The Debate Over Public vs. Private Clouds

When talking about cloud computing solutions, you will often hear references made to public and private clouds, along with disagreements over the comparative merits of each one. For the cloud computing novice, this entire private cloud vs. public cloud debate can sometimes sound like it’s being debated in a different language. In the following paragraphs, we’ll analyze both public and private cloud computing, discuss their differences, and attempt to translate this argument over which one is better into everyday terminology.

Understanding Private Cloud Technology

The simplest way to think of private cloud technology is a service that offers specialized infrastructure to one customer. With this type of setup, the service provider handles the architecture but allows the customer to handle data storage, along with the way it is transmitted. For clients who are concerned about the security of their files, the improved control afforded by private cloud architecture makes it an ideal solution.

Benefits of Private Cloud Systems

As one may assume, greater client control means a lower number of security worries for private cloud users. The private cloud alternatives continue to pass on the exact same benefits of flexibility, scalability and increased user work productivity onto the customer after existing infrastructure is changed over.

Disadvantages of Private Cloud Computing

Probably the most significant problem with private cloud services is that often the client must invest in computer hardware, configure it, and after that still maintain it. Whereas the public cloud client can basically buy a cheap, ready-made system to be employed quickly, the private user has to expend substantial capital in advance to acquire a system that will be hosted internally, and then continue to handle its management going forward. This, unfortunately, is the trade-off that has to be made for the superior security available from the private solution.

Defining Public Cloud Computing

Whereas the private cloud is really a closed network to all except the client, public cloud systems are (like their moniker suggests) offered to the public. This means that all users of the service manage their data files, and utilize software and platforms from a common server network. The cloud computing vendor manages all online security and control over data files and software.

Advantages of Public Cloud Solutions

Truth be told, there really isn't any comparison in regards to simplicity of use, price, adaptability or scalability among public cloud solutions and private cloud computing. It is these clear benefits in the aforementioned fields (with thanks to the pay-per-use model) that makes the public cloud service what most customers visualize when thinking of cloud technology in general.

The Drawbacks to Public Cloud Technology

At the moment, the big knock on public cloud computing is its inadequate security. That is not to suggest that public services do not have security - quite a few have excellent precautions in place - but for customers who deal in considerable amounts of extremely-private personal data (e.g. financial firms), the thought of entrusting this information to a third party is usually intolerable.

You Decide Which is Better! Public Cloud or Private Cloud Computing?

The answer to that question undoubtedly depends on the client's kind of business. For instance, in spite of the obvious advantages held by public cloud systems in many areas, users who deal with large volumes of confidential data will often be not able to accept the trade-off of converting security onto a third party.

So, to sum up the private vs public cloud discussion, if your firm is one that doesn't have high security standards, public cloud services will allow you to see all the benefits offered by the technology. However, if your business deals with confidential data that can't be left to another party, a private cloud solution can still let your business to enjoy the advantages of cloud technology - albeit at a slightly less-friendly price.