Looking to scale your cloud infrastructure? Before you do, check out our latest blog comparing public, private and hybrid clouds.
Deciding which kind of cloud — public. private or hybrid — is best for your business depends on how much security you require, what you’re willing to spend and how scalable you need your cloud infrastructure to be. Ready to get started? Let’s look at some cloud service comparisons and then discuss the pros and cons for each option so you can assess the best fit for your needs.
public vs. private vs. hybrid cloud
The key distinction between the three kinds of clouds is who owns the infrastructure.
Public clouds, owned and operated by industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google, use a shared infrastructure accessible over the internet. It’s often compared to renting an apartment — you don’t own the infrastructure but get to use it for all your essential needs.
With private clouds, computing resources can be housed on-site or hosted by a third-party provider. You have complete control over the infrastructure, which is private to your organization. This model is more like owning a house.
Hybrid clouds combine the elements of both public and private clouds. In this setup, you have some of your computing resources on-site or in a privately managed cloud, giving you complete control and enhanced security. At the same time, you can tap into public cloud resources for other tasks.
pros and cons of public cloud
The major strengths of a public cloud are its scalability and cost-effectiveness. Because you’re renting space on a massive infrastructure, there is always more room to grow should you need it. It’s also ideal if you’re not confident in your cloud expertise, as the service provider handles maintenance.
The drawback? Less control over data and infrastructure. If your company has stringent compliance requirements or handles highly sensitive data, a public cloud doesn’t offer as much control over security as a private cloud would.
pros and cons of private cloud
Maximum control over your data and processes is the key benefit of a private cloud. This level of control is especially a game-changer for highly regulated industries like finance or healthcare, where compliance and data security are non-negotiable.
The primary disadvantage is cost. Operating a private cloud often involves high upfront investment in hardware, software and expertise. It would also require ongoing internal IT support to manage the infrastructure and is not as easy to scale up as a public cloud.
pros and cons of hybrid cloud
Hybrid clouds allow businesses to balance cost, performance and security needs. You have the scalability and cost-effectiveness of public clouds while retaining some control and security through a private cloud. For example, you could use the private cloud to store sensitive data, such as customer information, while using the public cloud for non-sensitive tasks like data analytics and email services.
Complexity is the main downside. Managing a hybrid cloud environment requires sophisticated technical expertise to seamlessly integrate public and private elements. Without this, you risk operational inefficiencies and potential security vulnerabilities.