Data management is a real challenge with massive amounts of data being generated every second. This impacts both operational cost and efficiency. To overcome this challenge, companies are switching to cloud computing frameworks. Currently, over 90% of organizations worldwide are using various cloud computing services based on their business requirements. So let’s dive deep into the different types of cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of various computing services like physical or virtual servers, data storage spaces, and data development and management tools. These are provided over the Internet by a remote data center managed by a cloud service provider. Cloud computing works on a consumption-based, pay-as-you-go model; businesses pay only for the cloud services they use and not for comprehensive services all at once.
The most common types of cloud computing are Dropbox—an application that enables easy file storage and data sharing, and Microsoft Azure which provides data backup and recovery services. Other popular examples of cloud computing include Google Photos, Google Drive, Gmail, Amazon Prime, and Microsoft OneDrive.
There are three popular cloud computing models that companies use:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): This cloud-based model provides on-demand software or applications to users through the Internet.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): It provides IT infrastructure like hardware and software to the users for easy development, running, and management of applications.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): It provides hardware like computer storage and networks virtually to users.
Four Types of Cloud Computing
1. Private Clouds
A private cloud is a type of cloud computing environment that provides IT infrastructure services to a particular user or organization. There is no interference from third parties in a private cloud. It can be further divided as follows:
Managed Private Clouds
Managed private clouds provide on-demand IT hardware and digital infrastructure to companies that use a private cloud model.
Dedicated clouds provide complete IT infrastructure for a single user in a public cloud environment. Therefore, it provides the features of a private cloud in a private cloud setup.
Advantages of Private Clouds.
- Provides advanced data security
- Makes disaster recovery and system management processes more efficient
Disadvantages of Private Clouds
- Companies have to incur a high cost to set up IT infrastructure for private clouds
- Maintenance cost is also high
2. Public Clouds
While private clouds provide computing services only to a single organization, public clouds are managed by third-party vendors that offer on-demand cloud computing services to multiple organizations. Some examples of public clouds are Google, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Advantages of Public Clouds
- It is cost-efficient for small businesses as there is no need to set up IT infrastructure
- It offers easy maintenance and scalability
Disadvantages of Public Clouds
- Data security risk is higher in comparison to private clouds
- Offers limited flexibility and control to customers
3. Hybrid Clouds
Hybrid clouds allow the integration of private and public cloud features into a single IT infrastructure. It brings together private and public cloud environments from multiple vendors and provides users with a flexible and scalable cloud environment.
Advantages of Hybrid Clouds
- Hybrid clouds enable flexibility and enhanced data security
- Reduces the cost of setting up IT infrastructure
Disadvantages of Hybrid Clouds
- Creates a complex IT environment, leading to high operational expenses
- It is difficult to transfer data between public and private clouds environments in hybrid clouds
Multi-clouds are often confused with hybrid clouds. Multi clouds bring together multiple public clouds from different cloud service providers, whereas hybrid clouds integrate the features of public and private cloud environments.
Advantages of Multi-Clouds
- It allows businesses to avail of a variety of cloud services from multiple vendors
- It reduces the risk of lock-in with a single vendor, thus enabling smooth operational flow.
Disadvantages of Multi-Clouds
- The inconsistent infrastructure creates bottlenecks in operational processes
- It poses high-security risks as several third parties are involved
Types of Cloud Computing: The Similarities
Both hybrid and multi-clouds offer a centralized structure in multiple cloud environments. Even though the network is integrated, there is a single network infrastructure.
All types of cloud computing environments facilitate scalability by providing on-demand cloud services.
Types of Cloud Computing: The Differences
In private clouds, a single firm uses the entire IT infrastructure, which is managed by an in-house technical team. However, in public clouds, multiple users rely on a common IT infrastructure, managed by the cloud service vendors.
Private clouds establish strong data security frameworks in comparison to public data clouds because there is no third-party involvement.
Since public clouds are managed by third-party vendors, companies do not have to spend time and money on maintenance. However, maintenance cost for private, hybrid, and multi-clouds is quite high.
Which Type of Cloud Should You Use?
The most suitable types of cloud computing environments for your business depend on your requirements and factors such as cost, technical features, data security, governance, and service management among others.
For fintech, legal, healthcare, and other companies that store and process sensitive information and personal data, the private cloud is a more suitable option due to advanced security standards. However, if your business does not store sensitive data, you should use public clouds as they are cost-effective, easily scalable, and low maintenance.
If you want to avail both private and public cloud computing features, you should use a hybrid cloud for your business. It offers flexibility and can easily manage dynamic workloads. Large-scale organizations that process massive amounts of data on a regular basis and focus on tech innovations should choose multi-clouds.
Which Cloud is Safest?
All four cloud deployment models ensure data security and protection. However, the private cloud is the safest type of cloud computing environment as it is built in-house and no third party has access to it. Moreover, the data is managed and stored behind a firewall and controlled internally by an organization by following comprehensive data security frameworks.
Which Cloud Costs the Most? The Least?
The cost of different types of cloud computing is determined by the number of services provided by that cloud, such as server size, storage type, and storage size.
Public, hybrid, and multi-clouds require less investment because IT infrastructure is set up and managed by third-party vendors. On the other hand, for private cloud environments, companies have to build and maintain an IT infrastructure that can manage cloud computing services. Setting up and managing such infrastructure on a large scale is costlier than availing of public cloud services. Hence, private cloud deployment costs businesses the most and public cloud cost the least.
However, data security is a crucial factor that determines the cost for businesses. Even though public clouds are less costly, they are not as secure as private clouds. In case of data and security breaches in public, hybrid, or multi-clouds, companies have to incur huge losses.
In addition to this, public clouds also have several hidden costs like charges for moving data from servers to your applications, and back-end management charges. However, in private clouds, businesses know all costs upfront, which helps them make strategic decisions.
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By Sneha Chugh
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