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Different Types of Cloud Environments Explained

Law Firm OperationsMatter Management
man sitting at a computer in a server room
 
With so many different types of cloud environments available, it can be hard to determine which one is best suited to your business’s needs.
 

In the past few months, with employees everywhere going remote, the adoption of cloud-based technology in law firms has reached all new heights. In contrast to on-premises servers (which store a firm’s files locally), cloud-based solutions securely store files on a virtual server.

With so many different types of cloud environments available, it can be hard to determine which one is best suited to your business’s needs. This article aims to lay out the different cloud environments available, including public, private, and hybrid, and distinguish what makes each one unique.

Public Cloud Environment

Also referred to as shared cloud environments, the public cloud is the most popular type of cloud environment. Managing a server can be a lot of work. In this scenario, since the server is not privately owned by the firm, there is less maintenance required on the firm’s end. While there is usually a maintenance cost built into the purchase price of the cloud environment, firms have less to worry about knowing that the provider will handle many maintenance-related tasks. Public cloud vendors provide first-rate premises security and temperature-controlled facilities for their data centers.

Private Cloud Environment

A private cloud environment is typically established and managed by one company, frequently the provider of legacy (non-cloud) application; however, the name can be a little bit misleading. While it might give the impression that it is more secure than a public cloud, it is not inherently more secure than a public cloud environment. A private cloud environment stores its data on remote servers that are frequently shared among many users or even firms, which can cause slowdowns if many are using it simultaneously.

Hybrid Cloud Environment

The term hybrid cloud refers to a scenario where a firm’s data and applications are on a combination of public (or private) cloud environments along with on-premises servers. While this sounds like a good middle ground between public and private servers, it is generally only used by firms who are reluctant to put all of their data into the cloud (for example, they may decide to host financial data locally with matter management information on a public cloud). Firms that use hybrid cloud environments must decide what data they want on the cloud and the data they prefer to store locally; this can create confusion about what can and can’t be accessed remotely. Hybrid cloud environments also contribute to the siloing of data, as the data and applications scattered across remote and local environments rarely work seamlessly together.

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