All that being said, if your business requires additional security, a private cloud solution is a useful way to get to grips with cloud services prior to switching them to the public cloud.
The hybrid cloud is, in reality, where most businesses end up. It offers a happy medium that a lot of companies find appealing.
By hosting some of your projects on the public cloud and other data on the private cloud, you gain access to multiple vendors and various layers of cloud usage. According to TechRepublic the main reasons companies choose a hybrid cloud solution are a desire to avoid the costs of hardware, and the need for a disaster recovery plan.
Disadvantages Of The Cloud…
As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to cloud computing.
In the same way that renting doesn’t always work out cheaper than buying in the long term, cloud computing isn’t always the cheapest method of computing. There are times it’s more economical to provide a computing service in-house, usually when an application comes with a regular and predictable requirement.
That being said, there are other benefits to cloud computing that may make it the better option, even if it isn’t necessarily the cheapest.
Cost isn’t the only downside. There is also a reluctance among some business owners to allow their sensitive, valuable data to be hosted on a service their competition is also using. The switch to a SaaS application can also lead to you using the same applications used by your rivals. This can make it more difficult to gain a competitive advantage, as you both have access to the same features and functionality.
The former shouldn’t be an issue at all, provided the cloud provider does not share data between customers (e.g. for the purpose of analytics). The latter is generally only an issue if that SaaS is the core of your business. If it’s a smaller application used for only one element it’s less of a concern.
If you’re starting from scratch, setting up a new cloud application is very easy. If, however, you’re switching from an existing system to one that’s cloud-based, it can come with more complications and greater expense.
Generally speaking, however, it’s very simple to switch from physical servers to the cloud.