Cloud is promising businesses with innovation, efficient infrastructure management, security, savings and peace of mind. But for many the clouds are only just forming and can be a little blurry around the edges.

The benefits of moving to a Cloud environment can be difficult to identify, assess and compare for organisations considering making this journey. Finding the right partner to provide unbiased and uncomplicated advice can be illusive.

At Core To Cloud we work differently to our competitors, focusing on our customer’s need and steering them towards the answers they need. We provide access to some of the World’s most prolific Cloud solutions. Our aim is simple, to make enterprise-class technology available to all sized businesses.

Public Cloud

The most recognisable model of cloud computing to is the public model, where cloud services are provided in a virtualised environment. These are constructed using pooled shared physical resources, and accessible over a public network such as the internet. Public clouds provide services to multiple clients using the same shared infrastructure.

Most cloud examples fall into the public cloud model because they are, by definition, publicly available. Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings such as cloud storage and online office applications are perhaps the most familiar, but widely available Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, including cloud based web hosting and development environments, can follow the model as well (although all can also exist within private clouds). Public clouds are used extensively in offerings for private individuals who are less likely to need the level of infrastructure and security offered by private clouds. However, an enterprise can still utilise public clouds to make their operations significantly more efficient, for example, with the storage of non-sensitive content, online document collaboration and webmail.

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Private Cloud

Private Cloud is a model of cloud computing that involves a distinct and secure cloud based environment in which only the specified client can operate. As with other cloud models, private clouds will provide computing power as a service within a virtualised environment using an underlying pool of physical computing resource. However, under the private cloud model, the cloud (the pool of resource) is only accessible by a single organisation providing that organisation with greater control and privacy.

The technical mechanisms used to provide the different services which can be classed as being private cloud services can vary considerably and so it is hard to define what constitutes a private cloud from a technical aspect. Instead, such services are usually categorised by the features that they offer to their client. Traits that characterise private clouds include the ring fencing of a cloud for the sole use of one organisation and higher levels of network security. They can be defined in contrast to a public cloud which has multiple clients accessing virtualised services which all draw their resource from the same pool of servers across public networks. Private cloud services draw their resource from a distinct pool of physical computers, but these may be hosted internally or externally and may be accessed across private leased lines or secure encrypted connections via public networks.

The additional security offered by the ring fenced cloud model is ideal for any organisation, including enterprise, that needs to store and process private data or carry out sensitive tasks. For example, a private cloud service could be utilised by a financial company that is required by regulation to store sensitive data internally and who will still want to benefit from some of the advantages of cloud computing within their business infrastructure, such as on demand resource allocation.

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Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is an integrated cloud service that utilises both private and public clouds to perform distinct functions for an organisation. All cloud computing services should offer efficiencies, but public cloud services are likely to be more cost efficient and scalable than private clouds. Therefore, an organisation can maximise their efficiencies by employing public cloud services for all non-sensitive operations, only relying on a private cloud where they require it and ensuring that all of their platforms are seamlessly integrated.

Hybrid cloud models can be implemented in a number of ways:
• Separate cloud providers team up to provide both private and public services as an integrated service
• Individual cloud providers offer a complete hybrid package
• Organisations who manage their private clouds themselves sign up to a public cloud service which they then integrate into their infrastructure
• Organisations host their own infrastructure, but back-up to a private cloud environment for their ‘crown jewels’.

In practice, an enterprise could implement hybrid cloud hosting to host their e-commerce website within a private cloud, where it is secure and scalable, but their brochure site in a public cloud, where it is more cost effective (and security is less of a concern). Alternatively, an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, for example, could follow the hybrid cloud model and provide a financial business with storage for client data within a private cloud, but then allows collaboration on project planning documents in the public cloud - where they can be accessed by multiple users from any convenient location.

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