Public Cloud VS Private Cloud- What is the Difference & Which One Should You Choose?

Public Cloud VS Private Cloud

With more and more companies becoming consumer driven, the reliance of cloud is outright. And if you have been even remotely reading about cloud computing, the perennial debate on Public Cloud VS Private Cloud is inevitable.

So who is using the cloud technologies anyway?

“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing” Paul Maritz.

Cloud computing in its simplest form is providing services using the internet as the fuel.
With zettabytes of data flowing in every second, managing the data has become a colossal task. Thus, organisations are switching to cloud computing. All big players like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, use cloud services in one way or the other and with over 2000+ available jobs, it is definitely a skill worth learning.

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Before adopting cloud services comes a lot of strategy and planning. Thus, companies have to make a choice between two cloud choices: Private Cloud and Public Cloud.

What exactly do these terms mean? Let us dig in deeper.

Public Clouds

Considered as the most popular and common way of deploying cloud services, public cloud services are owned and operated by a third party, known as the service provider. Public cloud services are delivered over the internet and are ideal for small-scale or mid-sized companies. The most popular examples of public cloud are Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, and IBM’s Blue Cloud.

All the infrastructure including the hardware and the software is owned by the service provider which is shared by multiple organizations who are termed as ‘cloud tenants’. Public cloud services follow the ‘pay-as-you-go’ model. If you use the services for 4 hours, that’s all you have to pay for. This makes public clouds extremely economical.

Now you know why it is favoured by small and mid-sized companies.

Since the tenants do not own the services first hand, the pain of maintenance and management of the data centres can be shrugged off easily.

To put things in perspective, cloud tenants are similar to real-life tenants, they bear the cost for the apartment as long as they use it but the cost of maintenance (leakages for example) will be borne by the owner.

Ideally, public clouds are used when data compliance and control over data is not a major issue.

Having said all this, the major drawback a lot of organizations feel is lack of security. As the servers are ‘shared’ and the provider owns the maintenance rights, compliance regulation also becomes a concern.

Private clouds to the rescue!
But exactly how? Let us dig in deeper.

Private Cloud

As the name suggests, private clouds are owned and operated by a single organization. In a private cloud environment, the hardware, the software, and the related infrastructure is either located at the data-centre of the organization or is provided by a service provider. The key difference being the flexibility and control over the data.

Private cloud is thus, not provided as a service.

Government institutions, financial institutions like banks, mid to large-sized companies, and any other organization which deals with sensitive information prefer private cloud. As private cloud has a dedicated service provider, deploying it offers greater flexibility, compliance, and security on the data.

Although private cloud offers scalability, it is expensive to set up and the constant maintenance of the servers is a perennial problem for the organization.

Thus, as compared to the public cloud, the setup and maintenance cost for a private cloud is comparatively higher. Rest assured, you get complete control over the data, enhanced flexibility, scalability, automation, security, and it all comes with a price.

So Let’s Summarise:

Public cloud is a service offered by a third-party provider over the internet. Thus, offering higher penetration in comparison to private cloud. Ideally used by small and mid-sized companies, the public cloud offers ease operation as the maintenance and set up is borne by the provider. On the other hand, the private clouds which are servers owned and operated by a single organization, are ideally used by organisations dealing with sensitive data, one where a data breach is not an option. Private clouds are thus, comparatively expensive.

One of the major concerns for many organizations is the security of the data. Public clouds are easy and economical to operate but there is a lack of control over the data. Whereas, the private cloud offers complete control over the data but at a cost to bare.

In practice, cloud computing services are majorly offered in another format known as the Hybrid cloud which is also known as ‘the best of both worlds’. It incorporates the benefits of both public and private cloud.
So be it a public, private, or a hybrid cloud the choice ultimately tumbles down to the extent to which one has control over the data.

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