It wasn’t long ago when cloud computing was a niche field that only the most advanced organizations were dabbling with. Now the cloud is very much the mainstream, and it is rare to find businesses that use IT that doesn’t rely, in whole or in part, on cloud environments for their infrastructure. But if you’re going to add cloud services to your company, you'll need to choose between the private cloud and the public cloud.
Of course, cloud computing is dominated by some of the biggest names, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure – all of which offer private and public cloud services. So, how do you know which one is right for you?
Here we take a look at the public cloud and the private cloud so as to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each, and try to help you decide which is most suitable for your business.
The public cloud is the more commonly used form of cloud computing. It’s essentially a server that shares resources between a number of different customers. As such, public cloud environments can be perfect for smaller businesses or those organizations that are just looking into the prospect of cloud computing and want to see how it can potentially benefit them. The public cloud can offer enormous infrastructure resources at no set-up cost and with a simple cost structure moving forward.
Having said that, cost structures in public cloud platforms can get complicated rather quickly once you start to scale, so check out our cost optimization best practices to make sure you are able to keep it simple from start to finish.
Of course, there are downsides to the public cloud, such as loss of control and high volume capacity prices. It is sometimes believed that because the cloud is public, it’s not secure. But that’s not necessarily true.
High-quality public cloud providers keep up-to-date with all the latest security regulations. This means it’s important for organizations to look into the specifics of their provider, but there are many excellent cloud computing companies offering highly secure services. There may be some instances where a public cloud may not be deemed secure enough, mostly because of regulations, but for the vast majority of businesses and organizations, it’s sufficient.
As we see it, regarding security, if not taken seriously it’s really easy to become vulnerable to security threats in the public cloud environment.
The security of your cloud environment is a joint responsibility between your cloud provider and you, so you need to be knowledgeable of the shared responsibility model of your provider, and set in place the means to maintain security on your end.
There are, however, some issues and concerns you need to be aware of. For example, without proper monitoring and enforcement, the bill can accumulate very fast without noticing.
Public clouds also have a lot of benefits. For example, using serverless infrastructure that allows you to pay only for what you actually use. Smaller companies that don’t have the capital can benefit enormously from the reliability, simplicity, and scalability of the public cloud.
The private cloud is the opposite of the public cloud. A public cloud is shared by multiple businesses and organizations, whereas a private cloud is entirely dedicated to the needs of a single company. Private clouds are often preferred by larger companies with more complicated IT needs and requirements, that have the resources to maintain a private cloud infrastructure.
If your business has very specific security regulations that it needs to follow, a private cloud might be your answer (if your preferred public cloud provider doesn’t have a data center in your region).
The main reasons to choose a private cloud are price and customization, on an enterprise-scale, you can benefit from the high volume discounts from vendors (some cloud providers also offer enterprise-level agreements), and that allows you to customize your physical and virtual infrastructure for your exact needs.
With the benefit of customization and price, there are also disadvantages, from securing the data center from the physical aspect to the virtual aspect. And most important you need to develop or purchase all the software that allows you to have the “modern” cloud experience and services while managing your capacity to answer the demand.
Typically, private clouds are used by larger businesses with complex requirements. However, if your organization does not have the technical expertise to work with a private cloud alone, you can opt for fully-managed third-party providers.
Another commonly-held myth is that you must choose between the public or private cloud. In fact, you can opt for hybrid cloud services that take a little from both. These can be extremely useful for business continuity and data resilience. For example, if your applications require high availability and you only have one private data center, you can use the public cloud infrastructure for disaster recovery or backup storage purposes, a hybrid cloud environment could be perfect.
Which cloud to choose?
The choice between public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions depends on a variety of factors, use cases, and limitations. In the real world, it’s not an either/or situation, especially since organizations tend to leverage all three types of cloud solutions considering the inherent value propositions and tradeoffs.
If you are not certain which form of cloud computing is right for your business, then you should discuss the needs of your business with professionals. Choose a cloud service provider that has expertise in working with businesses similar to yours. They will be able to recommend the best form of cloud services for you.
At Cloudride, we work with AWS, Azure as well as other cloud vendors and can help you choose a solution that delivers the best performance, reliable security, and cost savings.
Find out more.