What is a Public Cloud?

Posted on September 23, 2021 Backups & DR

A public cloud uses the standard cloud computing framework to create services that are then accessible remotely for users. Managed exclusively by a third-party provider these on-demand services and infrastructure are shared with organizations across the internet.

Examples of these cloud-based service models include infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS). Public clouds can be charged monthly, pay-per-use, or free of charge. 

How Does the Public Cloud Work?

The basic public cloud model is hosted by a third party for scalable, on-demand resources via the internet or a secure network. It is an extension of an organization’s IT infrastructure. 

A variety of technologies, features, and capabilities are utilized for the public cloud model which can vary. However, the core aspects are:

  • Computing that is on-demand and has self-service capabilities

  • – Pooling of resources

  • – Fast scalability 

  • – Elasticity

  • – Pay-per-use pricing

  • – Measurable service

  • – Availability and resiliency

  • – Security

  • – Broad access across the network

Structure of the Public Cloud

High bandwidth network connectivity is needed for the fully virtualized public cloud to function efficiently. Third-party providers have the multi-tenant architecture to allow users to use an architecture that is shared and using the same computing resources. The user’s data is isolated from other users for security.

Cloud services are operated in isolated locations within public cloud areas. These are referred to as availability zones and usually include two or more physical data centers that are connected and highly available. 

Compliance and proximity are used as signposts when selecting availability zones that are best suited to their end-users. For enhanced protection, cloud resources can be duplicated across different availability zones. 

Public cloud architecture can also be categorized by service model;

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), when a third-party provider hosts servers, storage, and virtualization. All components of infrastructure as well as virtualized resources via the internet or dedicated connections. For example, Microsoft Azure.

  • Platform as a service (PaaS), where hardware and software tools are offered as a service to users by a third-party provider. For example, Google App Engine.

  • Software as a service (SaaS), is when applications are hosted by third-party providers and are made available to users via the internet. For example, Salesforce.

A function-as-a-service is additional to the three core service models. This is based on computing that is serverless and is especially relevant for users that create microservices. Serverless computing divides workloads into event-driven parts and then runs the code, creating and managing virtual machines isn’t necessary. Organizations can then perform tasks when triggered safe in the knowledge that the assets will no longer exist when the task is no longer running. 

You can also choose to use storage as a service in the public cloud. This is where the third-party provider offers bare metal storage capacity and applications for storage.

Public Cloud vs Private vs Hybrid 

A public cloud is made up of a host of services and organizations readily available via the internet. Public cloud resources are multi-tenanted and run on a shared infrastructure. Whilst public and private clouds offer similar services in computing, storage, and networking they are vastly different in operation and provision of services.

On the other hand, a private cloud is behind closed doors. They are specific to organizations and operate within local data centers and sometimes collocated facilities. A private cloud has single-tenant architecture that functions on infrastructure that is privately owned. A private cloud offers more consistency in overall performance and reliability as it doesn’t rely on the public internet like the public cloud does. 

The private cloud offers more security due to the level of control over configuration and easier compliance due to data remaining secure on-premises. 

The hybrid cloud is a marriage of private and public cloud services. A collaborative approach from internal and external providers for the most comprehensive cloud that allows organizations to use the public cloud for specific tasks whilst managing their private cloud for enhanced security and compliance. The benefits of a hybrid cloud include flexibility in deployment, cost control, and better coverage across environments. 

What Are the Benefits (and Potential Challenges) of the Public Cloud? 

There are several impressive benefits to using the public cloud over on-premises IT such as:

  • – Large cloud providers get early and instantaneous access to the industry’s latest technologies from automatic updates to AI and machine learning.

  • – Unlimited scalability means that capacity and resources rise to meet user demands and increased traffic which means that public cloud users get higher availability thanks to separated cloud locations. This has the added advantage of faster connectivity between services and users.

  • – Flexibility in storing high amounts of data that can be accessed with ease. Organizations use the public cloud to back up data to protect it from an outage or similar emergency.

  • – Cloud data analytics give organizations the capability to collect metrics on the stored data and resources being used. The public cloud can run analytics on large amounts of data and present insights on different types of data.

However, there are also challenges when opting to use a public cloud. It’s important to have the full picture to adequately weigh up your options for cloud computing.

  • – As cloud costs get more complex and pricing models evolve it can be challenging for organizations to track their expenditure on IT. The cloud is usually more affordable than alternative options but organizations can get caught out by runaway costs. It’s crucial to keep track of costs efficiently and adjust your cloud computing strategy accordingly.

  • – There is a big skills gap in cloud computing which means that organizations can find that they are not best equipped to handle IT situations that arise as they lack the expertise.  Creating positions within the organization where you can progress expertise for public cloud management will give you the tools you need to be efficiently equipped.

  • – Control isn’t as thorough as it is within a private cloud. Multi-tenancy means that data separation can be complex as well as adherence to regulations due to limited control. A hybrid approach will give an organization the best of both worlds where you can maintain confidentiality whilst accessing the public cloud for technologies, flexibility, and analytics.

Public Cloud Services & Solutions

Public cloud providers deliver their services via dedicated connections or over the internet and use a base pay-per-use approach. 

Cloud providers offer a combination of tools across service categories such as computing, storage container management, and serverless. 

Choose a public cloud that benefits your organization at every level coupled with the security, management, and efficiency you need to scale up flexibly. 

Here at NETdepot, we do not believe in offering public cloud as there are too many security challenges associated with it. We cannot justify offering a cloud solution that could jeopardize our client’s safety. Instead, we offer Virtual Private Cloud and Dedicated Private Cloud. Speak to one of our experts today at 1-844-25-CLOUD to learn more about our service offerings.

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