Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud

If you’re considering migrating to the cloud, you’ve probably already heard the terms private cloud and public cloud. In order to make an optimal decision for your business and ensure a successful, seamless transition to cloud computing, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two cloud environments. In this post, we’ll explore the key distinctions, benefits, and challenges associated with these two types of cloud services, so you have the necessary framework to make the best decision for your business.

The Public Cloud

When people talk about “the cloud,” they’re most often referring to the public cloud. When you store your data with a public cloud solution, you’re storing information on a server that shares resources at an off-site data center. Your sensitive data remains separate and secure from other users’ data while off-site computing resources allow you to access your information from anywhere with an internet connection.

Benefits of the Public Cloud

Since you’re storing your data and running applications at an off-site data center, you can scale your cloud-based server resources on demand. There’s no need to worry about additional capital investment, server updates, and deployment timelines. Public cloud resources can be expanded in a matter of minutes. And with pay-as-you-go plans, many providers even allow you to only pay for the resources you actually use, so you don’t have to worry about overpaying. In short, benefits include:
  • On-demand server resources
  • Rapid deployment
  • Requires no capital investment
  • Minimal operating expenses
  • No maintenance required
  • No long-term contracts

Challenges of the Public Cloud

All of this sounds pretty good, so you’re probably wondering about some of the difficulties associated with the public cloud. Most of the challenges come in the form of limitations. Since your information is stored at an off-site data center, you have little control over how your data is stored, managed, and how resources are shared. Furthermore, while data breaches on the public cloud are rare, you’re entrusting your data to a third-party, so there’s no guarantee that it will remain secure. That means if you work in an industry with strict compliance requirements, you may not be able to store certain information or run specific programs on public cloud servers.

The Private Cloud

Private cloud services closely resemble the public cloud environment. However, the key difference is that data is stored on your own in-house servers instead of at an off-site data center. That means private cloud resources are only available to your users while still allowing access to data from anywhere with internet connectivity.

Benefits of the Private Cloud

Your organization gets the benefits of public cloud services without the limitations associated with public cloud hosting. A private cloud infrastructure gives your team added control, customization, and security. If you work in an industry that requires additional levels of security to ensure compliance but want the flexibility of the cloud, a private cloud environment may provide an optimal solution. Migrating to the private cloud offers benefits like:
  • Better long-term investment
  • Maximum control over resources
  • Ensured compliance

Challenges of the Private Cloud

With the additional layer of control the private cloud offers, one of the most common challenges with a private environment is that your organization has to take a hands-on approach to management. That means your IT department is accountable for the cost of initial investment, ongoing maintenance, and long-term management. A private cloud requires the additional staff, management, and maintenance that a public cloud provider absorbs. At the same time, a private cloud environment doesn’t offer the same on-demand flexibility and scalability as the private cloud. When you want to add additional server resources, you’ll have to upgrade your physical infrastructure. That means it may take days or a week before your team can start utilizing those additional resources. And, if you don’t end up using all of your resources for a given month, you’re stuck absorbing the same cost. To summarize, the common disadvantages of private cloud computing include:
  • Longer deployment timelines
  • Resource underutilization
  • Higher up-front costs
Ready to learn more about how a private or public cloud platform could streamline your business operations? [Contact the team at ANC today], and we’ll help clarify your options and find the ideal solution for your needs.