Private vs. Public vs. Hybrid Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses

As with anything in life, the business world is not free from trends. As new solutions are developed, the business community jumps at the opportunity to make their lives (and conduction business) easier.

Some of the newly developed solutions turn out to be immensely beneficial and improvements are continuously developed over time.

One such example is cloud solutions. They have proved to be immensely beneficial, have spread everywhere and chances are, you are already using a form of a cloud-based solution (at least a CRM software).

With time a few distinct forms of cloud solutions have developed. Everything first started with public cloud solutions, then came private ones, and now hybrid cloud solutions are all the rage.

With that many options, it is easy to get confused or feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which cloud-based solution works best for your business. Luckily, this article is here to help.

Public Cloud Solutions

Public cloud was the first type of cloud-based solution that was developed and it revolutionised how we conduct business.  Do you use Dropbox? Or do you have an outsourced e-mail provider? You are then a using a public cloud service!

If the service is provided off-site, over a public network (the Internet) it is a public cloud service.

It provides adaptability and flexibility: you pay for what you use. That gives you the ability to tailor the system to your needs, as well as change it as your business develops and grows.

However, since these systems use a public network, they are by far the most vulnerable ones. You also have the least control: you trust the provider that he will keep your data safe and secure.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that public cloud options are bad. They are a great solution for everything from human resources to customer relations management. Just make sure your provider has solid backup and recovery as well as data security solutions.

Private Cloud Solutions

With the rise of security concerns regarding public cloud solutions came private clouds.

If your company is very data-oriented and data security is your primary concern, private cloud solutions are the way to go. The other example is if your industry requires extreme security measures like in banking or military.

The downside is that you lose the scalability and adaptability of public cloud solutions. Also, you yourself will have to handle all the hardware and software, so that means more work. Not to mention the huge investment needed to set up and maintain your private cloud. This will require educated and capable IT department that will be able to set everything up and work on maintaining the system.

With such expensive downsides, not many companies can afford a private cloud, but most likely you don’t need it anyway.

There aren’t that many small or medium sized businesses that handle such crucial data which require extraordinary security measures. If you’re not a large system like a bank or an investment fund, it’s likely that there are better solutions for you than private clouds.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Hybrid cloud solutions balance out issues of having local, on-site cloud computing” hashtags=”Hybrid,Cloud”]

Hybrid Clouds

Technology is constantly improving and developing, so it is not strange that it did not take that long for a solution trying to combine benefits of both private and public clouds was developed.

Hybrid cloud solutions balance out issues of having local, on-site cloud computing with benefits of having a cloud services provider.

Let’s say that you need a private cloud for storing sensitive information and data, but at the same time use a public cloud for less-critical tasks like interacting with your customers.

Hybrid cloud solutions try to take the best from both worlds. They aim to provide users with scalability and flexibility of public cloud solutions, while at the same time having a higher data security.

But hybrid cloud solutions do require more investment of time and money – managing a hybrid cloud solution tailored specifically to your needs won’t be as easy or as cheap as with public clouds.

That being said, they do offer a good balance between the two worlds and probably are the best solution for most small and medium-sized businesses.

Finding the right fit for you is the key. There are many factors to weigh in and think about. And sometimes what seems like the cheapest solution is not necessarily the best (and ends up costing you much more in the long run).

If you’re not an IT expert yourself, the best advice would be to try to find someone who is – a good, reliable cloud service provider that will take the time and effort to create a cloud-based package that will fully satisfy your company’s needs.

Also, a smart thing would be to ask for a second and a third opinion. Don’t be afraid of shopping around and taking the time to pick the right choice. A little more effort at the beginning will certainly pay off in the end.

Javed helps Australian and New Zealand businesses protect their data and build resilient networks through Intergrid's hybrid IaaS, colocation, and disaster recovery products.Javed is particularly interested in protecting business continuity in the increasingly unpredictable online environment by analysing DDoS trends and developing mitigation strategies.

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