The Cloud Confusion: Proprietary and Open Source Cloud

As it turns out, public or private is not the only cloud-related confusion boggling consumers’ minds. The cloud computing landscape has expanded exponentially over the years and there are more choices than there ever were. One of the biggest debates you will come across is the comparison between proprietary and open-source cloud.

In actuality, proprietary and open-source are two different models with unique advantages and drawbacks all their own. While far from ubiquitous, anyone with a familiarity with the tech industry would have come across both of these terms. In order to understand which one you should go for, you should first understand both concepts and the advantages they hold over each other.

Proprietary Cloud Platforms

Proprietary cloud solutions are launched with a commercial purpose and a fixed number of features. However, new updates and features are added in the future, typically for an additional cost. Like any proprietary solution in general, such cloud solutions also offer benefits that are more like privileges. For instance, the vendor is responsible for the whole development, integration, and testing. Since vendors are in competition with each other, updates and upgrades are quite frequent.

However, proprietary cloud platforms come at a higher cost as they require proper licensing.

Open Source Cloud Platforms

Opens-source models are always praised for being community centric; the same goes for open-source cloud platforms. The platform can be completely designed and developed according to the specific requirements of the users. The downside, so to speak, is that management becomes more involved as the user is responsible for all the updates and maintenance as required.

The biggest advantage open source offers is the significantly lower cost since they don’t require licensing.

Choosing Sides

In short, with proprietary cloud software, what you get is stronger support from the developers, better quality as vendors have to stay competitive, and peace of mind. While on the other hand, open-source cloud platforms come with more flexibility and lower overall cost.

However, it would still be quite naïve to say one is better than the other. It really depends on your specific needs and business preferences. If convenience is your priority, proprietary platforms will make your life easier, allowing you to focus more on your core competencies. Yet if flexibility is your priority, open-source platforms will give you more control and freedom.

In any case, it is best to make your decision based on proper analyses of your business needs, both current and long-term. It always helps to get professional advice from IT and cloud computing experts before making a choice.

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