People walking on a bricked street that is a cloud mural.

The broadcast industry has always had a language all its own, complete with technical terms unique to this business. But as cloud computing transforms video facilities, new buzzwords like public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud are working their way into our vernacular.

With the public cloud, resources such as servers, networks, storage devices, and bandwidth are pooled together and offered to the general public as a service accessible via the Internet. High-profile public cloud providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace, offer use of their global data centers to customers that want to offer public cloud-based services.

Instead of making capital investments in their own hardware, software, and networking, video professionals can quickly start using public cloud-based services—for applications like transcoding, online distribution, streaming, storage, and simple editing, review, and creative collaboration—on a pay as you go basis. They can scale their usage levels according to their workload demands and access cloud-based applications or files from anyplace with high-speed Internet connectivity.

A private cloud is a group of dedicated servers, storage and networking devices that reside on the owner’s own premises. Unlike the public cloud, private cloud owners control their own hardware, software, security, and media assets right within their facilities. They can also install their own servers at an off-site third-party data center and run their private cloud from there. Either way remote collaboration is possible via secure Internet access.

If video professionals experience a surge in their workload that exceeds the capacity of their private cloud, they can burst to the public cloud. This means they can off-load the portion of the workload their on-premises infrastructure can’t manage, and then discontinue using public cloud services once the workload returns to normal levels.

When users seamlessly interface their private cloud with a public cloud service to manage workload bursts, so they can scale their capacity up or down with ease, this is known as a hybrid cloudmodel.

For users with their own on-premises private cloud, bursting to the public cloud—the hybrid cloud model—is far more cost-effective than expanding their hardware and software infrastructure just to handle surges in workload demands.

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