Cloud computing is about shared IT infrastructure or the outsourcing of a company’s technology. Hence It is essential to examine your current IT infrastructure, usage and needs to determine which type of cloud computing can help you best achieve your goals.

Businesses can choose to deploy applications on Public, Private, Hybrid clouds or the Community Cloud. Below are some fundamentals of each:

Public clouds : These are made available to the general public by a service provider who hosts the cloud infrastructure. Generally, public cloud providers like Microsoft and Google own and operate the infrastructure and offer access over the Internet. With this model, customers have no visibility or control over where the infrastructure is located. It is important to note that all customers on public clouds share the same infrastructure pool with limited configuration, security protections and availability variances.

Public Cloud customers benefit from economies of scale, because infrastructure costs are spread across all users, allowing each individual client to operate on a low-cost, “pay-as-you-go” model. Another advantage of public cloud infrastructures is that they are typically larger in scale than an in-house enterprise cloud, which provides clients with seamless, on-demand scalability.

Private clouds : This cloud infrastructure dedicated to a particular organization. Private clouds allow businesses to host applications in the cloud, while addressing concerns regarding data security and control, which is often lacking in a public cloud environment. It is not shared with other organizations, whether managed internally or by a third-party, and it can be hosted internally or externally.

There are two variations of private clouds:
On-Premise Private Cloud: This type of cloud is hosted within an organization’s own facility. A businesses IT department would incur the capital and operational costs for the physical resources with this model. On-Premise Private Clouds are best used for applications that require complete control and configurability of the infrastructure and security.
Externally Hosted Private Cloud: Externally hosted private clouds are also exclusively used by one organization, but are hosted by a third party specializing in cloud infrastructure. The service provider facilitates an exclusive cloud environment with full guarantee of privacy. This format is recommended for organizations that prefer not to use a public cloud infrastructure due to the risks associated with the sharing of physical resources.

Hybrid Clouds : These are a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together offering the advantages of multiple deployment models. In a hybrid cloud, you can leverage third party cloud providers in either a full or partial manner; increasing the flexibility of computing. Augmenting a traditional private cloud with the resources of a public cloud can be used to manage any unexpected surges in workload. Hybrid cloud architecture requires both on-premise resources and off-site server based cloud infrastructure. By spreading things out over a hybrid cloud, you keep each aspect of your business in the most efficient environment possible.

Community Clouds : This a multi-tenant cloud service model that is shared among several or organizations and that is governed, managed and secured commonly by all the participating organizations or a third party managed service provider. These are hybrid form of private clouds built and operated specifically for a targeted group. These communities have similar cloud requirements and their ultimate goal is to work together to achieve their business objectives. The goal of community clouds is to have participating organizations realize the benefits of a public cloud with the added level of privacy, security, and policy compliance usually associated with a private cloud. These can be either on-premise or off-premise.

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