Private versus Public Cloud Computing

private vs public cloudCloud computing is all the rage now and it has been triggering interest from various business concerns for some time now.  As business leaders think of moving their IT operations either in part or full to the cloud, one of the key decisions they have to take is whether to go for private cloud computing or public cloud computing or a combination of the two.

Apart from the perks and pitfalls of what the private and public clouds have to offer your primary consideration should be your goals and objectives and their alignment with the options before you.  Here are some important considerations to help you make up your mind…

Availability of Resources

Traditionally access to the public cloud is through the Internet. Private cloud providers by far are more accommodating for those customers who want to leverage the power of private line wide area networks currently deployed.

Public clouds on one hand are highly standardized, allow users limited customization; their respective resources can be oversubscribed and shared on a scale that can only be described as mega scale. Workloads that call for inexpensive storage or computer cycles where known response time to users is not the most critical factor can be run on the public cloud.

Private clouds on the other hand offer scalable computer resources quite similar to that of public clouds, except in a more controlled environment. Private cloud providers, particularly those that provide managed services around hosted applications, consider workload of the client and its impact on the IT infrastructure. They offer customers the flexibility to tailor make solutions to meet varying security and performance requirements.

Extent of Control

Public clouds are designed to give users direct control over the volume of computing resources specified.  However, users cannot control what other customers in the resource pool access.  This may affect your environment and minimize predictability of performance.

In public clouds changing the underlying infrastructure turns out to be more challenging. Customers are also required to keep track of the level of computing resources they contract for, monitor the resources they need and actually use.

Opposed to this, a private cloud gives users greater control over performance of the technology environment. Customers and private cloud providers can jointly work to adhere to change control policies that may already be established. Not only can resource allocation and load balancing be in sync with each customer’s use, environment and resource consumption but the environment is more resilient also with data backup provisions that are need based.

Security Concerns

Public clouds are easily accessible by everyone and despite the fact that security controls are by and large in place there are limits as to how much they can control risk making them easy targets for hackers.

Private clouds offer greater security and the possibility of deploying tighter security in the form of security zones and firewall rule sets at the network layer can further reduce the risk of unnecessary traffic.

In the end however, whether you should opt for public or private cloud computing or a combination of the two depends on your needs.  If your business needs basic computing resources and uptime and system control are not pertinent factors public clouds can serve as a low cost route to rapid provisioning of IT infrastructure.  If, however, you need greater scalability and control then the private cloud is the way to go.

Looking for a cloud service provider? GoogleAmazon and Microsoft are big names you could consider. However, exploring options with emerging players like  AppZero, Enomaly, Long Jump and Vaultscape, FlexiantWorkbooksCloudSigma and Cloudmore etc in the cloud space opens up avenues worth looking in to.

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