Types of Cloud Deployment Models
There are only a few common types of cloud models:
Public cloud is a set of computing resources that is offered by third-party companies, like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and more. This is the service people most often think of when talking about “The Cloud.”
Public Clouds are open to any organization who wants to leverage them. For example, a CAD company could leverage Microsoft Azure to host their application for their customers to provide cloud-based access. Or a state police department could use Amazon AWS to build a crime database and web application to consolidate CyberTips and help protect children from online exploitation and sexual assault (read case study).
These computing resources are available on-demand and are charged based on use only, meaning that customers only pay for CPU cycles, storage, or bandwidth used. Public cloud services can easily scale up or down and are easy to maintain. They also have extensive built-in security measures to protect each customer using the service.
Private cloud is a set of cloud-computing resources that is created and maintained by an individual organization. For example, a state-wide 911 PSAP may deploy their own private cloud run by their IT department to host their communications systems. Alternatively, vendors who offer cloud-based features may choose to host their own private cloud for their customers.
A private cloud offers some of the technical advantages of the cloud model but still is costly and resource intensive for organizations to build and maintain. Costs tend to be fixed, since hardware and IT personnel are not easily scaled.
Community cloud is a version of a private cloud that is shared by a handful of organizations which often share similar computing needs, security concerns, SLAs (Service Level Agreement), or other requirements. The configuration can be set up to meet the needs of that group of organizations specifically.
Costs and responsibilities can be shared among the group, making it a more cost-effective and maintainable option than a Private Cloud solution. However, costs are still relatively fixed like in a Private Cloud, and the cost to set up and maintain these computing resources is still quite high compared to the Public Cloud.