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Cloud Comparison: Private vs. Public vs. Hybrid

You’ve heard of the different types of cloud computing, but which is best for your needs?

It’s a serious consideration, deciding which type of cloud solution is the right one for your business. But how do you decide between a move to a public or a private cloud? And what about the hybrid cloud – how is that any different? While each solution has its advantages, you’ll first want to consider your business’s specific needs before committing to a private, public, or hybrid cloud solution.

The simplest way to start is by looking at the possibilities presented by each of the three options and seeing how they fit with your budget, your objectives, and the future path of your company.

Public cloud solutions are incredibly popular.

This is likely because of the benefits that they afford businesses – benefits including around-the-clock monitoring and fully-trained and certified tech support experts. Perhaps most importantly, companies that make the move to the public cloud tend to see significant savings compared to alternative solutions, allowing them to focus on developing other aspects of their business.

That said, many professionals question the security offered by a public cloud solution, as a public cloud has many businesses in a multi-tenant environment. Fortunately, this is a non-issue for companies who choose to work with a reputable cloud hosting provider. In fact, while the public cloud is typically utilized as an environment for more basic business applications, it’s still possible to engineer solutions that are in compliance with PCI and HIPAA requirements.

Likewise, some public cloud solutions – solutions such as HammerCloud – are designed specifically to meet the needs of businesses. In short, you won’t need to worry about your applications being hosted on the same server as another resource-intensive application, such as a major video game.

Ultimately, public cloud solutions can cover all the needs of many businesses, although some companies demand more than the public cloud can provide. In these cases, we often see the private cloud as the preferred alternative.

Why choose a private cloud over a public cloud?

While a public cloud solution can satisfy the needs of many companies, that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your business. Clients who go with a private cloud solution often do so because they can’t afford to leave anything to chance. They want the added security that comes with a private environment, regardless of the extra costs associated with it.

Additionally, private cloud solutions are engineered solely for the needs of one business – you’re not sharing server space with other companies. This allows for greater customization of your unique solution and enables you to ensure that your company meets or exceeds even the most stringent compliance requirements.

Of course, as mentioned, this will come at a higher cost than a company might pay for a similar solution implemented on a public cloud server. We’ve found that, while the exact needs ultimately depend on the individual business, many companies are beginning to take advantage of both the public cloud and private cloud simultaneously through what is called a “hybrid cloud” solution.

When would my business want a hybrid cloud solution over a purely public or private solution?

As mentioned, the hybrid cloud enables your company to take advantage of benefits that are typically unique to either the public cloud (e.g. cost effectiveness) or the private cloud (e.g. compliance and security).

In some instances, certain applications may not necessarily require a private cloud infrastructure in order to meet the needs of your company. For example, your company website may not necessarily need to be hosted in a private cloud environment, especially if you’re not collecting any personal information from visitors. However, if you’re dealing with highly sensitive information for thousands of customers at any given moment, a private cloud may be the best choice for you.

Hybrid cloud solutions allow you to set your business up with the appropriate hosting solution for different needs. It provides you with a greater degree of flexibility while allowing you to take advantage of the benefits you need where you need them the most.

Of course, the best thing you can do to ensure you’re making the right call is to talk with an expert – someone with experience who can work with you to identify opportunities and obstacles your company may encounter as you consider a move to the cloud. At the end of the day, if your cloud solution doesn’t work to meet your company’s specific goals, who is it really for?