What is community cloud?

  • A community cloud is a cloud infrastructure where multiple organisations share resources and services based on common operational and regulatory requirements. It resembles a private cloud but is owned, managed, and operated jointly by community members, third-party vendors, or both.
  • The architecture of a community cloud includes shared policies and protocols, a cloud management system, identity and access management systems, data governance tools, and shared application services. These components work together to ensure the efficient and secure operation of the cloud environment.
  • Implementing a community cloud involves evaluating and determining the cloud management system, clarifying terms of shared ownership, managing procurement and costs, addressing security needs, planning data segmentation, ensuring change management, considering scalability and migration, and planning for backup and disaster recovery. These practices help optimise the operation and benefits of a community cloud.

A community cloud serves as a collaborative platform where multiple organisations share a cloud infrastructure tailored to meet specific operational and regulatory requirements. It blends the benefits of both private and public clouds, being managed and operated either by the community members themselves or by external vendors. Key elements include robust cloud management systems, identity management, and data governance tools to ensure security and efficiency. To successfully implement a community cloud, organisations must focus on clearly defining governance, addressing security protocols, and planning for scalable and resilient infrastructure, ensuring a cost-effective and compliant cloud solution for all participants.

Shared cloud benefits

Community clouds provide a specialised infrastructure where multiple organisations with similar requirements share resources and services. This arrangement is particularly beneficial for industries with strict regulatory needs or operational similarities, such as healthcare, education, and government sectors.

Community clouds combine the best aspects of private and public clouds, offering a balance of security, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. They allow organisations to enjoy the benefits of a private cloud—such as enhanced control and privacy—at a reduced cost, since expenses and resources are shared among members.

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Implementation challenges

However, implementing a community cloud comes with its own set of challenges. The complexity of coordinating between different organisations can complicate the setup and ongoing management of the cloud. All parties must agree on shared governance, security measures, and the allocation of costs and resources. This requires clear documentation and strict adherence to agreed-upon standards and protocols to ensure that the cloud environment remains secure, efficient, and beneficial for all involved.

Additionally, scaling the infrastructure to accommodate the needs of all participating entities without compromising performance or security poses a significant challenge. Effective management and clear communication are crucial to navigating these complexities and achieving a successful community cloud implementation.


Lucia Mei

Lucia Mei, an intern reporter at BTW Media dedicated to tech-trends, fin tech and IT infrastructure. She graduated from Anhui university of science and technology. Send tips to l.mei@btw.media

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