What’s Best: Private Cloud, Public Cloud, or Hybrid Cloud?

Cloud computing solutions exist in three types; Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud. But what’s the difference? Let’s find out…

What’s Best: Private Cloud, Public Cloud, or Hybrid Cloud?

Cloud computing may one day be seen as the most important innovation of the technological age. It has quite literally transformed the way we work, and you’re already using the Cloud, right now, by viewing this post! But the Cloud isn’t a single entity; it’s not as if there’s this great big server, way up in the sky, labelled “Cloud”.

The Cloud, as it exists today, refers to any storage and/or computational processing resource that exists off-site, delivered by an internet connection.

Cloud computing can be achieved with an off-the-shelf solution, or built from scratch in a data centre. If you wanted to (and many people do), you could build your own Cloud at home – and have access to all your documents and files at any time, from anywhere in the world with a mobile data signal.

There are many business-focussed solutions – like secure apps running in a virtual environment, remotely accessed and controlled from employees’ laptops, and client-facing collaborative environments.

Or, a Cloud solution could simply be a Google Drive, used to store pictures and documents.

All of these will fall under one of three main categories of Cloud infrastructure;

  1. Public Cloud
  2. Private Cloud
  3. Hybrid Cloud

But what’s the difference?

Public Cloud

As the name suggests, Public Cloud solutions are… public! This setup is open to everyone, to store and access their data over the Internet. This is typically offered as a subscription service, and you pay for what you use per month or per year.

In a Public Cloud solution, all computing resources (including all off-site hardware, software, maintenance and upkeep) are managed by your subscription provider. Examples of Public Cloud solutions include Azure, Dropbox and iCloud – but there are many more out there.

The Good Stuff

Public Cloud has some brilliant advantages. It’s so cheap that the majority of people online today have some kind of personal Cloud account; be it free storage with their Gmail account, or an iCloud+ subscription that costs pennies per month. This low cost stems from the fact that resources are shared between all customers (more on that in a sec).

It’s faster to deploy, too – and there’s zero maintenance, hardware upgrades, backups or software installation to worry about. Your provider does it all as part of your subscription. Need an upgrade? It’s usually just a click or two away – or at most, if you need a large volume of storage, a couple of hours away.

Need to downsize? Public Cloud is totally elastic, and can scale up and down.

And it’s also pretty reliable – with some notable exceptions – because huge companies can put huge resources into making their tech work all day, every day.

The Bad Stuff

It’s not all rosy, unfortunately. Public Cloud solutions are generic, and are not usually customisable. In fact, many functions that you might consider basic – like listening to audio files, for example – are either painfully cumbersome or outright impossible.

Performance is also low compared to other solutions. This is because resources must be shared between users – everything from processing to network bandwidth.

Private Cloud

Private Cloud solutions offer a private network to organisations and select individuals. The hardware can be wholly owned, operated and maintained by the organisation – or by a trusted third party (like deeserve).

Private Cloud solutions are not publicly accessible, and offer absolute digital security, as well as custom redundancy solutions for critical operations. Private Clouds are generally custom-built, but there are mainstream providers – however, some (like AWS) run a VPC, or Virtual Private Cloud, which is essentially like a hard drive partition for a whole server.

Resources are sectioned off from other accounts, but there’s still a danger of user error making it publicly accessible. A true Private Cloud is completely tailor made for a single business.

The Good Stuff

Private Clouds offer total control, infinite customisability, and massive performance gains over Public Clouds, thanks to dedicated hardware. Security is as high as any Cloud solution can have, and this can be refined down to the user level. Plus, because Private Clouds have a physical location, they can be built in overseas territories that demand data residency for critical documentation.

The Bad Stuff

The only real disadvantage is cost. There’s an initial outlay for the hardware, and ongoing costs for upkeep. You’ll also need people to install, maintain and operate your Private Cloud, whether you self-host on site, or build in a data centre – making it like a subscription on steroids.

It would seem then that there’s simply no competition for the performance (as little as 1ms latency) and security of a Private Cloud, or the cost effectiveness and flexibility of a Public Cloud.

Unless you consider Hybrid, that is.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud delivers the best of both solutions; in the Hybrid cloud, any non-critical activities are performed on the Public Cloud, and sensitive data and critical operations are stored and carried out on a Private Cloud.

Because of this, Hybrid Cloud is both flexible and secure, high performance and low cost (well, all things considered).

In short, by adopting the best of both types, it offers enhanced efficiency.

Why Hybrid Cloud is growing in popularity

Hybrid Cloud solves the “speed to scale” problems of Private Clouds, while addressing the security concerns of the Public Cloud. Growth can be achieved faster, as non-critical operations are offset to the Public Cloud while the Private network is upgraded, without compromising performance or security.

It’s also more efficient, and therefore less expensive to work this way. But even this “Holy Grail” solution has some drawbacks…

Networking hiccup-free between Public and Private Clouds isn’t always silky smooth, and there can be siloing issues across technology stacks. Plus, by introducing Public Cloud into the mix, there’s always a question of reliability and security to contend with.

All things considered, Private Cloud is the most iron-clad solution for organisations that demand perfection.

All that leaves is the question of where to install.

Choosing the Right Private Cloud Data Centre

In a previous post, we established that even the best in-house data centre is no match for a purpose-built data centre.

It just makes sense to offload the infrastructure to a dedicated environment, where everything – down to humidity and power regulation – is meticulously monitored, and blacked up to the nth degree.

You’ll need to consider speed, data residency and compliance, and resilience – and most of the time, this boils down to location. At deeserve, we’re happy to report that all of our data centre partners were specifically chosen to meet these demands.

We have dedicated hardware at GS2 Data Centre in London – Europe’s largest purpose-built data centre. We also have a home at the Volta Data Centre, in Central London, which offers a 100% power uptime SLA as standard.

And we’re now in the USA (and beyond), with owned and managed racks at the Equinix MI6 Miami Data Center.

Your Cloud Solution Partner

We’re deeserve – experts in Private Cloud solutions and a trusted partner to some of the most important organisations in the world. Let us design your ideal solution – call us on 01509 80 85 86 or send your message to [email protected].

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