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The Different Types of Clouds for Enterprises

8 Oct 2014 by Brigitte Yuille

The popularity of cloud computing has skyrocketed among enterprises, and its teeming with benefits. Among its advantages are the different types of cloud service options.

The advantages of cloud computing

Cloud computing stores information and lets you access it on the Internet. It increases scalability and provides on-demand service by connecting large pools of virtualized resources. This simplifies the planning of the IT infrastructure by lodging sensitive information into one centralized location paring down IT expenses. It saves a firm time and makes the business more agile. In addition, firms can leverage cloud computing with other technologies like tablets and smartphones and other mobile devices, so its staff can access information at any time and any place. In addition, it offers a green solution to on-site data centers that consume a large amount of energy and leave huge carbon footprints.

Choosing from an assortment of clouds

Another significant advantage of cloud computing is its quick deployment; and, an enterprise has the luxury of choosing from various deployment options: public, private and hybrid.

Public clouds are located off-site because they are owned and operated by third-party services. They can be accessed by a subscriber with an Internet connection. The size of public clouds often exceed private clouds and they offer an inexpensive, “pay as you go” model. These clouds are a good resource for standardized use such as email, storage and collaboration projects. Security concerns arise more often in public clouds and sometimes there configurations aren’t as reliable, so deployment generally occurs when security and compliance requirements aren’t an issue.

Think of a private cloud as a firm’s virtualized data center with more specialized services. It is built on a private network which offers more security and control. It limits access to certain groups like employees. Since this cloud is privately owned and managed, it incurs more costs because it requires the purchase of software and it requires more maintenance. Private clouds are useful for large enterprises with strict data and security policies.

The hybrid cloud can be considered the best of both worlds. Its services are a mix of public and private options. It offers firms more flexibility. More providers are used and additional monitoring occurs to ensure all parts of the system are communicating with one another. This service works for companies that want to interact with clients while keeping their data secure.

The future for clouds

Recent reports predict that within the next two years cloud spending will not only increase, but more firms will gravitate toward either a hybrid cloud or a multi-cloud environment.

“Hybrid cloud computing is at the same place today that [the] private cloud was three years ago; as actual deployments are low, but aspirations are high,” shared the IT research company, Gartner, in its October 2013 press statement. However, some experts believe firms will move to a multi-cloud environment, which is more complex than a hybrid cloud because additional cloud services are used to prevent issues such as data loss and infrastructure failures.

An enterprise has several types of cloud computing solutions to choose from. As firms select the type they prefer, they should consider that although cloud computing can handle certain security risks, it is not without its challenges. Enterprises adopting cloud services will need to be well-informed.