4 Cloud Deployment Models with Examples: Public, Private, Community, Hybrid
| certifications | cloud - Graeme Messina

4 Cloud Deployment Models with Examples: Public, Private, Community, Hybrid

There are many different models to choose from in regard to cloud deployments. Your cloud infrastructure and placement of each workload depends on your business needs. Each cloud deployment model has its own pros and cons. As such, a strong understanding of each deployment model is needed.

In this post, we take a close look at the types of cloud deployment models and examples of when to use them.

What is Cloud Deployment?

A cloud deployment is an installation of hardware and software that is accessible over the internet on a specialized platform. We can think of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and other solutions as being good examples of this. Each of these different solutions are offered to end users, businesses, and other providers so that they can perform specific tasks.

In order for you to make the most optimal use out of a particular cloud deployment type, you must understand what each of four common cloud deployment models can do. Studying for and earning cloud certifications is an excellent way to deepen your understanding of the cloud. You also have to take into account the resources that are available to you. These include items such as your networking bandwidth, computational capabilities and data storage. We'll look at the outlined deployment types as well as key details that you need to be aware of, and hopefully help you to figure which cloud deployment model is best for you.

The four models that we will be looking at are: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Community Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud. These are not the only cloud deployment models, but they are certainly the most popular.

Public Cloud Deployments

Public cloud deployments are housed on public servers that are available over the internet or through a VPN service. We use many public cloud services daily. All of the hardware such as VM hosts and network equipment belongs to the service owner. The service owner usually maintains and administers all of the available resources. This makes it far less onerous to operate IT infrastructure for companies that do not want to invest heavily in hardware and software.

Another advantage of this deployment is that there is no need to hire additional staff to maintain and service components as this is all done by the service owner. The process of provisioning services is also streamlined on popular public cloud platforms that need to be able to spin up new services and capacity quickly. The other advantage is that you can also tap off on your overheads when demand is lower, which can save your organization money.

There are a few drawbacks though. Privacy and data segmentation is a very real concern for many organizations. If your organization does work in a sector or industry that requires certification then having your data stored on a public server that also shares resources with other companies then you might not be allowed to use these services. The speed of your organization’s internet connection will be a huge factor, so if you have end users or services that need to connect to that service,  you will need to confirm what the minimum connection speed is for the service that you select.

Benefits of Public Cloud Deployments 

  • Easy to manage. The great thing about having a managed service is that there is very little for you and your team to do on the maintenance front. The setup is taken care of and there is no need to develop your own tools as this is also accounted for.
  • Cost. The way services are billed means that you don't pay for items that you don't use. You can pay more when you need more resources, and then scale back when that levels out again.
  • Performance and reliability. Up time is the main concern that most businesses have. If your systems are down then your business suffers. Many of these cloud providers offer exceptional up time and service availability.

Disadvantages of Public Cloud Deployments

  • Less control. You are not in control of the systems that host your business applications. In the unlikely event that a public cloud platform fails, you do not have access to ensure continuity as would be the case with a traditional server room or data center environment.
  • Privacy and security. Segmentation needs to be carried out to the highest standard to ensure that there is no cross contamination between clients that are using the same hardware on a public cloud.
  • Simple Environments. Most organizations have specific requirements for tailor-made services. Many cloud platforms offer only simple functionality with little to no customization opportunities.

Private Cloud Deployments

Although there are differences between public and private cloud platforms in terms of access, underneath the hood there isn't all that much to differentiate the two. The technological underpinnings are very similar, but the ownership is where the difference lies. Unless you are authorized to log in and use the services of a private cloud, then you will be unable to use those services.You might also hear terms such as internal or corporate used when describing a private cloud.

A company might choose to have their cloud infrastructure on premise or hosted at a data center. In either case the company usually owns the infrastructure. The systems that run on a private cloud are designed and maintained by the company's own staff. This means that the company that runs a private cloud must have technical staff on hand to assist with any issues that come up during the operation of the private cloud. Access is strictly controlled so that only authorized users have access to the private cloud's resources. A great thing about this type of cloud platform is that there are opportunities to integrate the cloud services into your organization's own infrastructure.

Benefits of Private Cloud Deployments

  • Increased control. Less people will have access to the administration and configuration of the back end infrastructure that powers your private cloud, which gives you more control.
  • Customization. If there is a business case for a new feature, you can have it developed and deployed in house, giving you more options than a publicly available cloud.
  • Highly secure. You can incorporate as many security services as you want in order to secure your cloud. Two-Factor Authentication is far more secure when combined with security best practices such as complex passwords and mandatory password changes.

Disadvantages of Private Cloud Deployments

  • Learning curve. To take advantage of being able to customize your private cloud, you need the right technical skills. Developers, cyber security experts, and DevOps professionals are all roles that you need to fill in order to effectively develop a solution on your private cloud.
  • Cost. All but the largest companies in the world can afford to set up their own private cloud infrastructure. The hardware costs alone are prohibitively expensive for most companies. There's also the costs of keeping skilled staff and other infrastructure costs. This is a cloud deployment method that is aimed at large organizations and not SMBs.

Community Cloud Deployments

A community cloud is basically a multi-tenant hosting platform that usually involves similar industries and complimentary businesses with shared goals all using the same hardware. By sharing the infrastructure between multiple companies, community cloud installations are able to save their members money. Data is still segmented and kept private, except in areas where shared access is agreed upon and configured.

The main benefits are the shared costs and the increase in opportunities to collaborate in real-time across the same infrastructure. Uniformity of best practices will help to increase the overall security and efficiency of these setups, so they rely quite heavily on effective cooperation between tenants.

Benefits of Community Cloud Deployments

  • Cost Savings. As we touched on before, the main benefit of using this kind of setup is that there are cost savings. This is because all of the users that access the community cloud will share the costs to create an equitable experience.
  • Security between tenants. If the security policies are aligned and if everyone follows the same standards then the community cloud model is very secure.
  • Enhanced collaboration. When there is a shared goal then having everyone on the same platform creates more opportunities to work together towards the same objectives.

Disadvantages of Community Cloud Deployments

  • Technical requirements. A community cloud has to agree upon a set of standards and then coordinate across that cloud. This means that each stakeholder must have their own technical resources available to enforce the policies.
  • Data isolation. Security and segmentation is difficult to maintain.
  • Rarity. This model is not widely used, yet, so there are not too many resources available for people to learn from or well known examples.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid technologies exist in many spheres of IT. The reason is simple: take the best of different technologies and methods and throw out the rest. Hybrid cloud solutions are pretty much the same. They combine different aspects according to a company's requirements. One example would be a hybrid cloud that has the ease of use and low cost of public clouds, the security of private clouds, and the collaborative capabilities and customization of public clouds. Any permutation of mixing these characteristics will give you a hypothetical hybrid cloud example.

Hybrid clouds can also partition different services onto different cloud models. Sensitive data can be stored on a private cloud, user functions can be placed on a public cloud, and collaborative projects with strategic partners can be offloaded onto a community cloud.

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Deployments

  • Flexibility. One of the best features of this cloud type is that it is very flexible. You can pick the best parts of each cloud type and integrate it into your solution.
  • Scalability. You are not limited to any one platform, or its limitations. This means that you can scale with the demand of your users.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud Deployments

Cost. If you are using a hybrid cloud, you can fall into the trap of spending too much. Hybrid clouds are not inherently more expensive than any of the other types that we have looked at. But there is certainly a risk of spending too much if you are not careful about selecting the right services.

Data silos. If you are using a combination of public and private services, you have to make sure that all of your data has been properly separated. This can increase the security, compliance and auditing requirements of your business.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right cloud deployment model can be challenging. There are many different considerations that need to be taken if you are to build the right solution for your own needs. Anyone who is looking to design a cloud solution that meets their requirements is spoiled for choice. The number of providers and vendors that offer cloud-hosting services and products is growing steadily.

To successfully deploy your own cloud infrastructure, you need to be aware of the types that are available, and the pros and cons that we have outlined in our article. We hope you now have a better picture of what cloud computing is and some of the different deployment models.

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