Public vs. Private Cloud

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Public vs. Private Cloud

As more organizations consider moving from on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based systems and applications, the technology used to house these systems is growing and evolving as well. One of the questions we get frequently from customers who are seeking advice on the cloud is whether a public cloud or a private cloud would better meet their needs. Each option provides different opportunities and downsides.

Private clouds are specific to a single organization. They are built on proprietary infrastructure that is not shared with any other organizations or external groups. For organizations that require direct control over their cloud infrastructure, private clouds tend to be a better fit.

Benefits of private clouds:
  • Self-maintained and controlled: The organization owns and operates its cloud and has direct access to all environments.
  • Security: By restricting access and owning the cloud infrastructure, companies can maintain their own security protocols.
  • Uptime and resourcing requirements: Businesses can set their own uptime SLAs and provision environments to meet their specific needs. Scaling resources up or down can be done internally, without having to wait for the cloud provider to make the change.
Risks of private clouds:
  • Staffing limitations: While having your own IT team manage your cloud environments can be beneficial, if the IT team managing them is short-staffed or unable to fix an issue, there is little that can be done.
  • Cost: Private clouds carry many of the same expenses as traditional on-premises infrastructure, which can be a detractor for businesses looking to save money through cloud and virtualization.
  • Self-maintenance: Having control comes at a cost. Every new application, application or operating system upgrades, and infrastructure change must be done by internal resources and must be paid for (if the application is purchased from an external vendor).

Public clouds are provided by third-party vendors that provision and deploy cloud environments to multiple organizations, business lines, or individuals. Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are three of the largest public cloud vendors.

Benefits of public clouds:
  • Cost: The hosting provider pays for the hardware and infrastructure maintenance. Organizations can choose to pay for public clouds on a usage basis, paying only for the resources they need.
  • Flexible Resourcing: Public cloud providers can easily help businesses scale their deployments up or down because the infrastructure to support this already exists.
  • Provider Guarantees: Every cloud services provider guarantees performance and uptime, often at a higher level than what private cloud can offer due to resourcing constraints on internal infrastructure or staff.
Risks of public clouds:
  • Security: While all cloud providers offer certain security guarantees, breaches can occur and businesses have little control over the infrastructure they’re running on.
  • Monitoring and management: For organizations with deployments across multiple clouds, it can be difficult to manage their clouds without tools that allow them to monitor performance and usage across clouds.

Want to talk to someone about which cloud option may be right for you? We can help. Contact us at or contact us online.