30 September 2015

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Public vs Private vs Hybrid Cloud Backup Services: Which is Best?

Data Center by Tom Collins

Your company's business data is one of its most vital resources. It is critical to do everything you can to keep that resource protected.

The advent of cloud backup and recovery technology has completely revolutionized what organizations can do when it comes to protecting data. Cloud backup technology provides a reliable, cost-effective and secure method of storing even vast amounts of data.

However, in spite of some of the very obvious benefits of the cloud, getting started with cloud backup for the first time can be daunting. When organizations feel unsure about the fundamental concepts of cloud backup, they may just decide to put off making the move. This, of course, deprives them of the many benefits cloud backup offers.

In this post, we'll explain the advantages and disadvantages of the top three models of cloud backup solutions: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud.

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud Backup: The Pros and Cons

Understanding the pros and cons of each will give you the information you need to make an informed decision of which model is the best fit for your company.

Public Cloud

When you think of a traditional, off-premises cloud data center, you are probably thinking of a public cloud. This model of cloud backup depends on an external cloud services provider to supply the infrastructure and backup software you will need to get started.

Public cloud is the least expensive and the least complex cloud backup offering available to your company. There is very little (if any) need to invest in building your own IT infrastructure, as you’ll be able to take advantage of your cloud services provider’s infrastructure.

Depending on the provider, public cloud services can sometimes offer greater scalability than other cloud models. Public cloud providers specialize in providing cloud backup capacity. As your business grows and your data storage needs grow alongside, your provider can easily increase capacity. Scalability can save you money up front as you won’t have to pay for the extra capacity until you need it.

The drawbacks of public cloud mostly have to do with data security. Since the actual storage will take place outside your company’s firewall, you’re more or less depending on an outside organization to ensure your information is safe. If you have sensitive data that must be kept protected at all costs, a public cloud is not the best option.

Private Cloud

A private cloud infrastructure is any cloud that operates within the firewalls of the organization that built it. Unlike a public cloud, an external cloud services provider has no role within a private cloud. A private cloud data center is used by a particular company and is both built and managed by that same company.

Private clouds aren't as affordable as public clouds because they generally require a significant investment in IT infrastructure. Also, they can be more complex to manage, because the entire responsibility for keeping data safe, and adding additional capacity to support growth, will fall on the company’s internal IT team.

For businesses without dedicated IT resources who are knowledgeable about the cloud, an effective private cloud data center probably isn’t a possibility.

What seems like disadvantages for some organizations are benefits for others. Some organizations specifically favor private clouds because they offer almost limitless potential for customization. You don’t have to depend on an external provider to design the cloud platform to fit your particular business needs; you can do it yourself instead.

Finally, the principal benefit of the private cloud is data security. By keeping the entire cloud within the company’s security perimeter, you don't have to depend on another organization to keep your data safe. You have complete control over what kinds of security measures are put into place. This means that a private cloud can be an excellent choice for sensitive data storage.

Hybrid cloud

Finally, a hybrid cloud can mean any cloud environment that’s made up of more than one type of cloud platform. In most cases, and for the purposes of this post, this means a cloud environment that uses both public and private cloud services.

Hybrid cloud allows you to get the best of both worlds, capitalizing on the benefits of both, while also mitigating the drawbacks. For instance, you may choose to use a public cloud for the bulk of your data storage, taking advantage of its affordability, scalability and reliability. At the same time, you also maintain a smaller private cloud for sensitive data sets that are particularly important to protect.

While hybrid cloud might seem like a no-brainer to some, it’s important to remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to pursue hybrid cloud. You will need to make sure that your hybrid cloud environments are highly integrated. The two components must able to work seamlessly together.

If you can’t move data back and forth between your public cloud elements and your private cloud elements, as your business needs change over time, you essentially don’t have a hybrid cloud at all. You just have two separate cloud environments to manage.

Which Cloud Backup Model is Better For Your Business?

Public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud: which one is right for your organization? Like so many things, there is no one correct answer that applies to all organizations.

In order to decide which cloud computing model your organization should be pursuing, it's important that you take the time to think about your specific business needs, and what kind of cloud best meets those needs. Consult with cloud backup experts who can audit your business needs and help you understand which model best fits your business. This way, you can make an informed decision and provide your company with the best backup solutions for your needs and budget.

If you would like to speak to a cloud backup expert at Atlantech, please give us a call today.





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About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

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