Private vs Public Cloud: Pros and Cons
In the recent years cloud computing has become one of the trendiest topics in IT. The technology focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of the shared resources. It offers advantages in the areas of performance, scalability, flexibility and security.
Public cloud, Private cloud, Hybrid cloud and Community cloud composed the four deployment models of cloud computing.
With this article we will clarify the differences between the private and public cloud and which one is right for you.
Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party service providers (usually hosting companies). A public cloud services are distributed “as a service”. Thet are owned by a business organization and hosted remotely in the "cloud" by a vendor. The cloud software is usually available via Internet browser or mobile and desktop applications. The cloud infrastructure is shared between many businesses. It is provisioned for general public use but each organization’s data & application usage is accessible for only authorized users.
Some of the advantages of public cloud services are:
- Reduce costs for hardware - The public cloud decreases capital cost. This lowers the barriers to entry as the infrastructure provide the best economies of scale. It’s a pay-per-usage model and the payments are estimates based on the capacity of used resources. Using public cloud eliminates the need to purchase physical hardware and to hire IT crew in-house as the servers are virtual - hosted by a third party.
- Reduce costs for maintanance - Since public cloud services are provided by a third party, you will not need to employ an IT specialist for maintaining and securing the system.
- Scalability and flexibility - Another advantage of public cloud infrastructures is that they quickly and easily provide on-demand scalability.
- Weaker security - Weaker security sometimes is viewed as the main disadvantage in public cloud service. Most of the clouds have excellent security measures in place. However for customers with sensitive information (e.g. financial institutions) trust in a third party is often an issue.
- Lack of control - All customers on public clouds shared the same infrastructure. The cloud is entirely managed and supported by the service provider so businesses often have limitations of personal data control and configuration.
Private cloud, also called an internal or enterprise cloud, is built exclusively for an individual organization. It's owned and operated by a single company that controls the virtualization resources. It can be on or off premises. Private clouds provide more control of resources and addressed the security issues raised about public clouds.
Features differentiating private cloud services:
- More secure - private cloud services are dedicated to a single organization. The hardware, data storage and connection are designed to assure higher levels of security.
- Better performance - A private cloud stays inside company's intranet network behind a firewall. It provides access to the same resources as the public model, but with less exposure to Internet security risks.
- More control on configurations - A private cloud is optimized to provide more scalability of storage and computing. The resources in the platform are non-shared. The configuration is maintained by internal IT team.
- Higher cost - In general, private clouds are more expensive than public because they require both hardware and maintenance. You will need not only the hardware but also the operating system and licenses for software applications.
- Maintenance - Set up and support for private cloud is more expensive and time consuming than deploying on a public cloud service. It's an investment that needs continuous support and maintenance. A private cloud service requires in-house IT administration.
Organizations choose private cloud service when they need greater control of their applications or business critical data. Private cloud service is popular with highly regulated industries such as financial and government institutions. They prefer having their data hosted privately and physically separated from other businesses.
We recommended private clouds for companies who have the resources to run their own servers and infrastructure. Private cloud would give you higher security and control. But you would also need to purchase, configure and maintain the system or infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud is a composition of the public and private cloud infrastructures. It uses a private cloud foundation combined with the use of public cloud services. Several touch points bound together the environments. The hybrid cloud combine the advantages of both models: scalability, security, flexibility and lower costs.
The choice which cloud computing services to use is complicated and complex decision to make. Knowing the basic advantages and disadvantages can help you consider which type of cloud service best meets your business requirements. It's important to carefully consider the options and see what will work better for your organizations.
“Cloud computing” or simply "the cloud”, according to NIST, refers to large groups of remote servers networked to allow centralized data storage and online access to computer services or resources. In other words, the delivery of on-demand computing resources — everything from applications to data centers — over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis.