What is Cloud ?
And what is the difference between a Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud?
So really what is cloud computing? In simple terms it’s just a computer or computer services owned by someone else, running from a different location and being leased to you. Despite many people’s understanding, it is not a new thing, it has been around for a long time. Webservers for example are technically cloud hosting servers and they have been in use for over 30 years now (Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989). In fact some web hosting companies now call themselves cloud hosting companies.
So Cloud is really just a broader term used to cover a collective of computer services delivered over the internet.
Now for a more detailed technical dive in
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power. Rather than using traditional on-premises hardware, Cloud utilises remote datacentres and virtual servers to deliver high performance computing resources over the internet for you to use.
Social networking applications like Facebook and Instagram together with document sharing services such as Dropbox, that we all use every day, are delivered using Cloud services.
Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud Services
Private Cloud systems are for Government agencies, those concerned about security of sensitive data or subject to specific compliance and regulatory requirements. In essence they are setup for a specific set of users or for a specific purpose and are not open for anyone else to join.
A Public Cloud still offers high security and performance but is generally being set up as a service that can be subscribed to, or purchased as a service by an organisation. They are generally easier to implement and to manage than a Private Cloud and will be less expensive.
Hybrid Cloud, as the name suggests, is a bit of both and is commonly implemented and may be used by organisations who require the security and compliance of Private Cloud but choose to use Public Cloud for some of their services with the cost and scalability benefits it offers.
Your Cloud provider should engage with you to understand your specific needs before making recommendations as to which combination is best for you.
What is Cloud? A formal definition of Cloud Computing from Wikipedia is:
“Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each location being a data center. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale, typically using a “pay-as-you-go” model which can help in reducing capital expenses but may also lead to unexpected operating expenses for unaware users.”