The Battle of Public Versus Private Clouds

It was said that ‘the cloud is the future’, but it was never really specified which cloud, exactly. As IT experts, we understand that cloud computing can be a complicated subject and vague statements simply don’t help consumers in making the right decision. Once you have decided to shift to cloud, that is just the beginning of it all. Ahead lies a series of decisions that can make a world of difference with the degree to which they can benefit your business.

One of the most important decisions in this regard is choosing between private or public cloud. Now the service providers may further complicate the scenario with their own technical jargons and explanations based on their preferences. The key to making the right decision is in actually understanding how the two concepts differ and what exactly they offer.

So, let’s start the discussion with a proper understanding of the differences.

Public Cloud

Public clouds are often cited as more cost-effective solutions as they allow sharing of resources. The service is provided off-site over the internet by a third-party provider. You don’t have to purchase storage capacity or processing power. In other words, the datacenter is owned by a third-party. One of the most popular examples of a public cloud model is Dropbox.

Why Go Public – Public cloud has two main benefits. First of all, the cost saving is incomparable. Secondly, public cloud gives you the freedom to add capacity at your convenience i.e. at peak hours. It is best for businesses on a budget or for companies on collaborative projects.

Why Not – The only downside is security risk that comes with the shared model. Therefore, you would be well-advised to have a proper security and governance strategy in place before opting for a public cloud.

Private Cloud

Opting for this approach would mean that the company purchases and owns the whole infrastructure to extend its datacenter. The resources are not shared and the company can host applications in the cloud. Private clouds, however, can be hosted on-site as well as at the service provider’s datacentre.

Why Choose Private – A private cloud model provides a high level of security, so if data is a highly sensitive asset for your business, it’s better not to risk it on a public cloud. They are also best for applications that call for absolute control and configurability of the infrastructure.

Why Not – The only downside of private cloud is the initial cost. Also, while scalability is possible, it may involve more time and cost.

The Winner

To be honest, there is simply no point comparing the two models unless you have a proper scenario laid out in front of you. In some cases, public cloud storage is the best option while in others private may offer better advantage according to the needs of the business. Moreover, many service providers have actually merged both the models offering a completely hybrid cloud infrastructure that gives you the best of both worlds.

Which one do you think fulfills your business needs best?

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