One of the biggest advantages of cloud is how flexible it is. You have flexibility in how many resources you have. You have flexibility in the type of cloud you use: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, or Software as a Service. You have flexibility in whether your cloud is public or private. You even have the flexibility to combine a public and private cloud to create a hybrid cloud that offers the benefit of both.
Public and Private Clouds
A public cloud resides on shared infrastructure maintained and managed by a cloud provider. You don’t own any of the physical resources. Instead, you have on-demand access to virtual machines (VMs), storage, and services that run your workloads. While your VMs and data are secure, other cloud customers may have VMs and storage on the same underlying physical devices.
A private cloud gives you on-demand access to computing resources on physical infrastructure that’s used only by you. Typically companies implement private clouds in their own data centers to ensure highly sensitive data remains on premises and under their control, but cloud providers may also offer isolated environments that create a virtual private cloud. When the private cloud is in your own data center, you own the physical devices, so you still have to provision and support the capacity to meet both current and future demands.
Hybrid clouds have both a public and private cloud that share data and applications. In many cases, applications and data preferentially run in the private cloud, with public cloud resources leveraged to meet spikes in demand. As a result, companies retain control of sensitive data while still being able to access the infinite capacity of public cloud.
In some cases, a hybrid cloud integrates a Software as a Service offering with on premises resources. That approach is relatively straightforward and generally only possible when supported by the vendor.
In other cases, hybrid cloud requires integrating your own public cloud with your own private cloud. There are several aspects that make a hybrid cloud like this challenging to implement. First, a private cloud by itself is complex. Although you can leverage cloud software to provide on demand services, you need to provide and support the hardware. In a public cloud, the devices and maintenance are provided and supported by the cloud provider.
Two other challenging aspects are related: integrating the public and private cloud and ensuring security. There needs to be a mechanism to share data and access services across the clouds, usually via APIs. If you want to automatically leverage public cloud resources in response to increased demand, complex scripting may be required to successfully instantiate resources and direct demand to them. All of these touchpoints need to be secured to ensure that data remains safe in both clouds and in transit between them.
Is a hybrid cloud the right solution for your business? Deciding that requires carefully assessing your business needs and IT strategy. CCS Technology Group offers cloud services to match you with the right cloud solution. Contact us to learn more about leveraging public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud to meet your business goals.