Selecting the right cloud solution for your small- or mid-sized business (SMB) is crucial to ensuring you have the right level of support and security to meet your needs. From the affordable, shared environment of a public cloud, to the dedicated resources of a private cloud, to the customizable infrastructure of a hybrid solution, there are various options that you can choose from.
When choosing a cloud solution for your SMB, it's well worth considering the different functions of public, private, and hybrid clouds, as well as their benefits and drawbacks.
Public clouds are the most prevalent and most accessible type of cloud. These cloud environments are owned and managed by third-party cloud service providers (CSPs) that offer on-demand access to hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure via the internet. Among the most popular public cloud services are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Drive.
In a public cloud, several cloud users or “tenants” share the same computing resources. Each tenant’s data is isolated and separated from the other tenants’, and can only be accessed with the CSP’s permissions. This type of cloud environment is often used to house web-based email services, office applications, online storage, and test environments.
What makes a public cloud very attractive to businesses is its low cost. Basically, a CSP handles all things storage, security, and maintenance, and tenants simply pay an all-inclusive monthly fee for these services. However, relying on a public cloud also has its drawbacks — a multi-tenant environment generally poses greater risks of security and service instabilities.
Unlike public clouds, private clouds are not accessible to just any user. Private clouds are environments with computing resources used exclusively by a single organization. A private cloud typically resides at the organization’s on-premises data center, or it can be hosted by a third-party CSP.
In a private cloud, an organization’s data and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. Only they can access and manage their cloud environment, which results in fewer external security risks. And because they have dedicated hardware and software, an organization has greater control over their resources in a private cloud. They are free to build and configure their cloud environment any way they like. For example, they can install their choice of operating systems and applications as well as allocate more computing resources to meet specific requirements.
Private clouds are generally used by organizations in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and finance, to ensure compliance with strict data protection regulations and guidelines. The downside of using a private cloud is it can be very costly, as running one requires continuous support and maintenance.
A hybrid cloud is, in essence, a combination of a public and a private cloud. These two environments are linked to allow data and applications to be shared between them. A hybrid cloud solution offers greater flexibility, in that organizations get the level of control and performance of a private cloud with the scalability of a public cloud.
For instance, with a hybrid cloud solution, organizations can allocate public cloud resources for short-term projects and spend less in contrast to using their on-premises IT infrastructure. This way, they won’t need to invest in substantial resources they will need only temporarily.
One caveat of utilizing a hybrid cloud solution is that it entails the constant monitoring and management of multiple platforms to ensure that they are all working together seamlessly. A team of knowledgeable in-house IT technicians or a managed IT services provider can help you stay on top of these platforms and make sure your SMB takes advantage of the full benefits of a hybrid cloud.
Which cloud platform should your SMB have?
Selecting the right cloud solution for your SMB boils down to whether you prioritize accessibility, privacy, or both. However, it’s also important to consider your budget, compliance requirements, and changing business needs to make sure you choose a solution that will empower your company to evolve and grow.
Consult with our experts at outsourceIT, and we will help you determine the perfect cloud solution for your unique business goals and needs. Call us today!