Best Cloud Deployment Models for Businesses – An Overview and Comparison
The utilization of the cloud has changed over the years now. Earlier, it was just an extraordinary option but today it has become a necessity. Today, cloud services come with various deployment models. Generally, when we talk about cloud and cloud services, we think of “public cloud” since it is the most popular cloud model out there. That is just one of the cloud deployments models where the provider owns and maintains all the servers and other hardware resources.
Let us learn about different cloud deployment models and different types of cloud service models in this article.
What is Cloud Deployment Model?
A cloud deployment model refers to an arrangement of specific environment variables like accessibility and ownership of the distributing framework and storage size. There are various types of deployment models based on the location and who manages the infrastructure.
The Need for Different Cloud Deployment Models
At times companies manage their data centers with older features. It is not possible to move to the public cloud for many reasons, it could be to avoid compromising on compliance and data protection laws or they might just be unsure about moving to the public cloud because they would have spent loads of money on their own servers and they would want to utilize them. To decide which cloud deployment model suits your organization, it is important to have a thorough understanding of all 5 cloud deployment models.
There are 5 popular cloud deployment models. Let us have a look at each one of them one by one.
- Public Cloud
The public cloud deployment model is the most popular one. In a public cloud deployment model, you do not own any hardware, since all the resources are provided by the cloud service provider. It is available for the general public and the resources can be used by all. The data is generated and stored by third-party service providers which means companies need not maintain their hardware.
The public cloud deployment model works well with companies with little privacy concerns. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud, Salesforce Heroku are a few examples of public cloud deployments.
Benefits of a Public Cloud Model
- Better infrastructure management
- Increased scalability
- Lower costs
- 24/7 operation time
Drawbacks of a public cloud
- Security and privacy are a concern
- Lack of customized service
- Efficiency is not optimum
From a technical perspective, there is not much difference between the public and private ls since their architecture is similar. But in a private cloud deployment model, a dedicated environment is present for every customer. There is no sharing of hardware with any other users. Hence it is also called ‘internal’ or ‘corporate model’.
In private cloud model, you maintain the data center just like it is done in public cloud model. An abstraction layer is created on top of your physical servers to gain flexibility. New servers can be added to the data center and there is no need to configure them again as they have semi-automatically become a part of the cluster. It is possible to get a private cloud from a public cloud provider.
Red Hat OpenStack, CISCO, DELL, Rackspace, IBM Bluemix Private Cloud, Microsoft Azure Stack, and VMware Private Cloud are some of the examples of a private cloud.
Advantages of a Private Cloud
- High scalability
- Customization based on customer requirements
- High reliability, security and privacy.
Disadvantages of a Private Cloud
- It is expensive as you need to pay for hardware, software, and training resources.
A hybrid cloud model is a combination of public and private cloud. It is the second most popular model after the public cloud model as it combines the best of public and private cloud features.
In a hybrid model, companies can use their existing public cloud and also own on-premises systems. This model is extremely useful during a seamless transition between clouds over a period of time.
Owing to security concerns, few companies cannot operate only in the public cloud. Hence, they go for a hybrid cloud to combine their needs and leverage benefits from a public cloud. Here, critical applications with sensitive data are run on premises and the rest of the applications are in the public cloud.
Microsoft, Amazon, NetApp, Cisco, Google are some of the examples of a hybrid cloud model.
Benefits of hybrid cloud
- Better security and privacy
- Improved scalability
- Simplifies data and application portability
In multi-cloud model, more than one cloud service provider is part of the process. You will be using both public and private cloud services. However, you will not be combining private with public cloud instead, you will be using more than one public cloud. This approach reduces redundancy. To avoid any disaster and disruption in the working of applications, two different clouds are used.
Multi-cloud deployment model provides high accessibility of your services. You can utilize specific services from two different public clouds at the same time in multi-cloud model.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft (Azure), and IBM are examples of multi-cloud models.
Community cloud deployment model is similar to private one but differs in the set of users. Only one particular company owns the cloud server in private cloud model while in community model, many organizations with similar backgrounds share the framework and related resources.
This type of multi-tenant data center infrastructure helps groups of companies which have uniform security, privacy and similar performance requirements. It also improves the efficiency and smooth workflow of these participating companies in case of joint projects. With the help of centralized cloud, project development, maintenance and deployment can be managed well, and cost will be divided amongst the companies.
Benefits of community cloud
- Cost reduction
- Improved security, privacy and reliability
- Ease of data sharing and collaboration
- Scope for personalization
Shortcomings of a Community Cloud
- High cost compared to the public deployment model
- Sharing of fixed storage and bandwidth capacity
- Not commonly used yet
Cloud Service Models
Once you have zeroed in on a cloud deployment model that suits your requirements, the next step will be to look at cloud service model. The cloud deployment model tells you how to distribute and manage hardware. Cloud service model is used to recognize and differentiate which layer of service you will manage, and which layer do the cloud service provider manages.
Of course, each model comes with its own plus and minus points. One more thing to note is that you don’t have to pick one service model for everything. You can go with different components of various cloud service models based on your architecture.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
In IaaS cloud service model, the cloud provider maintains the hardware along with servers, storage and networks while you manage the rest of the framework. The cloud service providers place the servers in the data center and the hardware is made ready to use.
You will have a virtual machine with an operating system of your choice. You will have total control and access over the machine and the software you are installing.
Pros of IaaS
- Easy to use model.
- Scalability is high
- Complete control of the hardware and framework lies with you.
- You can clone any IT architecture and create test environments or come up with recovery solutions during the times of disaster.
Cons of IaaS
- Everything from configuration to maintenance is done by you.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In PaaS model, operating system and software is managed by a third-party cloud service provider. You will have a ready-to-use platform – for instance, managed Kubernetes or Kafka. You can have as many applications as you want but you are limited to one particular platform.
Benefits of PaaS
- Less time spent on the maintenance of hardware.
Disadvantages of PaaS
- It is not always possible to get a personalized configuration for your platform.
- Security and privacy concerns
Software as a Service (SaaS)
In Saas model, a cloud service provider hosts applications and makes it available for users over the internet. Here an ISV – Independent Software Vendor can contact a third-party provider to host the application or in case of larger companies, the cloud provider can also be the software vendor.
A software provider will either host the application using its own servers, databases and resources or an ISV hosts the application in the cloud provider’s data center. The cloud provider manages all the layers of cloud architecture. The applications can be accessed through any device with an internet connection.
In the SaaS model, customers are given network-based access to a single copy of an application that the service provider has created specifically for SaaS distribution. The source code of the application is the same for all the customers. When there are any changes or updates to be made then all the customers will be notified accordingly.
SaaS products are easily marketed to B2B and B2C users unlike PaaS and IaaS products.
The advantage of SaaS is that it offloads most of the engineering effort from the companies. They just have to pay a subscription fee and get access to the software which is a ready-to-use solution.
The disadvantage of SaaS is that since most of the work is done by the provider, it can be an expensive service at times.
Deploying to the Cloud
It is equally important to know about software deployment now that we have an understanding of cloud deployment models and cloud services models. Resources can be optimally used using these models, but businesses gain profits with effective software deployment. There are several ways to deploy your software. Today, timely deployment of software adds real business value to companies. Companies should be able to deploy new features and fix bugs at least once a day to thrive in the market.
Lot of companies are not keen on deploying software often due to downtime issues. They prefer to follow frequent testing and beforehand preparation as best practices. To limit the risk that comes with new deployments, companies should go with an approach where deployment of software happens only to a small fraction of users first. After testing, roll out the change to the rest of the users. This saves time and money also increases efficiency and productivity.
Whichever cloud deployment model you choose, you still need to pick the right software deployment method to suit your needs. To help you make proper decisions, our team at Embitel will guide at every step for a smooth transition from database to cloud.
We offer an array of cloud services and deployment models to choose from. We use our extensive experience & knowledge of cloud technologies to deliver on projects of any scale & complexity. Check out our customer testimonials here.