Private vs. Public Cloud: Which Is Right for Your Company?
It didn’t take long for cloud computing to go from a niche field for hyper-advanced organizations. The cloud now acts commonly as a storage unit for personal information and company data. It’s more unusual today to find a company that doesn’t use cloud storage. If you’re adding cloud services to your company, you will choose between private vs public cloud or perhaps select a hybrid solution.
Below is a brief breakdown of the differences between public and private cloud solutions to help you establish their strengths and weaknesses, as well as to understand which types of organizations the models are most suitable for.
The public cloud is the most often used form of cloud computing. It’s essentially a server sharing resources between several customers. Even though these are shared, your data is still private. Think of the public cloud as a big locker room: There are many people using it, but each has its own locked locker that’s inaccessible to other users.
Public cloud environments can be a good fit for smaller businesses or those organizations that are testing the idea of cloud computing and want to see how it can potentially benefits them. Public clouds can be used for a huge range of applications, including CMS software for websites, email and CRM programs. Smaller companies that don’t have specific needs can benefit enormously from the reliability, simplicity and scalability of the public cloud. The public cloud offers infrastructure resources at no start-up cost or for a simple fee.
There are, of course, some negatives to the public cloud. Security and privacy issues can be a point of contention. Some think because the cloud is public, it cannot be secure. This is not necessarily true. High-quality public cloud providers keep up to date with all the latest security issues. This means it’s important for organizations to look into the specifics of their provider, but many excellent cloud computing companies are offering highly secure services.
There may be some instances where a public cloud may not be deemed secure enough, but for most businesses and organizations, they are completely sufficient. There are, however, some issues and concerns of which it is important to be aware. For example, using unsecured applications in a public cloud environment comes with the significant risk of corporate data being exposed without you even realizing it. Public clouds can also have issues with poor authentication and weak identity management. A managed service provider can help you set up proper layers of protection for data stored in the cloud.
When comparing private vs public cloud solutions, think of them as opposites: A public cloud is shared by multiple businesses and organizations, whereas a private cloud is entirely dedicated to the needs of a single company. Envision the private cloud as that company’s own private locker room. Private clouds are often preferred by larger companies with more complicated IT needs and compliance requirements, as they can offer all of the benefits of the public cloud (the ability to grow with a reliable and efficient infrastructure) but in a more secure setting.
If your business has specific security regulations that it needs to follow, a private cloud can be configured directly to your needs. It can also be useful if you have a system where constant availability is a must. The hardware of a private cloud is entirely up to your company, so there are no complicating factors brought in by other organizations using the same servers, as could be the case with the public cloud. Remember, however, that choosing a private cloud to ensure a more secure environment can come with higher costs.
As with public cloud solutions, you must be aware of security concerns. If your organization does not have the technical expertise to ensure your data in a private or public cloud is properly buttoned up, you can look for help from third-party providers.
Another misconception is that you must choose between public vs private clouds. You can opt for hybrid cloud services that take advantage of the benefits of both. These can be extremely useful for businesses with varying workloads and security or compliance requirements.
If your operation requires the security and privacy of a private cloud for certain aspects of its operation but also has applications in other parts of the business that do not, a hybrid cloud environment could be perfect. As with all cloud solutions, you should carefully examine your role in securing the data that is stored.
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.
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