A community cloud is a type of private cloud and became more popular recently. The community cloud enables a group of organizations to access the system and services. In the community cloud, the infrastructure is shared between several organizations from a specific community. In most cases, organizations prefer community cloud to share services and resources that derive from common regulatory and operational requirements. Its shared platform and resources enable multiple organizations to work on their business requirements. A community cloud can be operated and managed by organizations in the community, third-party vendors, or a combination of both.
A community cloud provides dedicated infrastructure only for a group of organizations, mostly from a specific community with common concerns, thus it can be considered a type of private cloud. It is not open to the public and it can only be accessed by the selected group of organizations. But it also, provides a combination of benefits of different cloud computing types, thus, compared to traditional private clouds, it can offer benefits like cost-effectiveness, privacy, and security.
What is community cloud architecture?
Community cloud is a distributed architecture and it incorporates others services from other clouds to be able to meet the requirements of the clients, their communities, and client’s related segments. Community cloud includes identity and access management, which is responsible for authorization and access to the specific cloud that also meets the different organizations’ shared and adopted protocols and policies. Community cloud also comes with an entity, named cloud manager, an interface enabling organizations to manage their shared resources and protocols. The cloud manager also focuses on splitting responsibilities and costs among organizations. Finally, similar to other cloud solutions, it includes storage solutions to meet the organizaitons’ needs in accordance with the requirements.
During the design of the community cloud architecture, organizations involved should collaborate on shared policies and protocols. First, a governance policy is crucial for organizations to enable effective monitoring of the platform through a governance model. To constitute security protocols of the community cloud, organizations should also focus on regulations. To determine who is authorized to use which resources within the community cloud, organizations should document and maintain access policies. Also, with allocation policies, developers need to be able to answer all questions regarding business continuity while setting up the cloud.
One of the other crucial parts of the community cloud is the data governance tool, which enables overseeing the creation, updating, and deletion of the data within the platform. These kinds of activities should be performed according to the data policies agreed upon by the organizations. Another important component is shared application service.
A community cloud should combine the features and benefits of multiple clouds, designed for a specific industry. Thus, is more complicated and more expensive to create a community cloud platform compared to public clouds. However, it also provides more security and an allocated amount of data storage and bandwidth for each organization. Since it is not decided by a standalone organization, all involved organizations should agree upon ownership of services and resources, an economic model for services, allocation and maintenance resources, and relevant industry regulations that need to be implemented.
Types of community cloud
There are several types of community cloud services depending on the industries they focus on, especially in financial, public, and healthcare sectors along with research and education:
- BFSI Community Cloud: BFSI community cloud mainly focuses on streamlining the workflow of organizations in the banking, insurance, and financial industries. It made a huge impact on how these sectors operate with the technological transformation it provided.
- Government Community Cloud: Government community cloud provides the flexibility and the scalability that is required by government agencies and became an important part of automation.
- Enterprise Community Cloud: With the integration of enterprise community cloud, large enterprises aim to accomplish their goals effectively and progressively with the power of digital transformation.
- SAP HANA Community Cloud: SAP HANA community cloud allows organizations to run their enterprise resource management software and mainly focuses on accelerating operations, especially for organizations that are struggling to maintain the control and synchronization needed to operate effectively.
Benefits of community cloud
Community clouds can allow organizations from the same field to reduce their costs and design the platform to meet their specific needs. The most obvious advantage of community cloud is cost efficacy. By sharing the platform with other organizations, they can reduce their cloud spending drastically. Also, community clouds are created by organizations that share similar regulatory laws, thus it makes it easier to design the platform to meet all organizations’ regulatory compliance needs. Since it can only be accessed by the members of the community that created the platform, it is also a safer environment, including industry-standard security requirements, compared to other options while offering the same level of availability and scalability as other cloud services. Especially when it comes to industry-based security requirements, community clouds simplify the process of implementing those technologies with group effort. In the community cloud, the infrastructure is shared by all tenants, thus they all make choices together to improve the platform. Sharing the responsibility with other organizations from the sector can also be beneficial to all tenants.
Difference between public, hybrid, private, and community cloud
If you are familiar with these terms, the difference between them and community cloud is pretty obvious. The difference between private cloud and community cloud is that in community cloud, the tenants are sharing the infrastructure with other tenants. However, unlike the public cloud, in the community cloud, the tenants decide which organizations can use the platform. Thus, it can sound like a little bit of both of those deployment methods. In community clouds, the maintenance can be handled by tenants, vendors, or a combination of both.