Many enterprises are using a cloud-first strategy, opting for the speed and agility of cloud computing for infrastructure, platform and application services. But determining whether to choose a private or public cloud computing model can be confusing. The difference lies within the accessibility and the types of services offered.
Choosing a Private Cloud
A private cloud places data and resources in one infrastructure. This is a single-tenant environment where the resources available through the cloud are all dedicated to one client. Private cloud services draw their resources from a distinct pool of physical computers but these may be hosted internally or externally. The private cloud may be best suited for environments with strict compliance regulations, security needs, confidential information and core systems. The features and benefits of private cloud are:
Higher security and privacy: Private cloud uses techniques such as restricted connections made from behind the single user’s firewall, dedicated leased lines and/or on-site internal hosting.
More control: The single organization will have the ability to arrange and manage the solution in accordance with their needs to achieve a personalized network solution. However, this lessens the scalability offered by public clouds, and adds more responsibility to the client’s plate.
Cost and energy efficiency: While it may not be as cost effective as public cloud services due to small economies of scale and increased management costs, private cloud does make more efficient use of the computing network than a traditional local access network. This minimizes the investment in unused capacity, ultimately saving money. An added benefit is this can reduce an organization’s carbon footprint too.
Reliability: The virtualized operating environment means the network is more resilient when it comes to individual failures across the infrastructure. Also, where the cloud is hosted with a cloud provider, the organization can still benefit from the physical security surrounding the infrastructure hosted within data centers.
Choosing a Public Cloud
A public cloud is a multi-tenet environment in which the resources used are shared by multiple organizations. The cloud provider is responsible for the infrastructure costs, allowing businesses to see costs based on usage. This is the pay-as-you-go model – so an organization only pays for what it uses, but there is less opportunity for customization. The public cloud may be best suited for small and medium business with fewer compliance regulations, less confidential information, and an interest in Software as a Service. These organizations also may not have a dedicated IT person. The features and benefits of public cloud are:
Ultimate scalability: The resources within the cloud are available on demand so the applications can run seamlessly and fluctuate with the activity.
Cost effective: Securely sharing the software, hardware, data center, and/or operating system with other clients lowers everyone’s costs and lets a company reallocate money into other areas for success.
Reliability: With the vast number of servers and networks required to create a public cloud, and the redundancy configurations, a single failure won’t make data vulnerable.
Flexibility: Each business is unique and there are many cloud services available that can be used by any Internet-enabled device. These services can make daily operations more effective with storage of non-sensitive content, email, online document collaboration, and other tools.
An organization should make the best decision for its specific needs by considering its size, needs, industry regulations, user experience, etc. These considerations help determine which cloud model to choose for the business.
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