By Declan Keir-Saks

Cloud services have made it possible for businesses of all sizes today to store, share and host data – on premise or remotely. Combining and syncing different cloud options allows small and mid-sized businesses to easily conduct complex computing processes.

It’s important for SMBs to understand the types of cloud storage options. Each type has differing benefits and drawbacks. Examining the basics of cloud can allow business owners to identify which type best addresses unique needs of their businesses.

Small businesses can choose from these three types of cloud storage options.

Private Cloud

As the name suggests, a private cloud can be customized to suit the business needs of any small or mid-sized business. A private cloud can be hosted one of two ways: either on-premise or externally. Pure private cloud is usually deployed by big enterprises that have highly skilled professionals, who are part of the internal IT department, available as resources to set it up. While private clouds boast greater privacy and tighter security, for smaller companies, this setup can be time consuming and more expensive compared to other cloud options.

Public Cloud

Small business owners often think of public cloud when considering cloud computing, as they typically have limited IT budgets and in-house expertise to manage their own data storage. In a public cloud, the cloud-based service is hosted, managed and maintained on the cloud provider’s network. Public clouds are owned and operated by cloud service providers and any company that needs a cloud based service can subscribe to them. This cloud service requires less data management. The data can be accessed online by authorized business executives and does not need specific integration with business needs. Most small businesses find public cloud flexible and affordable with value added services offering latest technologies that they otherwise couldn’t afford on their own networks.

Hybrid Cloud

This type of cloud offers a mix of private cloud and third-party public cloud services with coordination between the management platforms. This model offers businesses more data deployment options and more flexibility. Actively used structured data is usually stored in an on premise private cloud, while unstructured, archival data is stored on a public cloud. Small companies might choose a hybrid cloud approach for certain types of cloud-based applications. For example, a public cloud can be used for cloud-based CRM service but some related business applications, such as accounting, can be hosted on the private cloud. A hybrid cloud model can be a safe and reassuring way for small companies to ease into cloud computing because it helps choose which applications and data are accessible via the cloud.

As small businesses scale up, their IT requirements also change. They need to access data that can be controlled by them and is easily accessible. Therefore, Hybrid cloud is a great option for small and midsized businesses as it can meet the growing or seasonal demands of businesses, giving them flexibility of use and saving on time consuming IT infrastructure and costs.