Cloud computing is the delivery of business tools and applications such as databases, software, and servers, among others, across the internet. These tools and applications are hosted remotely in data centers located in sites far removed from where the businesses are located and are delivered to end-user devices when needed. As businesses increasingly appreciate the cost savings, easy scalability as well as work flexibility offered by cloud computing, there has been a significant increase in its adoption over the past several years. Up from $196 billion in 2018, the worldwide market for cloud-based services is projected to increase to $354 billion by 2022, with over 60% of businesses using the cloud in one form or another.
As a business owner, after making the decision to migrate your business network to the cloud, the next step is to decide on the type of cloud computing service suitable for your business needs. There are several cloud computing models available for businesses to choose from for their business networks. While these cloud models all deliver services across the internet similarly, they differ in their architecture, set up, and management. Discussed in further detail below are the various cloud computing models available to you to choose from for your business.
1) PUBLIC CLOUD
With a public cloud, the cloud infrastructure is completely owned and managed by third-party service providers. These providers rent out their cloud services and applications to businesses that want to migrate their business operations to the cloud. As such, the public cloud is shared by many businesses and is not just for use by a single business or organization only. Typically, the public cloud is highly segmented to prevent overlap of cloud services among the different businesses and to ensure privacy as well as security of each business. Depending on business needs there are a variety of cloud services that business owners can request; some of these include but are not limited to:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
- Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS)
- Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS)
One of the main advantages of the public cloud is its easy scalability. Business owners can readily scale up or down their cloud services and applications in response to changes in needs and operations. Furthermore, most public clouds utilize a pay-as-you-go business model, whereby the business owners only pay for the cloud services that they use.
2) PRIVATE CLOUD
In contrast to a public cloud, a private cloud is owned by only one business. It can be either locally or remotely hosted depending on the preferences of the business owner. Unlike public clouds that are supported by third-party cloud service providers, business owners support their own private cloud. They are, therefore, responsible for the setup and maintenance of their private cloud. If not well managed, private clouds can add a considerable amount of expense to a business' finances. For small and mid-sized businesses, owning a private cloud may be cost-prohibitive.
The main advantages of private clouds for business owners are administrative control, privacy, and security. Private clouds are typically walled off using very strict firewalls with access only granted to authorized users. For businesses that deal with sensitive information or that have strict regulatory requirements, using a private cloud enables them to easily make any configuration modifications that are relevant to their line of business. A major downside, however, to private clouds is they do not offer the easy and limitless scalability that the public clouds offer. Scaling up a private cloud is usually a costly endeavor for businesses due to the expense involved in acquiring and setting up the additional infrastructure.
3) HYBRID CLOUD
Hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds designed to interact seamlessly with each other, transferring services and applications from one cloud to the other. Business owners usually use hybrid clouds to benefit from the advantages of both private and public clouds. With hybrid clouds, business owners can easily scale up their network infrastructure using the public cloud while maintaining their high level of data privacy, security, and access control with the private cloud.
There are two approaches that can be used when setting up a hybrid cloud for your business:
- Cloud bursting: With this approach, all applications as well as services are run on the private cloud. When there is an increase in demand beyond the capacity of the private cloud to support, the public cloud is used to supplement the private cloud and support the extra demand. This hybrid cloud approach is used by businesses that have seasonal spikes in demand such as retailers.
- Alternatively, business owners can use both the public and private cloud at the same time as part of their regular business operations. With this approach, the proprietary information or mission-critical applications are maintained in the private cloud under enhanced security while non-mission-critical data and applications are managed in the public cloud.
Multi-clouds are variants of public clouds. Unlike traditional hybrid clouds comprising one public and one private cloud, business owners can combine private and public clouds in a variety of ways in developing their cloud infrastructure depending on their preferences and business needs. Typically, with multi-cloud, multiple cloud service providers are used in setting up the network; these separate cloud solutions, however, may be accessed within the same business network.
There are several benefits of using multi-cloud computing models compared to other cloud solutions:
- Flexibility: With multi-cloud, business owners minimize the risk of vendor lock-in. Since multiple cloud solutions are used, business owners are not constrained by the policies or practices of any single vendor. Business owners can migrate at will among vendors if the need arises.
- Specialization: Multi-cloud offers businesses the ability to customize and compartmentalize their cloud network. Different clouds can be tailored to meet the unique needs of specific departments within an organization.
- Versatility: Business owners are better able to modify and tailor their business network in response to changes in business operations or economic changes.
At NewCloud Networks, we have the knowledge and expertise needed to set up and manage cloud networks for small and medium-sized businesses. We work with business owners to determine their needs and develop cloud solutions that address those needs. Some of our cloud services are Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), and Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS). Contact us today for more information and to get started with us.