6 Minutes

The cloud has caused a lot of confusion for the general public. It’s the brunt of jokes in media that no one knows what the cloud even is. Now you’re looking into it for your own business only to find out that there’s a “public cloud” and a “private cloud”? How much more complex could it get?

Thankfully, it’s actually a much easier concept to explain than it may sound. Understanding the difference between the two versions of the cloud is the key to figuring out what’s best for you and your business.

What is the Public Cloud?

When you think about “the cloud”, chances are you’re probably thinking about the public cloud. This is the category for big names like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, etc. Basically, it’s using a third party company’s platform to store and share your data over the internet. While the name is “public”, you’re not necessarily making your data available for anyone to see. It just means users can access it anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially handy for companies that are always on the go and makes it easier to share materials with your clients.

Because you’re not hosting the cloud yourself, you’ll rely on the security measures of the provider. The very nature of the public cloud, sharing data with others over the internet, makes you more susceptible to breaches. What you make up for in convenience, you lose in potential privacy. However, cybersecurity for the cloud is continually advancing so you’ll likely not have to worry about an attack on your data.

What is the Private Cloud?

As the name might imply, the private cloud is for internal use only. It’s hosted on your company’s own intranet or on-premise server. With the private cloud, you can share documents, utilize apps and protect your data without worrying about intrusion from outside entities or a third party managing your system. The private cloud is especially great for maintaining sensitive information – particularly if you’re hosting client data.

By going the “I’ll take care of it myself route”, the drawback is… having to take care of it yourself. That means any maintenance or issues that arise, you’re solely responsible for and can’t call your host to take care of it for you. Taking this route can be a huge benefit for your company’s privacy, but make sure you have the proper staffing in place to handle it as you go.

Another Option: Hybrid Cloud

So, you want the best of both worlds? The security of the private cloud but the flexibility of the public cloud? Thankfully, there’s a middle ground – a hybrid cloud solution. We’ve championed hybrid cloud adoption previously as an emerging IT trend and it’s easy to see why companies are jumping on board. A hybrid cloud option merges together both public and private cloud systems. You’ll still need the on-premise hardware that’s needed for the private cloud, but you can use an encrypted connection to utilize it with your third-party public cloud services.

The security of the the hybrid cloud is still being heavily debated by IT professionals. You won’t have the same peace of mind that you would with a simple private cloud solution, just by the very fact that you’re opening it up to interact with the public cloud. However, for larger businesses trying to scale while protecting their data, the hybrid cloud has become a popular middle-ground solution as technology catches up with businesses’ needs.

Feeling more confident about what cloud option is right for you? Or maybe you have more questions about which model is right for your business? ISOutsource can assist you by auditing your business’ needs and give you a roadmap to implement the cloud in a way that will work best for you. We specialize in cloud services, so you’ll know you’re in the right hands. Give us a call today.  

Staff Writer

Written by Staff Writer