A lot of people, including people in IT, get the different types of Clouds confused. The idea of the Cloud itself can be quite intimidating. There’s a lot of things that happen behind the scenes of a Cloud provider that make the Cloud seem overwhelming.

So, I’ve decided to take a minute to help inform readers a bit on the types of Cloud. The company I work for, OffsiteDataSync, provides an awesome hosted Cloud infrastructure made up of Private, Public and Hybrid Clouds, so I thought I could offer some credible input.

Okay, here we go…

Private cloud: The customer controls the cloud, either by self-hosting a private cloud in their data center or by having a partner host it, like OffsiteDataSync, in a top-tier data center. A private cloud can be implemented in two ways: by combining different software platforms and applications, or by procuring a dedicated cloud environment in the form of an appliance from a vendor. We offer private dedicated servers to customers so that there is an option for a customer to not have to share CPU, RAM, storage and network resources.

Public cloud: Business customers consume the services they need from a pool of cloud services delivered over the Internet. A public cloud is a shared cloud where the pool of services is used by multiple customers, with each customer’s environment isolated from those of others. The public cloud approach provides the benefits of predictable costs and scalability for adding or removing processing, storage, and network capacity depending on the customer’s needs. This is also referred to as Multi-tenancy.

Hybrid cloud: The customer uses a combination of private and public clouds to meet the specific needs of their business. In this approach, some of your organization’s IT services run on-premises while other services are hosted in the cloud to save costs, simplify scalability, and increase agility. Organizations that want to make the transition from traditional IT to cloud computing often begin by embracing the hybrid cloud approach because it allows them to get their feet wet while remaining grounded in the comfort of their existing server-centric infrastructure. One difficulty with the hybrid cloud approach, however, is the management overhead associated with needing duplicate sets of IT controls, one set for traditional infrastructure and others for each kind of cloud service consumed. Regardless of this, many organizations that transition to the cloud choose to adopt the hybrid approach for various reasons, including deployment restrictions, compliance issues, or the availability of cloud services that can meet the organization’s needs.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): This approach involves creating pools of compute, storage, and network connectivity resources that then can be delivered to business customers as cloud-based services. IaaS forms the foundation for SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) by providing a standardized, flexible virtualized environment that typically presents itself to the customer as virtualized server workloads. In the IaaS model, the customer can self-provision these virtualized workloads and can customize them fully with the processing, storage, and network resources needed and with the operating system and applications the business requires. By using the IaaS approach, the customer is relieved of the need to purchase and install hardware and can spin up new workloads to meet changing demand quickly. VMware’s ESXi technology, Windows Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer together makeup the “Big Three” of the hypervisors that allow virtual servers to exist.

I hope this helps demystify the omnipotent types of Clouds.