29 Apr

Pros and Cons of Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is something savvy business owners need to implement to stay competitive.According to Wired, analysts predict that both public and private cloud computing will grow faster than 13 percent through 2017, representing a $20 billion annual industry.

If your business is not investing in the cloud at some level, your competitors are. Once you start looking, you’ll quickly realize that there are some early decisions you need to make. Most important of which is whether a private cloud or public cloud offering works best for your company, or if you want to do a hybrid solution. All of these options have their pros and cons. So to get started, let’s discuss the differentiators to see what makes sense for your business needs.

Public Cloud: Pros and Cons

The biggest pro for a public cloud hosting solution is your business isn’t responsible for managing it. Your cloud provider manages and maintains the data center, which means you don’t have to have in-house resources to do so. You also have the ability to use IT services on a pay-per-use model, which is pretty compelling. In addition, you have easy and instant access to your resources and the ability to change your capacity on the fly.

However, although it’s rare, there is a greater possibility of security issues with a public cloud computing solution rather than a private one.

secure cloud

Private Cloud: Pros and Cons

If you already have a secure, behind-a-firewall data center, then you have the infrastructure for a private cloud through your intranet or private hosted solution. This type of service has an increased level of security because you have increased visibility and control, which is beneficial if you deal with sensitive customer data.

However, there are some caveats to this type of solution. The expense of hardware and software upgrades as well as the cost of maintenance and management can be overwhelming. In addition, replacing servers and maintaining software licensing is expensive

Does a Mix of Both Make Sense?

Possibly. A mixed solution makes sense if your business needs to worry about Sarbanes Oxley, PCI and HIPAA compliance. It’s simpler to comply with a private computing solution in these cases; however, there still may be parts of your business where a public cloud solution can work. In other words, it’s not always one way or the other.

A hybrid cloud solution offers some flexibility for your business. For example, you might have some applications that are not ready to go to the cloud. If you want to wait until some of your existing hardware or software is no longer supported or dies, you might want to migrate to the cloud more slowly. Furthermore, a hybrid solution is perfect for disaster recovery and business continuity.  A case study about Asheville, North Carolina, is a great example of this. The city had a disaster recovery facility in place, but it was only two blocks away from the main data center, which meant the data was not protected in the case of a natural disaster. Jonathan Feldman, the city’s CIO, decided to move data into the cloud in addition to the DR center to have a hybrid solution and a better geographic spread.

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