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What is Cloud Infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure is the combination of software and hardware components required to provide cloud computing services. The software typically refers to the applications used to access the cloud over the internet. The physical hardware, such as servers and networking switches, enables the cloud service provider to offer access to the cloud. The physical hardware is typically stored and maintained at a facility called a data center.

What are the types of cloud infrastructure available?

As a user, you have options when it comes to cloud infrastructure. You can choose to only access the cloud infrastructure using software. You can own all of the hardware and software components of your cloud infrastructure. Or you can land somewhere in the middle. This flexibility depends on the type of cloud you choose – public, private, or hybrid.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a shared cloud infrastructure by design. You share access to the cloud infrastructure with other users. In a public cloud, you do not own, manage or operate any of the physical hardware. You access your cloud infrastructure via the internet using a software application provided by the cloud service provider. Public cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure.

What are the benefits of the Public Cloud?

With a public cloud, you are completely freed from the daily management of the physical hardware that supports your cloud infrastructure. Instead, you are able to redirect your focus to managing your company.

What are the downsides of the Public Cloud?

Security can be a concern since the public cloud is shared by design. Data that has been lost or compromised because of a security breach can cost a company a fortune. However, as the public cloud has continued to evolve, it is increasingly seen as more secure since the major cloud vendors are able to have dedicated security teams monitoring customers’ data.

Cloud providers typically throttle access to their cloud infrastructure for the benefit of each user. This throttling can adversely impact the performance of your data-intensive workloads making it harder to achieve a high level of performance that your most mission-critical workloads – such as Oracle or MS SQL – might need.

Private Cloud

In a private cloud, you have dedicated access to all the hardware and software components of your cloud infrastructure. This type of complete ownership used to be associated with an on-premises server set up. However, there are now cloud infrastructure options that give you that level of control, with the functionality of being in the cloud. You now have the option to own and manage the hardware yourself or pay for someone else to manage the hardware for you. This way, you are freed up to focus more time on your business.

What are the benefits of the Private Cloud?

Access to the private cloud is limited to just you. This is important for companies in the healthcare and financial industry where security is a function of good business practices. But this also allows you to take full advantage of the performance capabilities of the cloud without running up against the throttles that the public cloud vendors put into place. You can scale your private cloud infrastructure as your needs grow. You can provision as many or as few virtual machines as you like with a private cloud. You are no longer confined to the capacity of your on-premises infrastructure.

What are the downsides of the Private Cloud?

You may pay significantly more for a private cloud since access is limited to just you. You’re essentially paying for dedicated service.

As with any cloud infrastructure, compatibility with your company applications may be an issue. If your application is not built cloud-native, there may be some additional steps you need to take to enjoy the full functionality of the private cloud.

Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds. With a hybrid cloud model, you can cherry pick the type of cloud that best suits your needs for each application and workload.

What are the benefits of the Hybrid Cloud?

With a hybrid cloud model, you can build a unique cloud infrastructure that meets your needs. If you need greater agility and flexibility with some applications, you might choose to put them on the public cloud. But if you’re concerned about performance limitations for some of your larger, more complex workloads, you might choose to keep those in the private cloud.

What are the downsides of the Hybrid Cloud?

You may need to invest in more senior IT personnel or a third party to integrate your private cloud with your public cloud. Due to higher security risks with the private portion of your cloud, a good firewall and other special security considerations will need to be.


What is the best type of cloud infrastructure?

The best type of cloud infrastructure depends on your needs. If you need tighter security, a private cloud model may work best for you. If you need greater flexibility, scalability and lower costs, a public cloud model may work best for you. A hybrid cloud allows you to choose the best features from both worlds that work for you.

What are the benefits of using cloud infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure relieves you of having to invest and manage physical hardware components. With certain service models, you don’t have to develop or manage the software needed to access your cloud infrastructure either. This flexibility allows you to significantly reduce your upfront costs.

The cloud infrastructure also allows you to scale as your needs change over time without being limited by the capacity of your on-premises servers.

Is cloud infrastructure secure?

There are inherent risks to using cloud infrastructure since access is typically over the internet. However, security measures in the cloud have become increasingly more sophisticated. The major cloud providers – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform – all have major security teams that are responsible for protecting clients’ data against threats. Today, the cloud is often considered safer than your average in-house IT team.

Optimizing access to your cloud infrastructure with Silk

With Silk, you’re able to overcome many of the challenges and limitations associated with accessing your cloud infrastructure. The Silk Cloud Platform is a virtualization layer that lives between your applications and the underlying cloud infrastructure. From here, Silk supercharges your cloud computing experience with up to 10x faster performance compared to native cloud alone. All without the need to refactor. You can simply lift and shift workloads into the cloud. Or, if your ultimate goal is to refactor, you can lift and shift today to start taking advantage of all the cloud has to offer while working to refactor for tomorrow. This makes it ideal for large, complex, and mission-critical workloads such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server.

The Silk Cloud Platform includes a suite of enterprise data services – such as zero-footprint snapshots, deduplication, and thin provisioning – that helps keep the amount of cloud resources being used to a minimum. In turn, this helps to minimize your cloud services bill since you no longer need to worry about too many snapshots ballooning through your allocated resources. And since Silk makes it so easy to replicate data, it’s ideal for a Disaster Recovery (DR) use case where updated clones of data need to be created often and easily failover from DR to production if needed.

Silk is always-on and available, so you never need to worry about not having access to your data in the cloud.

Related Terms

Cloud Data Center