The advent of cloud computing models is providing new directions for organizations in terms of scope and value. Organizations that are fully dependent on IT to meet business goals have understood the value of cloud computing for its availability, scalability, instant provisioning, virtualized resources and storage. Both private and public cloud models are available from cloud service providers but, first an organization thinking to deploy a cloud service must carefully examine the advantages and disadvantages of both private and public clouds.
Public clouds are hosted services available by cloud service providers on the internet. Organizations that use web servers or application systems where security and compliance requirements are not very rigid normally prefer to use public clouds. For example, public cloud services are available in the form of web based email, data storage or file transfers over the internet, online office applications, web hosting and so on. Public clouds are most suited for start-ups and small businesses because of minimal set up costs. The resources (servers, storage, etc.) are shared between multiple users publicly and the infrastructure, services and usage policies are managed by the service provider.
Contrary to the above, private clouds or enterprise clouds are used by organizations that have security, compliance and data privacy as their top priority. Private clouds are deployed inside firewalls and offer robust IT security for the organization. If a data center infrastructure is already available with the organization the private cloud can be implemented in-house. However, for having in-house private clouds the organization needs to invest heavily in running and maintaining the infrastructure which can result in significant capital expenditure. This can be a major setback for organizations thinking to reduce IT budgets. Private cloud services are also made available by cloud service providers or data centers. Examples of private cloud implementations can be easily found in areas such as banking and financial institutions, large enterprise organizations, government organizations, etc. where only authorized users are able to access the system.
It is essential to understand the intricacies of both these models before deciding to choose the appropriate model for the organization. The table below summarizes the main factors which can be used to determine between private and public clouds.
|Private Clouds||Public Clouds|
Private cloud infrastructure is a dedicated infrastructure provided to one single organization or client.
In public clouds the resources are shared between multiple clients and all the services are controlled by services provider.
Depending on the organization’s computing environment based on the above factors along with the levels of security and scalability needed, the organization can decide between deploying a private or public cloud.