What is the cloud? Cloud computing is a technical term, like Desktop as a Service or Software as a Service, that refers to a new way of approaching computer usage. Until recently, companies expected to purchase and store equipment they would use to access their data, which is just a slightly upgraded version of keeping files in a cabinet. Virtualization breaks the rules that have governed information for centuries and companies can now purchase access rather than storage. In essence, you can keep information on the Internet and grab it when and where you like. There are different implementations of the cloud and we’ve explained a few of them here.

Private Cloud: A private cloud is only used by one company, which is responsible for building and maintaining the virtual datacenter that holds the data. These clouds may be hosted on or offsite. The company receives the benefits of cloud security and virtualization but this type of cloud does not offer the savings in maintenance costs or time management as public and hybrid clouds. Private clouds are far more scalable than traditional physical data centers but are not the most scalable type of cloud.

Public Cloud: The opposite of a private cloud, a public cloud is an offsite data center shared by several organizations. The data is easily accessed yet extremely secure because most public cloud providers implement military-grade measures when they develop their cloud security. The provider is responsible for maintenance and management of the public cloud and, therefore, the organizations that use it benefit from savings in these areas. Public clouds are the most scalable types of clouds because the provider can add resources on demand.

Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud offers the security of a private cloud and the scalability and savings of a public cloud. If you use a hybrid cloud, you can store highly sensitive information in a private cloud and other data with a public cloud provider. You can sleep soundly at night, knowing your data is safe, and wake to a day filled with the promise of increased efficiency and productivity.