The modern man is spoiled for choice. But, much of the choice stems from the complexity of the age. Security concerns are more intense than ever before. Fear of data loss and threat to data integrity were unknown to our erstwhile counterparts. Their simple business enterprises did not have an expansive geographical reach. Nor were these enterprises multi—time–zone cocktails that demanded data access 24/7/365. Mobile working was unknown and the reach of technology was limited. Cloud storage and the different flavours of the cloud are, therefore, legitimate responses to the situational demands.

Basically, cloud storage is storage that is accessed over a network using proprietary applications or web services. The “cloud” architecture can be public, private or hybrid architecture. Private clouds are characterized by exclusivity of network and application deployment. The proprietary application used in a private cloud may be created in-house or purchased off the shelf from reputed cloud service software providers like Asigra.

Public clouds use shared IT infrastructures and software deployments. The software is proprietary to the vendor. Hybrid clouds, as the name indicates, is a mix and match deployment that is ideal for enterprises that would like some work areas to be ultra secure and others to be reasonably secure. The software may be partly in-house and partly vendor owned or wholly in-house/ vendor owned.

Whatever the flavour of the cloud in use, they are all multi-tenant architectures that support scalability and promise high availability, reliability and lower deployment costs. While these are compelling business reasons, enterprises need to select the type of cloud computing they wish to deploy with reference to the kind of data that they generate and the security needs around such data.

Implementing a cloud-storage option is a huge financial decision. The type-of-cloud-selection process is ultimately determined by the bottomline of the enterprise. How much is the enterprise willing to invest in building IT infrastructure? What are the budget constraints vis-à-vis the needs of the enterprise? Public clouds are OPEX options that use shared infrastructures and software to create economies of scale. Private Clouds are more CAPEX intensive than Public clouds; and exclusive infrastructures are created on premises or off premises with optimal utilization of available resources. Hybrid clouds leverage the economic advantages of both private and public clouds.

In brief, public, private or hybrid flavours of the cloud have their advantages and disadvantages. The enterprise needs to step back and have a long hard look at their needs and finances and decide on the flavour that is just right for them!