When deciding how to leverage cloud services, organizations must also decide which type of environment works best for the business: public cloud, private cloud, or a mix of both.
Services that a provider makes available to numerous customers over the web are referred to as public cloud services. The SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS examples noted above are all providing public cloud-based services. The biggest benefit of using public cloud services is the ability to share resources at scale, allowing organizations to offer employees more capabilities than would likely be possible alone.
Services that a provider does not make generally available to corporate users or subscribers are referred to as private cloud services. With a private cloud services model, apps and data are made available through the organization’s own internal infrastructure. The platform and software serve one company alone, and are not made available to external users. Companies that work with highly sensitive data, such as those in the healthcare and banking industries, often use private clouds to leverage advanced security protocols and extend resources in a virtualized environment as needed.
In a hybrid cloud environment, a private cloud solution is combined with public cloud services. This arrangement is often used when an organization needs to store sensitive data in the private cloud, but wants employees to access apps and resources in the public cloud for day-to-day communication and collaboration. Proprietary software is used to enable communication between the cloud services, often through a single IT management console.