The cloud is everywhere these days. The prevalence of the internet combined with the technology's development have allowed it to grow into every sector. In fact, Gartner predicted that by 2020 more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be affected by companies moving to the cloud.
Considering this enormous future impact on the economy, it makes sense that a lot of organizations are starting to see the benefits of the cloud. However, many administrators might not know that all clouds are not created equal. In fact, there are actually three general deployments: public, private and hybrid.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and which one is right for your company will require you to think about what you need. So, let's look at the pros and cons of each to help you in your decision.
With Gartner expecting public cloud revenue to reach $411 billion by 2020, it's clear that this option is one of the most popular configurations. This service is where a vendor provides a cloud infrastructure over the internet while housing all of the hardware and software within its own premises. Basically, the vendor handles all of the technology while the customer just pays for the service.
One of the biggest advantages of the public cloud is the simple fact that your own employees don't really have to worry about it. If something within the cloud infrastructure breaks, it's up to the vendor to fix it. On top of this, the fact that each provider will have multiple clients means that the services will be cheaper than if the customer were to build their own cloud.
Although the cloud has a solid track record for security in recent years, the public cloud is seen as more of a risk because it basically congregates multiple hacking targets into a single location. Additionally, the public cloud doesn't offer the customization and flexibility of the private cloud, which can be a major issue for companies that need to stay compliant with industry regulations.
Unlike the public cloud, private cloud platforms are generally kept on-premises. They're also often built with the help of an outside partner, but their operation is generally left to the customer.
The most important benefit of the private cloud is the fact that it is totally customizable. The public cloud is more of a one-size-fits-all solution, whereas the private cloud can be configured down to a company's every unique need and demand.
While the private cloud has some clear advantages over public platforms, they come at a price. Setting up a private cloud is much more expensive than a public one, and their upkeep can also cost big.
"Most companies find a hybrid solution to be just right."
Much like Goldilocks, most companies find a hybrid solution to be just right. These are a combination of both a public and private cloud deployment. According to the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report, 85 percent of respondents utilized the hybrid cloud.
The reason the hybrid cloud is so successful is that it takes the best of both worlds. Many companies have differing needs and a hybrid solution allows companies to basically pick and choose where all applications and IT systems are hosted.
Depending on how you set it up, there really aren't any downsides to the hybrid cloud. Companies who are paying too much should have stuck with a public deployment, while those who require security should more heavily rely on a private cloud. However, the vast majority of organizations in the middle find that they hybrid cloud does what they need it to do while also keeping costs down.
Choosing a new technology solution is hard, but knowing the facts can help you make a better and more informed decision. If you're looking for control and customization, the private cloud is your choice. If you just need the service without all the maintenance, you should go with a public deployment. But if you're like most companies, you'll probably need to pick something in the middle.