Types of cloud: Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud

Main types of cloud

In this article we are going to present the types of cloud and their main features. Although the cloud computing concept is anything but new (it was previously known as virtualization), the evolution of cloud computing has radically changed the traditional IT services model.

These changes entail numerous advantages and the implementation of cloud solutions in companies has grown at an impressive rate during the last decades, as our cofounder at Stackscale, David Carrero Fernández-Baillo, says.

The cloud deployment models can be Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud, depending on their features. The right model for a company will depend on the business’ needs, and aspects such as performance, industry regulations, costs and security policy must be taken into consideration.

Private Cloud

The Private Cloud is a cloud computing deployment model in which the environment and computing resources are of exclusive use by the customer. This exclusivity and guarantee of the computing resources is what we offer at Stackscale. 

Having a virtualized data center provides a lot of advantages to organizations. A Private Cloud environment allows them to forget about the management of the bare-metal servers and accelerate provisioning and deployment procedures; as well as a certain level of elasticity.

A Private Cloud is comparable to owning a data center in a company, with its own infrastructure and dedicated servers, but where the use of virtualization allows to size services on demand. The concept “Cloud DataCenter” is often used to refer to the Private Cloud as well.

Private Cloud solutions offer greater security and control to customers, since they don’t have to share their resources with other customers. This way, as it is an environment of exclusive use, they also get rid of noisy neighbors that can damage their platform’s performance in other types of cloud.

Moreover, when opting for a Private Cloud customers can know the location of their services, both geographically and physically in the data center, among many other advantages. For instance, at Stackscale, our infrastructure is located in three state-of-the-art data centers in Europe — Interxion MAD2 and Equinix MD2 in Madrid and Equinix AM5 in Amsterdam.

Originally, Private Clouds used to be hosted in on-premises data centers within the company’s facilities, but this is less and less frequent since opting for a hosted Private Cloud in a specialized data center provides much more value and advantages to companies.

What are the costs of a Private Cloud environment?

Although companies tend to think it will be a more expensive deployment model, Private Cloud environments as those we develop at Stackscale show that isn’t the case. At Stackscale we want to debunk that myth and we do that Private Clouds are truly competitive in pricing without investing a lot of money on hardware; since we take care of the hardware.

The deployment model of Private Cloud allows businesses to remove big initial investments in equipment acquisition (CAPEX) and reduce management costs (OPEX), without giving up having dedicated computing resources. Moreover, Private Cloud providers are in charge of guaranteeing the technological evolution of infrastructure, so companies don’t need to assume that cost overrun.

In which projects is it recommended to opt for a Private Cloud?

Private Cloud environments are ideal for any type of organizations and projects, even though it is often used in companies that have a high amount of resources and technology systems, such as: eCommerce solutions, financial institutions, public administrations, IT services providers, high traffic websites and other companies where guaranteeing the servers’ location, optimizing costs and having exclusivity of use of their computing resources is key.

The Private Cloud is the most common cloud deployment model to host mission-critical data and applications, that demand strict performance, availability and security requirements.

Public Cloud

The Public Cloud is is a cloud computing deployment model in which a cloud service provider offers resources over the Internet with a pay per use model. Public Cloud environments are known for being extremely flexible and scalable, but since they run on an infrastructure shared with more customers they have some disadvantages compared to dedicated cloud solutions. 

When sharing the infrastructure with more companies, performance can be negatively affected by the activities of noisy neighbors — since oversubscription is common in Public Clouds. Furthermore, despite what people use to think, Public Cloud solutions aren’t always the most economical option.

What are the costs of a Public Cloud environment?

Sharing resources in Public Cloud usually involves considerable savings in initial project phases, but this economic advantage tends to disappear as the platform evolves. Oversubscription limits the control over the resources and can lead to contract more resources than necessary due to noisy neighbors.

Moreover, as projects grow it is easy that Public Cloud costs become hard to control, since deploying resources so easily and quickly can incur unnecessary expenses. So, in projects hosted in Public Cloud environments, it is very important to carefully keep control of the contracted resources in order to optimize costs.

In which projects is it recommended to opt for a Public Cloud?

The Public Cloud can be a good starting point for small projects and startups, since it can be deployed very quickly. However, as we mentioned before, as the company and project grow, the expenses run the risk of going through the roof. That is why more and more companies opt for combining the Private Cloud and the Public Cloud to leverage the advantages of both models, as we explain below.

Hybrid Cloud

The Hybrid Cloud is a cloud deployment model which combines dedicated computing resources and public computing resources. This model combines the Private Cloud — which is used for mission-critical applications and data in order to guarantee a high performance, availability, security and control —, with the Public Cloud — for handling unusual traffic peaks.

So, the Hybrid Cloud combines the advantages of the two previous types of cloud, providing additional flexibility to companies. The key to a good hybrid environment is guaranteeing a good interoperability between the two types, so that its management is agile and efficient. These are some of the elements that it is important to control because they can be critical in an Hybrid Cloud environment:

  • Security: the Hybrid Cloud data transfer flow must be controlled with encryption solutions and VPNs. At Stackscale we offer solutions to interconnect the infrastructure and Private Cloud solutions of our clients with Public Clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. 
  • Hypervisor: it is possible that the Private Cloud and the Public Cloud hypervisors are different. Therefore, it is necessary to use a solution to simplify the interoperability between both of them.
  • Vision of the platform and service: it is necessary to have a clear vision of how the infrastructure is deployed in one or several data centers. For doing so, companies can develop solutions, via API, to control it or use some third-party software that makes the management easier.

What are the costs of a Hybrid Cloud environment?

Hybrid Cloud environments can help companies optimize costs, since they allow to place different applications and workloads in the optimal cloud environments for each of them.

In which projects is it recommended to opt for a Hybrid Cloud?

The Hybrid Cloud is an useful option for companies that need an infrastructure based on the Private Cloud, for greater control over the infrastructure in terms of costs and resources, but that occasionally need to overflow services in Public Cloud platforms.

Multicloud

The Multicloud is a deployment model which combines cloud services from several cloud providers — private and public. This solution allows to combine the benefits of different types of cloud with the specific advantages of several providers. Since it is a complex cloud solution, it demands a great level of management and security which isn’t accessible to all companies. But it is likely to become more common over time, specially for big and complex projects that require more complex solutions.

What type of cloud to choose?

As we have seen, every model offers different features and advantages, and the best option will depend on the needs of each particular company. At Stackscale we believe that the Private Cloud is the best solution for any company that wants to guarantee the exclusive use of its resources and optimize its costs without giving up the scalability and flexibility of cloud computing. Tell us about your project and we will help you find a solution that adapts to your needs.

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