In an era where cloud spending on a global basis is projected to increase to $162 billion per year by as soon as 2020 according to Forbes, it's clear that organisations around the world have begun to embrace the unique opportunity that this technology represents. You've likely even already considered a digital transformation for your business, hoping to use it as an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage into your own industry that will carry you forward into the next decade.
But with that comes the question: what shape should that digital transformation take?
The cloud is nothing if not malleable and in terms of using the right infrastructure, you have three main options to choose from depending on your needs. What are private, public, and hybrid clouds? Why are they different, why do they matter, and which one is best? To answer all these questions, you need to keep a few key things in mind.
The Pros and Cons of the Public Cloud
A public cloud infrastructure is precisely that — a situation where everything needed to manage that cloud solution, including the hardware and the expertise at the heart of it all, is all outsourced to a third-party provider of your choosing.
There are many benefits of this for most businesses, but the biggest of which is the immediate cost savings that you get to enjoy. You don't have to spend countless weeks researching the right equipment, buying it all, and paying people to set it up. You need a cloud environment, you get a cloud environment — in exchange for one fixed, predictable monthly fee.
Because of that, you have the rare opportunity to focus less on the inner workings of your business tech and more on what that tech can do for you — that is, generating the outcomes you need to thrive in the marketplace.
Public clouds are also heavily scalable and resources are usually available on demand. They are also very reliable because everything from maintenance to upgrades to problem solving is handled by someone else.
Maybe the biggest disadvantage of the public cloud, for some people, will be the feeling of a general lack of security that comes with having less control over your data. It needs to be said: the vast majority of public cloud infrastructures are secure. However, it's also true that you're no longer in complete control over your data. If your public cloud provider experiences a security issue, this means your data is at risk too.
What You Should Know About the Private Cloud
The private cloud, on the other hand, is essentially the exact opposite — it's an infrastructure that relies totally on your own company's intranet or hosted data centre.
The major advantage of this over the public cloud in particular has to do with security and control, both of which you have lots of. Even though all of your data is now stored in the cloud, you have the final say over what shape that infrastructure actually takes. Security is your responsibility, yes — but you make the final decisions over everything, which some businesses truly enjoy.
Because you don't have to worry about sharing space on a cloud server with other businesses, a private environment can also be better tailored to meet your own unique needs in a much more scalable way.
The major disadvantage here, unfortunately, is one of cost. Again, everything is your responsibility — including the high up-front costs of procuring the right equipment, setting everything up, hiring the right people to manage it, and maintaining it over the long haul. Likewise, if something breaks, the only person who can fix it is you.
Hybrid Cloud Technology: The Best of Both Worlds?
If you picture the public cloud and the private cloud as two circles in a Venn diagram, the hybrid cloud would be that part in the middle where they both overlap. It's essentially a combination of an on-premise infrastructure (or private cloud) and a public cloud acting in tandem with one another.
The major advantage of this is the increased level of flexibility that it offers. Data that you absolutely have to store in the private cloud can live there, while everything else can move to the public cloud. You can easily move data back and forth depending on your needs. For this reason, the hybrid cloud is also very cost effective as well. You're only paying for the private infrastructure that you explicitly need and everything else is offloaded to the public cloud like normal.
In addition to the superior level of control that this offers, the hybrid cloud is also better suited for businesses that are trying to accommodate for seasonal spikes in their needs.
If there are any major disadvantages to the hybrid cloud, it would undoubtedly be the complexity involved. These environments are simply more difficult to set up and maintain because you're dealing with two different types of clouds at the same time. It's also less private and secure than the private cloud by its very nature, and more often than not you're going to be dependent on one single provider as opposed to many.
Powernet: Your Partner in Cloud Application and Utilisation
At Powernet, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer cloud services and other managed IT solutions that bring businesses just like yours all of the advantages of the cloud with as few of the downsides as possible. Backed by our decades of combined experience and industry-leading expertise, we have what it takes to truly make the cloud the heart of your business tech strategy moving forward.
If you'd like to find out more information between the major difference between private, public, and hybrid cloud technology, or if you'd just like to find out more about what an MSP can do for you over the long-term, please don't delay — contact Powernet today.