Even though cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular solution for businesses and individuals alike, and even though a lot of people are using it in some form, quite often without even being aware of that, there are still a lot of those who are only superficially acquainted with the term. Cloud computing has been with us for a while, and during that time, several distinct types of clouds have been formulated, so this article will try and summarize the most important points regarding each of them.
Public clouds are perhaps the most common type of this service out there and one that is most accessible and convenient for individual users, which is not to say that business can’t make great use of them. Any kind of cloud service that is offered from a single provider to numerous users, with hardware and software being owned by the provider can be considered a public cloud. In this kind of setup you are simply renting the services or resources, without having any kind of control over the platform itself. Public clouds can offer storage, web based applications, or a number of other services to their users, according to the one to many principle, which is to say all users are getting the same application, for instance, with the only difference being in their contract with the provider – a number of authorized users, limitations on application features and similar.
Scalability of this kind of service, combined with the fact that users don’t have to own expensive hardware, make this setup extremely cost effective for businesses, but public cloud systems are still being plagued by chinks in their armor, which is to say security issues.
Private cloud setups are mostly used by large corporations that require absolute control over their cloud, as well as an increased level of security. The corporation in question can decide to purchase the necessary hardware, or simply host their cloud with an external provider, but most prefer the former solutions, as the investment in hardware is more than justified by the additional increase in control that it affords. The cloud is only used by the corporation, and is completely isolated from other clouds, making it much more secure.
As can be inferred from its name, hybrid clouds are a combination of a private cloud with a public one. This allows the user to have an adequate level of control and security, but also to use the resources of a public cloud. This affords for great flexibility, as you can always limit the integration of the two clouds to perfectly suit your needs. Just like private clouds, you do need expert IT staff capable of maintaining the private cloud and the link with the public one.
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Olivia Still is a blogger, technivore, cloud computing enthusiast, and online marketing consultant for a number of Australian companies. Currently exploring the possibilities of virtual private server.