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Private Vs. Public Cloud: How To Choose?

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Choosing the right cloud solution to fit for your business.Choosing the right cloud solution to fit for your business.With the explosion of big data and cloud computing, companies that haven’t already adopted a cloud model are left wondering if they should. 

Public clouds are robust but often don’t provide the added benefits of compliance, security and control.  Private clouds live within a firewall and give you the option of controlling who has access to your data, where your data lives and how your data is transferred, but often these solutions require more extensive management and trained personnel to maintain. 

But the dilemma goes beyond those two options.  Some companies prefer to go with a hosting provider’s enterprise private cloud, and just outsource the headache of maintaining their IT.  Other companies insist that maintaining their own IT is the most secure and cost effective way of benefiting from their existing infrastructure.

Ultimately it depends on what you’re running, and what your needs are.  Some companies may even find a hybrid approach is most beneficial.  Here’s a deeper look at the options:

Public Clouds

When determining which cloud setup is appropriate for your business, it is important to evaluate all options and benefits. Public clouds offer flexibility and have on-demand scalability. The ‘instant on’ capabilities of public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services, also include increased performance. This is often because AWS and many other public cloud providers have a large number of data centers spread across the globe. Public clouds bring instant provisioning, with a vast amount of performance, processing and memory.

With the large amount of hosting public cloud offerings come economies of scale (and cheaper hosting services).  This makes it particularly attractive for small businesses with tight hosting budgets to host websites or less critical applications where you don’t need any technical experts to manage your systems.

Private Clouds

Private clouds, on the other hand, come in two different flavors: either host your own or go with a private cloud provider.  Many companies prefer to utilize their existing investments in hardware when transitioning to the cloud to lower costs. 

You can leverage your technology to customize and prioritize the hardware and applications based on the needs of your business. You also have the control over all security and compliance policies so you decide exactly what security measures need to be in place. However, this option does typically involve a larger capex (capital expense) from hiring IT staff to accomplish all necessary tasks ranging from hardware installs and maintenance to customizing and monitoring your applications.

The second option for migrating to a private cloud is going through an enterprise private cloud provider.  A provider will not only provide the data centers and all infrastructure needs, but can also come with the necessary IT staff to handle all of the application customization and monitoring for your business. Infrastructure outsourcing transitions your costs from capex to opex (operation expense), and saves companies from having to maintain a highly technical staff.

If you’re concerned about the upfront cost of a cloud setup, going with a provider will outsource much of the work. You also save the hassle of having to deal with troubleshooting and maintenance, while getting more time to focus on the more strategic parts of the business. Outsourcing provides a solution for managing critical applications such as this, while having the performance and security of a private cloud.

Hybrid Clouds

Many businesses are leaning towards using a hybrid cloud approach, using aspects of both public and private clouds. You can keep the data secure in your own private cloud and have all processing and analytics take place on the public cloud, which can handle all the traffic and usage. Other companies use the public cloud as overflow for either additional performance (say when a website has abnormally high volume one day) or for test and QA environments.  Businesses can host their critical applications on a private cloud while relying on the public cloud for less critical applications or a development arena.  Depending on your critical business needs, a hybrid cloud may be the best blend of both worlds.

Ultimately, whichever cloud solution you choose depends on your business needs for security, compliance, performance and cost.

Sukhmeet KambojSukhmeet KambojSukhmeet Kamboj has been working in IT for six years. He currently works for Secure-24, Inc., an enterprise cloud and IT hosting company where he specializes in writing about the latest IT news, application outsourcing, and SAP cloud computing articles. In his free time he likes to read about the latest Internet and IT trends and participate in autocross and racing events on the weekends.