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Private CloudIf you use an online service like Microsoft Outlook to send emails, for example, you probably haven’t given much thought to what type of cloud computing, if any, is behind it.

It is much the same when watching TV online, listening to music, playing games, or storing pictures and files. They have to be stored somewhere. But where is this exactly?

Cloud computing is almost ten years old, but. the technology behind it has become smarter and more sophisticated over time. As such, it’s not only embraced by organisations large and small, but by people in day-to-day life. The average Joe probably uses or accesses the cloud in some shape or form every single day.

Here we take a closer look at the different types of cloud technology.

The public cloud

This is the most commonly used method of cloud computing. A public cloud is owned and managed by a third-party service provider and delivered over the Internet. It is a cloud service that is offered to multiple clients; a prime example of this is Google app engine.

The public cloud is managed via a number of shared servers through a public network that is openly accessible. It is used to remotely and safely store files and retrieve them at a later date. Public and private clouds are configured in the same way, because they both split technology into shared groups. They then add administrative control and automated self-service features which makes them really easy to access.

All the hardware, software and infrastructure is owned by the cloud provider. You ultimately share the hardware, network devices and the storage with other people or organisations, and gain access and management of the public cloud through a web browser. Public clouds are commonly used for web-based email, storage, office applications, and for testing and developing websites and software.

The benefits of a public cloud:

• There is no hardware or software purchase required, you only pay for the service you use. This means that the cost is low, sometimes free.

• The cloud provider offers maintenance as part of the service.

• It is an on-demand solution, which means it can be scaled up or down, depending on your business needs.

• It is highly reliable as there is a network of servers used as a backup.

The private cloud

A private cloud is for the exclusive use of a person or organisation. It can be located on an internal network or hosted by a third-party service provider. The services and infrastructure are managed by the third party supplier on a private network, and can be configured and customised to meet the IT requirements of an organisation.

As they are deployed for private use, private clouds are commonly used by organisations with business-critical needs, like government, data warehouses and financial institutions. Access can be strictly limited and very secure.

The benefits of a private cloud:

• You can customise the cloud to meet your business needs, giving you much more flexibility.

• You do not share the resources with others, so you have full control and security is very high.

• It is scalable and highly efficient.

The hybrid cloud

The hybrid cloud is a combination of private and public clouds, so organisations can yield the benefits of both.

With the deployment of a hybrid cloud, an organisation’s data and applications can be transferred between the private and public clouds, allowing for greater flexibility. An organisation might use the public cloud for less-sensitive data and low storage needs, and the private cloud to store business-critical or highly sensitive information and data.

The hybrid cloud enables greater flexibility. It can be used to run an application or resource in a private cloud environment until it is apparent there is a spike in demand. An organisation can then flip the overspill to the public cloud and tap into additional resources. This is known as cloud bursting and is often used when there is a peak in demand. For example, shopping in the January sales or Black Friday bargains.

The benefits of a hybrid cloud:

• You have full control and can safely store sensitive material.

• You have the flexibility of being able to tap into additional resources.

• You only pay for extra resources as and when you need them, making it very cost-effective.

• You have the ability to migrate across to the cloud in phases, making the transition easy and straightforward.

All cloud services are available in varying price packages, depending upon your business needs and the amount of data storage required. Please contact the team at catalyst2 who will be able to help you architect the best solution.