Despite the fact that we call it “the cloud,” individual cloud infrastructures can look vastly different from one another. There are different cloud deployment models that dictate access, privacy levels, and where data is stored, among other things. While they are not the only ones, the four biggest deployment models are public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and community cloud.
Choosing which deployment model to go with is an important decision in switch to a cloud architecture. Yet it isn’t always exactly clear what the differences between them are. To help you understand what makes each deployment model unique, we’ve put together this guide that explains, in a nutshell, what each model offers.
Public cloud infrastructures are cloud services that are available to use by the general public. These infrastructure operate on a multi-tenancy policy – that is, users on the same cloud service can share data between each other easily. To be clear, however, the word “public” does not mean the information stored on the infrastructure is publicly available; only the service itself is. Data is still only accessible by users who transfer it onto the service. Most public cloud services offer a pay-as-you-go pricing plan, meaning you only pay for the amount of storage you use. Security is a concern for public cloud because of the multi-tenancy approach.
Sometimes referred to as “on-premises cloud,” private cloud infrastructures are cloud servers that are located in an enterprise’s data center. The server itself may be provided by a third party, but ultimately the company is responsible for maintaining it. These architectures are often deployed when companies require a more flexible or secure infrastructure. Since the company manages the server, they can tailor the specifics of the cloud service to suit their needs. However, private systems can be costly because of the required upkeep and maintenance.
A hybrid cloud environment is an infrastructure that includes both a public cloud and a private cloud architecture. More specifically, the public cloud and private cloud need to be able to communicate with each other and be part of the same ecosystem. This system allows for the greatest degree of freedom in terms of securing important data. Since you’ll have both a secure installation and a public cloud service to use, you can separate your data between what you need to keep on-premises and what can be sent to the cloud. You need to ensure two-way compatibility with both the private and public clouds, however.
A community cloud is an infrastructure that multiple different organizations can access. They are commonly used by companies in the same field who want to collaborate on resources. Either the organizations themselves or a third party can own and operate the system. While these architectures aren’t very useful for individual enterprises, they’re perfectly designed for companies who want to work with each other on a regular basis. Data on a community cloud server may not be incredibly secure because multiple users can access it.
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