Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud — What are the Pros and Cons?

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud — What are the Pros and Cons?

October 30

As companies — and consumers — continue their march to Cloud-based services, what are the major advantages and disadvantages between the various public, private, and hybrid offerings? Many smaller firms simply leverage public backup services to gain an added layer of security for important documents and media, while larger enterprises take advantage of a growing number of SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and DBaaS providers, benefitting from the cost savings and competitive bonuses earned by optimizing employee efficiency through mobile, always on access to their work.

Those same larger businesses also face the question of choosing a public Cloud-based service, implementing their own private solution, or going with some hybrid mixture of the two.

The Public Cloud Brings Ease of Use

One major advantage of the public model is its relative simplicity, especially when considering the prospect of a business’s entire staff using a variety of SaaS applications to perform their daily work. When adding BYOD mobile considerations along with the capability of working from home, public service offerings make sense for many enterprises as well as some smaller and medium-sized firms. For many companies, usability and ease of use trump all other factors.

Private Means Better Privacy

Privacy concerns are a major issue driving larger enterprises with the sufficient capital to develop and implement their own private Cloud solutions for their employees. While the access to important corporate data is obviously more secure in this scenario, it comes at the expense of usability and mobile access. In fact, a private solution is the only option in some highly regulated industries where data security is paramount.

There is also the question of property rights when using a public data storage service. In fact, an article in Wired commented on how the U.S. Government argued in a case that a user’s ownership rights may be forfeited or limited when using a third-party online backup solution. This aspect obviously causes consternation at many businesses who maintain valuable proprietary data.

A Hybrid Solution may be the Best Option

Some form of hybrid option is obviously the best solution given the Public vs. Private debate. Keep all important corporate data secure behind some Private Cloud-based service on stored securely using an array of on-premise servers, while access to that data remains tightly controlled and accessed through a combination of SaaS and DBaaS services. This provides the best of both worlds: mobile and web-based access to corporate applications with high usability, while important data remains secure.

So the smart enterprise doesn’t necessarily have to choose between the usability of the Public versus the security of the Private. In many cases, creating an Hybrid Cloud solution combining the advantages of both works quite well for a majority of today’s businesses.

Curious about data centers? Check out this piece on the brand-new NSA data center.