What is the Difference Between Public and Private Clouds?
It may seem strange now, but the concept of cloud computing was very unpopular when it first surfaced. People had fears and doubts about the safety, functionality, and overall effectiveness of using public or private clouds to store confidential and valuable information. Well, the times have certainly changed! Today, just about everything is in the cloud, and individuals and businesses rely heavily on the cloud for many essential business functions. While most people have wholeheartedly embraced cloud services, there is still some confusion about certain aspects of cloud usage – most commonly – what is public versus private clouds. Let’s explore.
What Exactly Is The Cloud?
To properly understand the cloud, let’s first discuss what it is not. One of the biggest misunderstandings of the cloud is that it is a mainframe, and the definitive answer is that no, it isn’t. The cloud is not a computer system. It simply refers to programs, software, and services accessible on the internet.
While traditional software and services always exist on your computer or are accessed via a network or mainframe, the cloud makes it possible to access software and services from anywhere with an internet connection. Some of the most well-known examples of cloud-based services include:
- Google Drive
- Apple iCloud
- Microsoft OneDrive
The cloud provides a hassle-free and straightforward way for companies and individuals to access systems, programs, apps for online functionality, from literally anywhere in the world.
What’s The Difference Between Public And Private Clouds?
A public cloud is one that most people will be familiar with. Google Drive is an excellent example of this. These types of clouds are hosted within a data center using servers. They sometimes share resources with various other clouds. Personal information is stringently protected, but there is no firewall to block outside accessibility. As most people know, public clouds like Google Drive allow simultaneous access to files and apps when permissions are granted.
A private cloud is a cloud that is walled off by a firewall, restricting access to anyone except the intended accessors of the hardware, software or data. Private clouds are usually hosted on private networks. The most common usage for private clouds is software solutions that companies purchase. Access is granted only to certified employees who require the software.
Which Cloud Option Should You Choose?
The cloud option that’s right for you depends on several factors. The first consideration is the type of cloud service you require because this can often determine your choice. There are three broad categories:
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS) – Can be hosted in a private cloud but often occur in public clouds
- Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) – Can be hosted in a private cloud but usually happen in public clouds
- Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) – Almost always on a private cloud behind a firewall
There are also additional considerations for cloud data management services such as scaling, backup and recovery, tech support, and single source of truth management.
Why Choose a Private Cloud?
When security is a primary concern, a private cloud is always a more secure option. Some data and infrastructures need to be highly secure, and private clouds provide the best security at multiple levels.
Breaching a private cloud is much more complicated than breaching a public cloud. The main reason for this is that there are no 3rd parties involved in cloud management.
Another reason to choose a private cloud is the ability to tailor it to your exact needs. Companies that host their private cloud can structure it any way they want and ensure that all the features are perfect for their needs.
Why Choose a Public Cloud?
When it comes to commercial products like Google Drive and others on a public cloud, they’re a no-brainer in terms of value. For companies choosing other public cloud solutions for their software and infrastructure needs, public clouds have many benefits over private clouds. First, public clouds are usually less expensive to set up and operate, but if you have a large number of users, you will likely be paying a per user licensing fee. They also take less time and hassle since a third party manages everything but again, this can be a double edge sword as your usage grows. So, it’s important to have an ongoing assessment of your needs and usage by a technology partner – not just your cloud provider.
Conscious Networks is a technology solutions provider that offers a holistic approach to technology for business. Whether you need a public cloud, private cloud, backup and recovery strategy, or a risk assessment, we can help! Contact us today to learn more about the best solutions for your business.