Differences Between Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud

Cloud computing has taken the tech industry by storm in recent years, and the past 14+ months under the COVID-19 pandemic has only helped push that transition along. With everyone scrambling for a setup that would allow them to securely and efficiently work from home, many businesses and employees found that work didn’t have to stop just because people were out of the office.

But many of the businesses that were better able to weather the pandemic were the ones that were already invested in capable technology, and this enabled them to easily pivot their workflows to suit the demands of remote work. The best of them had actually already been operating this way for years, and the cloud technology that enabled much of their flexibility during the pandemic could be seen as mandatory in today’s always changing business landscape.

What Is a Public Cloud?

A public cloud is a service offered concurrently to many users. Slack, Gmail and Box are all examples of public clouds. But the ubiquity of these services is also their Achilles heel — all your company’s information is being harvested and kept on servers owned by third-parties accessible to clients from all over the world. Anyone can sign up, and their services are available over the open internet.

What Is a Private Cloud?

Unlike a public cloud, a private cloud is a secure, private service that is only accessible to the client. Access isn’t shared with any other clients or entities, and only the cloud service provider is even aware that the private cloud exists. 

When considering a private vs. public cloud, companies typically prefer a private cloud for security purposes, as well as outright ownership of the cloud system. After all, a public cloud can be disconnected at any time, and even the service itself can dramatically change from one day to the next.

With a private cloud, there are no feature changes to entertain, drops of service to put up with, or data breaches to worry about because your data is managed by you and your cloud partner, not a third party that counts you as one of their thousands or millions of other clients. 

If it helps, think of public cloud computing like renting an apartment. Sure, you can move in and set things up, but your landlord could also kick you out, sell the home or change the terms of your rental agreement at some point. A private cloud is more like owning your own home. You get to set the rules and benefit from additional security and privacy, and you don’t have to worry about one of your neighbors throwing a party at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.

Pros & Cons of Public Clouds

As we already mentioned, a private vs. public cloud is mainly about control and security. Public clouds may leave you to the whims of the service provider and are often less secure, but they also tend to be much cheaper, especially at the low end of users and need. You don’t have to purchase any servers or configure much of anything at all, but it also means less flexibility in matching the platform to your company needs.

That said, public clouds don’t come with any maintenance responsibilities. If the service goes down or needs upgrading, the service provider takes care of it. Also, if your needs dramatically change, you’ll be able to easily unleash additional resources or scale down to reduce your expenditure. And if the basic service works for you and your employees, a public cloud could be all you need.

Pros & Cons of Private Clouds

On the other hand, a private cloud gives your business the ability to customize the cloud environment to fit your exact need. You get more control over the resources available, as well as greater privacy and security as a result. Since the server isn’t shared with anyone else, you’ll be able to fully leverage your resources without competing for priority, all while knowing that your data is safe and secure from prying eyes and rogue actors.

While some businesses or agencies prefer to host their cloud services locally in their own datacenter, that also means that the responsibility of maintenance and security falls to your in-house team. Increasingly, however, many businesses are opting for private cloud servers hosted with a third party. That means all the benefits of private cloud server without the burden of maintaining and securing the server.

Private vs. Public Clouds

For the utmost in flexible and secure infrastructure, there’s only one answer in the private vs. public cloud debate — a private hosted cloud service. With all the power, speed and flexibility that you and your employees need to get everything done in the office or on the go, a private cloud is the perfect solution for those that have had it with out-of-the-box solutions that don’t really do the job right. Contact us to schedule time with a cloud expert today.

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