What is Public Cloud?
Public cloud is a form of cloud computing that involves third-party to own, host, operates and manage servers, storage, and apps for the public. Users pay as they go for these resources, reducing upfront infrastructure investment. Scalable, flexible, and cost-effective public cloud services allow enterprises to easily scale IT resources on demand. Public cloud users are relieved of maintenance, security, and updates as it executed public cloud providers.
How is public cloud different from typical on-site IT infrastructure?
Hosted within a dedicated virtual space within traditional, physical servers, public clouds give users remote access to enterprise-level processing and storage. Compared to typical on-site IT infrastructure, the benefits of public cloud include being easier, faster, and less expensive to set up and manage, offering companies nearly endless ways to scale and flex their required IT resources as needed.
Public cloud deployment models are a common solution for companies with specific or predictable storage and processing needs, and those public cloud services are delivered by third-party providers in one of several models, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). In these scenarios, the third-party provider, rather than the end users, takes ownership of managing and updating the public cloud.
Despite the connotation of being “public,” public cloud security still exists, providing companies with multiple layers of defense. These layers include containers, stringent access procedures, encryption for data moving in and out of storage, cyberthreat detection and analysis, and other vendor-certified protections that are compliant with industry regulations.
According to McAfee, 52 percent of organizations say they have better security in the cloud compared to on-site IT.
How does public cloud work?
IT administrators create a public cloud network using any number of virtual machines (VMs), which are partitioned from large sets of third-party-owned data centers. By virtualizing their compute, processing, and storage resources, third-party providers can offer end users an array of cloud services, from simple storage options to software applications and development tools—all accessible with an Internet connection. End users from many businesses can access these services though mobile applications or other web portals.
Third-party providers will often charge a flat or pay-per-use fee for their services. In return, the public cloud provider takes over day-to-day IT management, including public cloud security. Examples of public cloud providers include Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, and many others.
Core features of public cloud
Public cloud services include the following essential features:
- On-demand scalable computing resources:
Public clouds can scale computer resources up or down in response to demand. This enables customers to swiftly and effortlessly modify their infrastructure to align with their workload needs.
2. Shared infrastructure and multi-tenancy:
The shared infrastructure used by public cloud services allows several users, also known as tenants, to use the same physical resources. This multi-tenancy architecture enables users to better utilize resources and share costs.
3. Network access and connectivity:
Users can access cloud resources and services from anywhere with a reliable connection, fostering user mobility. This network access facilitates remote work, seamless collaboration, and interaction with internet-based services. The title reflects the importance of both network access and connectivity in enabling a flexible and connected user experience.
4.Pay-per-use pricing model:
The standard pricing strategy used by public cloud providers is often referred to as pay-as-you-go or pay-per-usage. Customers pay for just the resources they really use, which promotes cost-effectiveness. Billing is based on the actual amount of resources used. Large upfront capital expenditures are not necessary with this concept, which also offers flexible cost management.
5. Self-service provisioning:
Users can independently provision and configure cloud resources without contacting the service provider directly. Scalability and flexibility in resource management are encouraged by this self-service capability, which functions on an as-needed, self-driven basis.
Within the public cloud, a shared responsibility paradigm controls security, involving collaboration between the user and the service provider. The cloud architecture provides strong security features, protocols, and certifications, guaranteeing a thorough approach to data and application protection. This recognition of shared accountability highlights the importance of security in the public cloud environment.
Public cloud vs. private cloud vs. hybrid cloud
Ownership and management
Owned and operated by third-party cloud service provider.
Owned and operated by a single organization, either on-premises or by a third-party provider exclusively for that organization.
Combines elements of both public and private clouds, allowing data and applications to be shared between them.
Accessible over the internet, providing global availability and scalability.
Accessible via a private network, providing enhanced security and control over data.
Provides the flexibility to use both public and private resources based on specific needs and workload characteristics.
Typically follows a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing model, eliminating upfront hardware costs.
Involves higher upfront costs due to infrastructure investment but may lead to lower operational costs over time.
Offers a mix of pay-as-you-go and upfront investment, providing cost and budget flexibility.
Offers on-demand scalability, allowing users to easily scale resources up or down based on requirements.
Offers scalability, but expansion may require additional infrastructure investment.
Enables dynamic scaling by utilizing public cloud resources for variable workloads while maintaining sensitive data on the private cloud.
Resources are shared among multiple users (multi-tenancy model), promoting cost efficiency.
Resources are dedicated to a single organization, ensuring more control and customization.
Combines the benefits of public cloud efficiency and private cloud customization, allowing for a tailored approach to resource allocation.
Security and compliance
Security measures are implemented by the provider, and compliance is often addressed through certifications.
Organizations have greater control over security measures, allowing for customization based on specific compliance requirements.
Security measures vary based on the chosen combination, allowing organizations to meet specific compliance requirements.
Public cloud modern applications
Public cloud solutions are one of the most prevalent IT infrastructures used today for compute and storage. Some of the most common examples include Google Workspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Dropbox, and Microsoft offerings like Microsoft 365 and Azure, as well as streaming services like Netflix. In each case, the public shares the same resources through an Internet connection, using passwords as the first line of security.
Google Workspace offers several applications, from word processing to virtual storage and meeting rooms. The applications are used by one or many individuals within an organization or enterprise, and often at the same time. Public cloud solutions allow data of all kinds to be accessed, edited, and shared, enabling types of productivity that would not be possible, or accessible, with strictly on-premises IT. Today, workforces can work and access data from almost anywhere in the world, redefining how many companies operate and collaborate.
Public cloud storage options also provide enhanced security and backup capabilities. In the case of server failure or corruption, data uploaded to the cloud remains intact.
Public clouds are also ideal for flexible or variable workloads, providing users with access to on-demand resources at the proverbial “click of a button,” giving companies a more efficient method to limit wasted IT footprint.
Benefits of public cloud
Benefits of public cloud services:
1. Cost-efficiency and resource optimization:
Users pay solely for the resources they use in public clouds. This removes capital-intensive hardware and infrastructure investments. The shared nature of public cloud resources also improves cost efficiency and makes better use of computer resources.
2. Flexibility and scalability:
Users of public cloud services can adjust the capacity of their resources in response to fluctuations in demand. Businesses with fluctuating workloads require scalability and can modify their processing capacity without substantial planning or hardware investment.
3. Global accessibility and redundancy:
Public clouds allow users to access their data and apps from anywhere with an Internet service. Distributed teams and multinational enterprises benefit from global accessibility. Several public cloud providers offer redundancy and backup services to ensure data availability and reduce the risk of data loss.
4. Accelerated innovation and development:
Public cloud services facilitate swift innovation by enabling rapid development and deployment of new applications and services. By eliminating the need for lengthy procurement cycles and infrastructure acquisition, businesses can swiftly adapt to evolving market demands. This agility fosters a competitive edge, allowing organizations to stay ahead in the dynamic landscape of technology and innovation.
Public cloud services offer cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and global accessibility to adapt to changing business requirements.
Public cloud service models
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
IaaS provides virtualized computing resources over the internet, including networking, storage, and virtual machines. Users control this infrastructure's operating system, apps, and software, giving them more flexibility and customization options.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS):
PaaS is a platform package that includes development tools and services. Here users can develop, deploy, and manage applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. It makes the development process simpler.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS):
SaaS delivers software applications online through a subscription model. Users access the software via a web browser, eliminating the need for local installations and maintenance. Examples include CRM programs, office suites, and email services.
4. Function as a Service (FaaS):
FaaS, or serverless computing, lets programmers run specific functions or code segments in response to events without managing the supporting infrastructure. The cloud provider handles function execution and scalability automatically. FaaS is beneficial for microservices and event-driven architectures.
Users can pick the service model that fits their needs, choosing from different levels of abstraction and management responsibilities provided by these models.
Public cloud security and compliance
Public cloud services require several security and compliance procedures. These are the essential elements:
1. Privacy and data encryption measures:
Strong encryption techniques are frequently used by public cloud providers to safeguard data while it's in transit and at rest. By doing this, confidential data is protected from unwanted access. Furthermore, users can manage the location of their data storage through privacy features like data residency choices, which also take legal and regulatory needs into account. Furthermore, privacy controls, such as data residency choices, provide consumers discretion over where their data is maintained while meeting legal and regulatory obligations.
2. Compliance standards and regulations:
Public cloud services abide by several compliance guidelines and rules to satisfy regional and industry-specific needs. Some examples include HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and other regulations. Cloud companies can provide compliance certificates as proof of their adherence to certain standards.
3. Security controls and identity management:
Platforms for public clouds offer a variety of identity management and security capabilities. This entails using firewalls, access restrictions, and network security measures to prevent unwanted access. By allowing companies to manage and restrict user access to resources, identity, and access management (IAM) solutions may help avert security lapses.
4. Monitoring and Incident Response:
It is essential to continuously monitor cloud systems to identify and address security problems. Most public cloud providers include tracking tools for system behavior, user activities, and possible threats. The procedures to be followed in the event of a security issue are outlined in incident response plans, which assist to lessen the effects and stop them from happening again.
The goal of public cloud providers' implementation of these security and compliance procedures is to establish a reliable and safe environment in which customers may store their data and applications. In turn, users have a say in configuring and maintaining these security elements to suit their unique requirements and compliance standards.
HPE and public cloud
Analysts estimate that nearly 163 ZBs of data will be created by 2025
Over time, HPE cloud management solutions have increased the likelihood of achieving ROI within three years by 287 percent, reduced unplanned downtime by 85 percent, and improved overall IT efficiency by 35 percent
When partnering with service provider CGI Portugal, a leading IT consulting and solutions company, HPE aided their service offering by delivering a robust, consumption-based storage and backup solution that helped address a broad set of business-critical needs and bolster data protection. With the added flexible storage and managed analytics, CGI Portugal could better address specific and variable demands. Overall, CGI Portugal reduced storage costs by 70 percent while increasing storage flexibility.