Virtual technology has made its way to almost every aspect of an organization. Cloud computing is part of this virtual technology process that has made itself integral to every part of the industry. Community cloud serves as an infrastructure that enables individuals and organizations to collaborate with similar computing concerns in areas of performance, audit and regulatory issues.
What is community cloud? Community cloud is nothing but a cloud infrastructure that lets systems and services to be accessed by a set of individuals or several organizations to share information. It is owned, operated and managed by organizations within the community or a third party or by both of them. Community cloud is a amalgam form of private cloud. It has four flavours- Public, Private, Hybrid and Bare Metal Cloud.
The main purpose of Community Cloud is to let multiple customers work jointly on projects and uses that are common to the community that uses them. It helps and facilitates projects on a centralized and common cloud infrastructure. Community cloud computing is a disseminated infrastructure that solves specific issues in organizations by integrating services that are provided by independent cloud solutions.
Most communities involved in these kinds of projects like a business, research organizations and tenders focus on common issues in their cloud interactions. The shared interests focus on the goals of the project, security and compliance issues.
With the help of community cloud computing, organizations and businesses can identify and analyse the business demands a lot better. Community cloud can be hosted in a data centre which is owned by a tenant or a third-party cloud services provider. It can be either off-site or on-site.
Advantages of community cloud make it very conducive to organizations that need to work on shared projects with common goals. A few advantages are:
It is cost-effective as it used and shared between several organizations and the community.
A community cloud is compatible with every user and is flexible and scalable. It lets users modify the documents according to their needs and requirement.
A community cloud is less secure than a private cloud but more secure than a public cloud. Users can configure various levels of security for their data.
Community cloud lets users share infrastructure, resources and other aspects within various organizations. Community clouds are open systems that remove the dependency organizations have on cloud service providers. With shared infrastructure, organizations can avoid the advantages and disadvantages of private and public clouds.
Community clouds secure data as any other cloud service as it replicates data and application to multiple secure locations and protects them from any damage or harm. It offers availability and reliability that are critical concerns for any cloud solution.
As community cloud is a shared resource there are no conflicts to convenience and control. It offers the facility to share and own infrastructure to the tenants who can make decisions together. It lets tenants have their data closer to them whilst avoiding complexities related to a private cloud.
With data, systems and application in the cloud means managing them singularly. This reduces the need for tenants to employ extra resources to manage the systems. Even if the cloud is managed by itself, the participating organizations can divide the work amongst themselves.
Organizations use a single platform for all their needs by using the community cloud. This reduces the dependency on investing and relying on separate cloud facilities. This brings a symbiotic relationship between widening and reducing the use of cloud among clients. With the reduction of using separate clouds by different organizations, resources are managed efficiently. This in turn reduces carbon footprint and creates a sustainable environment.
With all its advantages, there are disadvantages to using a community cloud too.
Community cloud may not be a good choice for all organizations, especially because of confidentiality issues.
Community cloud adapts to data very slowly making it a time-consuming process
With a fixed and limited amount of data storage and bandwidth, it becomes difficult for many organizations to use it.
Community cloud is certainly costlier than public cloud
It is difficult to share responsibilities within a community cloud among organizations.
With multiple organizations accessing and controlling the infrastructure in a Community Cloud, it requires specialised security configurations.
Community cloud have been developed by cloud providers and organizations have seen benefits. A few examples of community cloud that are beneficial for participating organizations are:
Community cloud as mentioned above is a shared piece of infrastructure that is used by organizations to work on similar projects and data. It saves time, resources and money for those organizations looking to work towards a common goal. A community cloud model is represented in the form of a diagram will look like the one below:
Community clouds promise to allow multiple independent entities to gain cost benefits of a shared cloud that is not public. It avoids any security and regulatory concerns associated with a public cloud. It is a model with tremendous potential for companies, organizations and entities are under the purview of compliance, legal and regulatory restrictions. Many organizations in the United States and European clouds are considered clouds, particularly for governmental departments.
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