Private, Public, Hybrid, or Multi-Cloud: What's the Difference Between Them?

February 25th, 2019
No two clouds are exactly alike. That being said, many clouds are very similar and essentially have the same functionality. The difference lies in the way they’re used by each individual business. Every company has different cloud needs and, therefore, will build or alter their cloud technology to work for whatever those needs are. Here’s where different types of cloud environments come in. There are four of them to consider for your business:
  1. Public Cloud

When people think of the cloud, they’ll often have their minds on a public cloud. That’s because the big cloud providers are considered public clouds – think Microsoft Azure, G Suite, and Amazon Web Services. Basically, as the name suggests, these clouds are available for public use. Though often the first little bit of storage or signing up for an account is free, there is usually some form of subscription fee involved to unlock larger storage capacities. From a security standpoint, public clouds come with advanced security features, but often, they’re not enough to really keep your data safe. Generally, enhanced encryption and security methods should still be used on top of public cloud securities. Things to note:
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    Low starting costs and fees over time
  • Little to no maintenance, as it’s carried out by the provider
  • Unlimited or almost unlimited scalability to increase storage capacity as you need
  • Limited flexibility to meet specific business IT needs
  • Added security is always recommended
  1. Private Cloud

If your business has developed its own cloud services to use in-house, or a third-party provider has built one specifically for your business, you’re using private cloud technology. Private clouds are hosted on private servers which means users tend to have more control over security. Plus, meeting a business-specific IT requirement is an easier task with a private cloud, as you have total control over all the functionality. Things to note:
  • High start-up costs but low maintenance fees
  • High flexibility to create personalized functionality and scalability to add or remove storage capacity as needed
  • Potential for improved security, as you have control of security features from the get-go
  1. Hybrid Cloud

As its name suggests, a hybrid cloud is a mix of private and public cloud resources to create a more varied cloud environment. By accessing in-house and public cloud technologies at the same time, users can reap the benefits of both. More vulnerable and private documents may be stored on the private cloud, for example, while documents with less privacy required may be kept on the public cloud. Generally, less secure, more high-volume tech needs like web-based email are hosted on the public cloud, whereas client files and the like are maintained on the private cloud. Things to note:
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    Higher costs than just using public but lower costs than only using a private cloud, as you have cheaper scalability with help from the public cloud
  • High level of control with options for where you can store your data
  • Easy to migrate as you can choose to transition gradually over time
  1. Multi-cloud

Though it sounds similar to hybrid clouds by name, a multi-cloud environment differs in that businesses are using a number of different public clouds to host their data, as opposed to combining the private and public clouds. However, a multi-cloud environment can utilize private clouds as well, although it doesn’t have to. Normally, this environment is used because a business has a variety of needs that one single cloud provider doesn’t offer. Things to note:
  • Cost effective method of ticking off all your boxes for cloud needs
  • Peace of mind — multi-cloud eliminates the feeling of dependency on one provider
  • High scalability with the ability to branch out to different providers if new IT needs emerge
At StorageCraft, we believe in the power of cloud technology, and offer our clients a backup and recovery cloud to keep even their current cloud data safe if disaster strikes. There’s no substitute for easy-to-recover backups when it comes to data security, and we’re happy to chat with you about our services at any time. Contact us today to learn more about how our cloud technology and solutions can help safeguard your business’ data.

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