08 Mar Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud
Cloud computing covers many features of modern internet use, including Google Apps, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, and many other popular services. The main goal of clouds is to provide accessible, cost-efficient, and convenient services to align with every user’s needs.
That being said, there are 3 existing types of cloud environments to choose from. In the below article we’ll compare the key differences between the public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid environments.
A High-Level Overview
|Public Cloud||Private Cloud||Hybrid|
|Location||The location depends on where the provider is based. The cloud is only accessible in that specific place on the internet.||It is located within the organization or user’s own network.||Combines aspects of both public and private, but the specifics of this depend on which hybrid cloud you are looking at.|
|Accessibility||Can be accessed by everyone on the internet.||Available exclusively to the organization or users that have access to the private network.||Combines aspects of both public and private, but the specifics of this depend on which hybrid cloud you are looking at.|
|Maintenance and Management||All maintenance and management are handled by the Cloud Service Provider (CSP).||All maintenance and management are taken care of by users within the organization.||Combines aspects of both public and private, but the specifics of this depend on which hybrid cloud you are looking at.|
|Tenacy||Hosts multiple organizations in one common platform.||Only stores and manages the data of one exclusive group of people.||Hosts multiple organizations on the same private platform.|
|Price||Inexpensive and flexible pricing. All components are provided by the CSP.||Can be quite pricy, as all equipment and other materials must be provided by the organization.||All components for the public cloud are covered by the CSP, but the organization must provide everything for the private cloud.|
The public cloud is the most accessible type of cloud computing on the internet. This type of cloud stores multiple users’ data on a single platform, wherein they can keep, share, or adjust their information according to their needs and preferences. These are usually managed by a third-party CSP, which is efficient for users who prefer not to invest in their own private network or do not have the resources to do so. Many users prefer this cloud for the convenience and efficiency that it provides.
Benefits of a Public Cloud
The public cloud’s features and equipment, such as hardware, are all provided by the CSP. This means that users can enjoy their services by only paying for what they are consuming. Many users can enjoy the features of these public cloud platforms for free as a part of their “trial periods”, wherein the providers set a limit to the features users can enjoy at a time. Users have to subscribe to their service to maximize its full potential.
Despite having to pay for a subscription, it is still considered to be one of the least expensive options, compared to a private or hybrid cloud. The providers usually offer discounts and plans for users to take advantage of, but it still depends on the service being offered and who is managing them. It’s different for each one.
Public cloud services are managed by their providers, meaning that they are able to manage and optimize each experience with the cloud to cater to the users’ needs. Whenever an issue occurs, the providers are always ready with a solution to patch it up. This is why many users choose to rely on public clouds, as they are often established by esteemed brands and companies who have already been in the industry for years. They often have several backup servers available in case something goes wrong, which reduces the risk of failure and resolves errors swiftly.
Disadvantages of a Public Cloud
Public clouds are accessible to everyone on the internet, so it’s a given that this type of cloud computing is the least secure. It still offers good protection for your information and data, but there is a larger chance of them being compromised compared to hybrid clouds and private clouds, which both have private networks of their own that can only be accessed by users within their circle.
Companies have to execute consistent and deliberate cyber security practices to prevent any suspicious activity. Users must also inspect the third-party provider’s terms, conditions, and rules, since many foreign companies have unexpected privacy regulations.
Limited Features and Minimal Control
Although the public cloud is one of the most cost-efficient options in terms of equipment and maintenance, this also means that users have minimal control of which features are available and how they are presented on the platform. For example, many of these public cloud platforms only offer a limited amount of storage unless you subscribe or upgrade your plan.
You will have to adjust to the pre-existing conditions of the public cloud, not vice versa. There is minimal control over the services available, and you will have to invest more into their platform to unlock its full potential.
Private clouds cater to one specific company or organization only. These are often used by businesses that require an extra wall of protection to keep their data from being compromised, such as private companies, healthcare providers, banks, and many others. This type of cloud is considered to be the most reliable among many organizations. Here are a few reasons why:
Benefits of a Private Cloud
Exercise Full Control
Since private clouds are hosted in an organization’s personal network, there are endless opportunities for customization and optimization. As users, we know what’s best for us and what kind of platform suits our needs. Private clouds can be adjusted in any way to suit the organization’s requirements, whether it is regarding the display, functionality, or security of the platform. All maintenance and upgrades will be done within the organization, so all resources are readily available for use.
Safe and Secure
Seeing as it is located in an organization’s private network, the risk of data being leaked or used for suspicious purposes is drastically reduced. This relies mainly on hardware such as USBs, flash drives, and computers, so it takes much more effort to access the information, as opposed to the public cloud that is accessible on the internet. Seeing as the data is handled solely by the organization’s own administrators, users can rest assured knowing that their information is being appropriately protected.
Disadvantages of a Private Cloud
High-quality protection comes at a price. Investing in a private cloud can be much more expensive than the other options available. This is because the organization must provide all of the necessary hardware, software, and manpower to keep the cloud running smoothly. This is why private clouds are mainly popular among large-scale companies that can afford to maintain its cost.
Lack of Scalability
Private clouds often have too many features at their disposal, but not enough manpower to use or fulfill all of them. There is a lot of pressure on the organization’s IT personnel, as they are the only team that is responsible for the cloud. This can be difficult when the cloud is in need of an innovative or advanced upgrade, which usually requires a higher level of expertise that some companies do not have available.
Hybrid clouds are essentially a combination of a public cloud and private cloud, hence its name. This is the perfect option for those who are looking for something in-between. There are many factors that a public cloud possesses that a private cloud lacks, and vice versa. A hybrid cloud exists to fulfill all of those purposes and provide users with an optimal experience.
Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud
Speed and Efficiency
The vast extent of its features means that its performance has been carefully configured and optimized. Hybrid clouds are customizable and equipped with the exact features that the organization needs. Since they are able to set their own standards and follow their preferences for the platform, they can use the cloud swiftly and efficiently with minimal issues. With this advanced structure, it is easier to meet and adapt to business demands.
Value for Investment
A hybrid cloud’s price range lies in between that of public and private clouds. This is considered to be the most cost-efficient option among all three, since organizations can enjoy the benefits of both without having to pay for more than what they’re using. Although it’s more expensive compared to a public cloud, the features and scalability it offers make up for the money that organizations shell out to maintain it.
Disadvantages of a Hybrid Cloud
Maintenance and Upgrades
There are many factors that organizations must adapt to when running their hybrid cloud. Since it’s a combination of two cloud types, the IT personnel in charge of maintenance must go back and forth between both of them while making changes to the cloud’s functionality.
Which is the Best?
Despite having its own set of advantages and shortcomings, each type of cloud efficiently fulfills its own purpose. Overall, how they are used and applied determines their functionality far better than the features that they come with. Organizations and users must choose the appropriate type of cloud to suit their needs.