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Breaking Down the Cloud: 4 Common Cloud Types You Should Know

The number of solutions available in the cloud continues to expand—here are the terms you need to know

When the cloud was first introduced the concept seemed so esoteric that for years people both inside and outside of tech circles made jokes about it. The idea evoked images of information somehow floating above the earth in white fluffy stuff passing above us—no, it’s not data causing all that turbulence during your flights.

Of course now WE know, and hopefully you know too, that the cloud is not some high-flying source of information in the heavens. Your selfies, work documents and saved cocktail recipes are living right here on earth, in data centers dotting different corners of the globe.

Just as we all got that detail sorted out, the always-changing world of technology decided to add complexity to our understanding of what ‘the cloud’ is and what it can do. Today you’re likely to hear any number of cloud-related terms that can leave even the C-Suite scratching their heads.

Fortunately, we are here to simplify things for you. Keep reading to learn 4 of the most common cloud types you should know about today.

Public Cloud
The Public cloud model is the most recognizable form of cloud computing and is what most of us think of when considering ‘the cloud’. It’s the model you interact with everyday, on the Internet, your smartphone, or even your company’s website. In the public cloud model, service providers offer every resource required to get into the cloud. Virtual machines, applications and storage are made available to the general public over the Internet and are offered either for free or as a pay-per-use service. Some of the advantages offered by public cloud implementation are:

  • Reduced cost and complexity: organizations don’t have to invest in their own on-premises IT resources
  • Businesses are able to scale capacity as needed by using a pay-per-usage model
  • Public cloud is a good use of resources as customers pay only for what they use/need

Private Cloud
The private cloud is a proprietary cloud computing architecture dedicated to a single organization. In the private cloud model businesses can take aspects of what is offered in public cloud architecture and apply it to their own data centers, offering full control over how infrastructure is provisioned or de-provisioned. In contrast to public cloud, private cloud requires an IT management team and a supporting infrastructure. The private cloud model is more complex and requires deeper resources but has many advantages including:

  • Complete control over environment and infrastructure
  • Enhanced Cybersecurity capabilities
  • The ability to reallocate resources in a matter of minutes without having to find a physical server with the necessary properties

Hybrid Cloud
The term hybrid-cloud brings together both the public and private cloud computing models and allows for orchestration between the two. This model can be an attractive option because it gives businesses the ability to realize the benefits of public cloud, while maintaining their own private cloud to control and secure sensitive information, applications and regulated data. The hybrid-cloud model is a holistic approach to IT and gives your company the ability to select the right solution for the job, at the right time. Other advantages include:

  • Greater accessibility to business-critical applications
  • Security and compliance concerns can be easily and adequately addressed
  • Businesses often realize improved organizational agility by implementing a hybrid-cloud solution

Multi-Cloud

“It’s a multi-cloud world, where multiple services from multiple clouds play key roles in your digital transformation.”—Cisco

Public and private cloud computing models are pretty easy to understand—when it comes to multi-cloud environments, things get a little more complex. Put simply, multi-cloud refers to the combining of technologies and services from different cloud providers to create a custom business solution that best fits an organizations needs. Multi-cloud can be a challenge for IT teams to navigate but it has many advantages. Here are a few:

  • Businesses are able to leverage the most appropriate cloud services from multiple providers at any given time
  • Risk is spread across varying platforms greatly diminishing the possibility of network downtime
  • Spreading resources across multiple clouds reduces the possibility of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

“Cloud competency is a critical trait for business leaders, whether they’re in IT or not.”—ZDNet

The tech industry loves to use buzzwords and acronyms but most of the time these terms lead to awkward conversations and head scratching. With the growing list of buzzwords related to the cloud, it can be difficult to determine what the best solution for your business will be—fortunately we are available to help.

At iConvergence, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you select and implement the right cloud solution for your business. Leave a comment below to learn more.

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