Public, Private, Hybrid – What’s the Difference? Which is Best?

Cloud computing is a rapidly growing business asset, replacing traditional on-site servers at an incredible rate. However, not all cloud hosting is made equal. There are numerous differences between the most common forms of cloud computing models, and before investing, it’s critical for companies to know the differences.

This is what you need to know about the variations between public, private, and hybrid cloud computing solutions, including advantages and disadvantages – and which opportunity is best.

Understanding the Differences Between Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud Solutions.

Cloud computing resources are available in three main categories: public, private, and hybrid. The differences may seem subtle on the surface but, in reality, the variations between these types of clouds are critically important to how a cloud-based solution can serve your business.

Public Clouds

Public cloud services, as the name indicates, refers to cloud computing options that are available to the public and can be utilized by virtually any company or individual. These options, which include things like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, are free for minimal cloud storage space and relatively low cost for enterprise-scale options. Getting started with public cloud hosting is very easy as the infrastructure is already in place, making the choice simple for companies that don’t fully understand their needs or who are still exploring the role of cloud computing within the business model. Of all types of cloud, deployment is usually the fastest when using public clouds.

Private Clouds

Unlike public clouds, which can be utilized by virtually anyone, private clouds are available only to the cloud owner, similar to traditional on-site servers. These cloud offers are secure, customizable, and compatible with almost all application resources and business needs. Private clouds can be designed to accommodate a wide range of storage and infrastructure options, from new start-ups with a focus on growth to large international corporations with thousands of users.

Private clouds exist in two distinct forms. They can be constructed on-site in a way that requires similar IT support and infrastructure components as traditional clouds, or hosted by a third party service provider. Most companies will benefit from the use of a private cloud.

Hybrid Clouds

Hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds, merging aspects of both into one cohesive data management system. The hybrid cloud model is most frequently used in businesses in which internal needs vary greatly, like financial firms that must keep some information private but do not maintain the same standards for all data, or companies that see significant seasonal fluctuation that may require storage that exceeds normal limits.

The innate nature of hybrid cloud architecture requires significant setup costs due to the complex steps needed to combine the two computing models. The processes involved to construct a seamless bridge between both cloud models can require specialized knowledge and thus a partnership with a third-party vendor pro during the deployment process.

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What Is the Difference Between Private Clouds and Public Cloud Providers?

The primary difference between private clouds and public clouds revolves around ownership. When employing a public cloud, all decisions and application compatibility details are made by the cloud owner, and individual users have relatively little influence. All changes and updates happen on a global level, and users must either go along with these alterations or move to different cloud-based services.

Private clouds, on the other hand, are owned by one specific entity. This means that decision-making, security, and any other choices are up to the company in question, not an anonymous third-party host. Hosted private clouds offer the same options, allowing users to create a custom infrastructure that accommodates specific needs rather than a wide range of opportunities meant to please as many customers as possible.

What Is the Difference Between Private Clouds and Hybrid Clouds?

Private clouds and hybrid clouds do share some similarities, particularly because hybrid clouds typically incorporate or deploy a private cloud infrastructure as a part of the overall cloud model. However, unlike standalone private clouds, hybrid models incorporate a public component. This creates potential application compatibility issues; any product that can’t be used on the public platform likely can’t be incorporated into the private side of the cloud, either. The setup is also far more significant; in addition to establishing a private cloud, companies must also employ the resources necessary to bridge the two platforms.

What Is the Difference Between Hybrid Clouds and Public Clouds?

As with the difference between hybrid clouds and private clouds, the similarities lie in the overlapping functionality. Hybrid clouds do employ a public aspect, but take the concept one step further, incorporating a private cloud as well.

The dual platform structure of a hybrid cloud makes this model far more complex than a public cloud alone. Due to the nature of a private cloud and how it differs from a public cloud, implementation is generally far more costly and convoluted in nature.

Cost Savings and Cloud Computing

Cost savings is commonly touted as a primary benefit for those considering cloud computing solutions. And why wouldn’t it? Moving away from a traditional data center opens the door to more space, better security, and more flexible opportunities while eliminating the on-site requirements a standard server demands.

Many individuals new to cloud computing believe that public cloud options are always the most affordable option. As these clouds are easy to access and don’t require any physical staff maintaining an in-house server while offering a scalable solutions, the cost savings benefits may feel like a no-brainer. However, in spite of these perceptions, public clouds aren’t always the best way to save, especially for companies that require a little more than what a basic cloud solution can do.

Hosted private clouds can be a great option for companies looking to streamline operations and reduce in-house tech costs. With comprehensive packages like Avatara’s CompleteCloud solution that include all new server and site hardware, internet bills, 24/7 customer service, defensive tools to prevent hacks and cyber attacks, and support for scaling and expansion, clients may actually save money over the per-user costs for a typical public cloud solution.

Hybrid clouds are generally not a cost-effective model due to the numerous complexities that accompany marrying a public and private cloud. However, for businesses that are uniquely positioned to benefit from this specific cloud computing platform, hybrid clouds may still be more affordable than an on-site server.

Which is Best?

As with all technological solutions, there’s not necessarily one right answer in the battle of cloud strategy, cloud vendors, and infrastructure options. What works for one company is not necessarily the right choice for others. However, for the vast majority of users, a private cloud is the best option for the business who wants a customized and secure approach to cloud computing.

This is why private cloud solutions lead the way over any other type of cloud.

Better Security

Security is a major point of concern for those investing in cloud computing, and it’s arguably the largest shortfall in public clouds. While a complete hands-off experience may seem desirable, this is actually a shortcoming as far as security is concerned.

A private cloud allows for complete security autonomy. Any safeguards desired can be implemented and issues, like hacking attempts and downtime, can be addressed immediately without waiting, helpless, for a public service provider to make a move. Sophisticated measures can be implemented as soon as new opportunities are available, ensuring cutting-edge protection to all data.

The nature of data storage in a private cloud can be a benefit for companies that deal with compliance and regulatory oversight, like healthcare companies subject to HIPAA and financial firms that must report transactions. As storage locations are clear on a private cloud, it’s easier for inspectors and agencies to identify where data is stored and how secure it is.

Complete Control

A public cloud puts control in the hands of the public cloud provider, creating a situation in which users don’t have any way to protest changes, updates, or restructuring that may occur while using a cloud.

A private cloud infrastructure provides enterprise users with complete control over everything from security to compatibility, ensuring all applications and hardware functions can be maintained over time, no matter technological trends. For companies that rely on a large server with very specific software needs, this is a distinct advantage. Rather than relinquishing support to a third-party cloud vendor that may or may not be able to keep up with evolving business trends, private cloud users can be sure their cloud is an enterprise-specific endeavor.

On Demand Support

Due to the private nature of a private cloud, support is always just seconds away. As resources are dedicated to a company, whether in person or via a third-party , any issues can be handled and any questions can be answered in a matter of seconds.

Public clouds can lead to long wait times, particularly when issues arise. If a public cloud provider is hacked or experiences an outage, there’s nothing a user can do to remedy the situation. Instead, users are left waiting until service can be restored or a breach can be fixed, creating potentially costly business interruption. Help with application compatibility issues may also be inadequate, as the vast functionality of a public cloud embodies a one-size-fits-all principle. For companies that rely on a certain standard of service, a failure that’s out of a company’s control isn’t an option.

With hosted cloud services from Avatara, help is always at your fingertips. With a more responsive team than big players like Amazon or Google, it’s possible to get the support necessary in a matter of seconds – not hours. In addition, services also come with an added benefit: management consolidation. Instead of struggling to keep track of IT tickets, phone problems, printer issues, web-based email services, internet connectivity outages, or any other tech-related challenges, our team provides seamless capabilities. One single phone number will put you in touch with the resources you need, streamlining your approach to tech support. Disaster recovery is managed as well, ensuring your data will always be safe.

Further, working with a dedicated provider guarantees a level of standardization that’s hard to achieve with a public cloud. When Avatara takes control of your private cloud solutions, we’ll have an intimate knowledge of how your system works, where different items are stored, and how you use your cloud platform. Instead of wasting time troubleshooting, we’ll know just where to start.

Improved Performance

Performance is imperative for those considering a cloud environment. When functionality during the work day is directly connected to your cloud platform’s ability to perform, speed and reliability are essential.

A private cloud offers performance advantages other solutions don’t, primarily because all resources are dedicated to your company and not hundreds of clients around the world. VDI uptime is virtually always better than a public infrastructure as there are no shared services or potential software compatibility issues. This combination creates better results across the board, creating an environment conducive to productivity.

Business continuity is guaranteed in a private cloud as well. All data is stored within a single data center, not a combination like in a hybrid cloud or across several public clouds, creating a seamless experience. This can be critical for ensuring tasks are accomplished correctly and in a timely manner – something that means a lot in cash-flow dependent industries.

Comprehensive Network Visibility

As a public cloud client, users can only see what’s on the surface. The back-end of the cloud infrastructure is largely a mystery, requiring business owners to operate on faith rather than knowledge.

A dedicated private cloud eliminates these challenges. As either your company or your chosen hosted provider is the authority on your cloud storage servers, everything from network performance to call volumes, for example, are available to use to pinpoint problems and create solutions. There’s no obscurity in a private cloud; instead, users have access to all of the information needed to ensure an optimized approach to doing business.

The Bottom Line

Establishment and deployment of a cloud computing infrastructure are valuable opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from new startups with big growth goals to established international enterprises with decades of performance. For the vast majority of companies, a private cloud is the best possible choice. With proven performance, better security, and reliable support, it’s possible to create a custom atmosphere that can exceed your every last need.

Explore the Avatara’s CompleteCloud infrastructure, an all-in-one cloud computing solution that provides a fast, easy, and affordable starting place for anywhere from 15 to 15,000 users, and see how a private cloud can make a difference for you.

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