Understanding Cloud Deployment Models

By Donna Hemmert
AIS Network Vice President, Strategic Development

Public Cloud, Private Cloud or Hybrid Cloud? Which one is for me?

First of all, let’s define the Cloud. A Cloud is a consolidation of hosted computer services (storage, computing power) and is delivered as a service.

Cloud services are often fully managed by the provider and are usually sold based on usage (for example, per hour or even by the minute). One of the main benefits of the Cloud is that it is elastic, allowing organizations to use as many resources as they need. They can easily add or reduce those services without the need to deploy equipment. This can be really useful in situations where companies have a project (for example, a development project or marketing promotion that requires a special new temporary website) or their business has a lot of associated seasonality (i.e., they need more computing resources for the Christmas season). In that case, a company can call a company such as AISN and simply request another “virtual machine” or more storage.

Many of our customers like the cloud model also since they don’t have to put out upfront capital for equipment and software but instead can pay a set amount each month. It’s more predictable and it is captured as an operational expense, which can be beneficial.

As for the deployment models, here are the main types of Cloud:

  • Public Cloud is a cloud that is available to all customers and these customers share the resources of the cloud. Examples of public clouds are Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
  • Private Cloud allocates resources to be used solely by your organization from a shared infrastructure. Your data is stored in dedicated, segregated silos. With Private Cloud, adding more storage or CPU is easy and often instantly available.
  • Dedicated Private Cloud is a cloud infrastructure built solely for your organization’s use – with all services and hardware dedicated to your organization. Some organizations prefer a dedicated private cloud for additional security but the downside is that there are reduced economies of scale. That being said, adding and reducing computing resources is much easier to do than with any cloud.
  • Community Cloud shares infrastructure between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns (security, compliance, jurisdiction, etc.). This allows the community to customize the cloud based on these concerns and spread the cost – making it generally more cost-effective than a private cloud, but less so than a public cloud.
  • Hybrid Cloud is a combination of more than one cloud type. For example, you can combine a private cloud with a public cloud. This will give you the benefits of more than one deployment model. Often an organization will deploy hybrid clouds to provide the flexibility of in-house applications with the fault tolerance and scalability of cloud-based services.

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