difference between public and private cloud

Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud: What Is The Difference?

Almost every business today uses some form of cloud computing. This might be a cloud storage solution through Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based CRM like Salesforce, or one of the thousands of other cloud platforms and services available.

However, the cloud computing landscape can still seem daunting to the uninitiated. New businesses, or organisations looking to take their first steps into cloud computing can quickly become overwhelmed with the number of choices available. That’s where Carden IT Services is here to help. Our team has experience with a variety of cloud technologies, their 
strengths, and weaknesses, and how to leverage them correctly to improve the efficiency and security of your business. 

What is the difference between public and private cloud?

In the simplest terms, a private cloud is your business’s responsibility, whereas a public cloud is owned and operated by a third party and you pay a set fee to use it. You could think of it as the difference between driving to work in your own car (private), or taking the bus (public).

Public and private clouds both have their advantages and specific use cases. In this article we are going to go over the basics of a public cloud, a private cloud, and a hybrid cloud and what utility they might serve in a modern business’s IT network.

Public Cloud

What is a public cloud?
A public cloud solution stores the data off-site on a centralised server that the cloud services provider owns and maintains. 

What are the advantages of public cloud networks?
The Cloud Service Provider handles technical support and updates, and services are paid for on a subscription basis with the price based upon how much cloud computing power or storage your business has used in that billing period, reducing the need for major capital investments. 

This system of billing allows you to easily scale your public cloud usage as your company grows. 

Public cloud services give your company more flexibility and enable easy access to applications and data. Public cloud services are particularly useful as part of a disaster recovery plan. Using a public cloud does, however, mean that you have little control over when and what changes are added to the system or when updates will occur.

What are the disadvantages of public cloud networks?
Using a public cloud means that you are bound by the terms and conditions of the public cloud provider. Costs are kept low with this one-size-fits all approach to cloud services, but your cloud won’t be customised for your company.

This approach can present a problem if you have a particularly complex network infrastructure. If the needs of your business deviate too much from what the public cloud provider is able to supply, it may not be suitable.

Private Cloud

What is a private cloud?
A private cloud solution stores your data on a dedicated server, protected by a firewall that is only accessible and operated by your company. Due to its single purpose, it provides high performance and does not suffer any slowdown during peak times like public cloud can sometimes experience.

What are the advantages of private cloud networks?
Private cloud differs from the set configurations provided by public clouds. Users
 may customise their private cloud service’s infrastructure. As a result, you can configure your specific infrastructure to suit your unique business needs as well as any security or infrastructure requirements you might have.

What are the disadvantages of private cloud networks?
If you host your private cloud on-site, it will almost always cost you more to deploy than a public cloud. You need to secure servers, infrastructure, data centres, and software licenses. Luckily, our Managed Private Cloud Services can arrange all this for you.

Your maintenance expenses will also be higher than if you choose a public cloud. This is true whether or not you host your private cloud yourself or through a managed cloud service.

How would a business choose between a public or private cloud?

1. Price – The cost of the different varieties of cloud services are a major factor when choosing between them. Public cloud services have no initial capital expenditure as you do not need to buy new hardware, nor do you have to hire additional staff. This makes it an appealing proposition for small businesses, businesses expecting to scale up significantly in the short to medium term.

Private cloud services are better suited to larger businesses who have predictable usage patterns and no plans to scale in the short to medium term. The monthly cost for the private cloud services will be lower but you will most likely need staff on-premises who are trained in cloud architecture and maintaining physical servers. However, if your business already has a skilled IT team, or is partnered with a managed IT services provider like us, a private cloud may be the best choice.

2. Regulation – Depending on your specific industry, a public cloud may not be suitable. Some industries have specific data protection regulations which prevent them from storing their data in public clouds. 

3. Control Public cloud services may have a few configurations to choose from (depending on the cloud provider) but a private cloud is completely customisable, allowing you to configure your cloud architecture in whichever way is best suited for your business. 

4. Backups Most public cloud provides have multiple backups in data centres all over the world, allowing them to restore your data if one server unexpectedly fails. In a private cloud setup, you will be responsible for backing up your own data. Some businesses will run an on-premises private cloud which they then backup to public cloud storage. Which is a good example of the topic of our next section. 

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud refers to the combined use of public and private cloud platforms. Businesses utilising hybrid cloud services will evaluate each task or department and consider whether it is best served by a public or private cloud service.

The main advantage of a hybrid cloud is its flexibility. A central concept of the modern business landscape is the need to adapt and change direction quickly. Gaining this agility leads to a great competitive advantage. 

Which cloud computing solution should your business choose?

The correct choice between public, private, and hybrid cloud services will depend on your company’s circumstances, which industry you operate in, how many premises you have, your plans for the future of your business, and your budget. Carden IT Services’ cloud computing team can evaluate your business’s current IT architecture and find which areas would be improved by private, public, or hybrid cloud services.

If you have any questions, would like to upgrade your current cloud network, or would like to hear more about the benefits of cloud computing, our business cloud engineers are more than happy to help. Speak to our team today to learn more.

Author: Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden IT Services and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave has over 18 years’ experience in business IT networks with a focus on IT consultation and disaster recovery planning/testing.