If you have so much as opened a web browser in the past couple of years, chances are that you have heard about cloud computing and the changes that it is already making as well as those that it is yet expected to make in the way we live our lives. Even the idea of distributing computing power like we are distributing other resources, such as electricity, for instance, is older than you might think, but it wasn’t until a couple of years back that it became feasible thanks to the developments in technology. Even though most people will say they recognize the term, a lot of them only think about Dropbox and similar storage providers when someone mentions cloud computing. That’s why we have decided to bring the term closer to you, by explaining the differences between some of the basic types of cloud systems.
Probably what most people think about when they hear ‘cloud computing’. Public clouds are just that, cloud systems opened for public use. Whether that public is a company that wishes to build their application and distribute it through the cloud, or an individual who wants a bit of extra storage for photos doesn’t matter. Public clouds are externally hosted, and managed by the provider, but depending on the type of service they provide, the customer can get a very decent amount of control over how they used their virtual environment. Chances are most of you have only dealt with public cloud applications, like Google Drive, Netflix, or just about any other cloud provider offering their services, software or resources to the public.
Private clouds are those owned by different institutions or companies for their own internal use. Private clouds can be internally hosted by the company or institution, or they could just rent the infrastructure and build their own cloud on the provider’s servers called virtual private servers. Regardless of where they are hosted, they are managed by the owner, and have been used in a number of different industries with great success. Private clouds give you all the freedom and autonomy you need, so you can adjust their every single aspect to your needs, and you don’t have to worry about your data security as much as you would with a public clouds system.
Hybrid cloud systems are an integration of a public and private cloud (or several clouds). The level of integration can be finely tweaked so that every separate virtual environment is contributing with its strengths, and having its downsides almost negated. This is to say that you can use the vast resources of the public cloud, including different software, or simply computing power, but can still handle the more sensitive parts of your business operation on the private section of your hybrid cloud.
Community cloud systems are created through gathering of several private clouds that need their autonomy, but that may occasionally benefit from the ability to quickly and easily share their resources. For instance, universities and different government organizations could benefit from pooling their resources, but still remaining independent one from another.