Private Cloud vs Public Cloud: What Should You Choose in 2022?

July 18, 2022
Private Cloud vs Public Cloud: What Should You Choose in 2022?


It wasn't so long ago that companies across the world relied on hardware such as floppy disks, USBs, and hard disks to carry data around physically. In today's current world, this idea is far from convenient.

Ever since the introduction of cloud computing services, the practice of physically storing data and securing it has been an alien concept. The flexibility and advanced security features of cloud computing replaced the on-premises technologies that were earlier costly or prone to virus attacks and physical damages.

There are many reasons to start your cloud journey if you haven't yet, and there's a catch. Cloud migration is an easy task, but without a proper plan and the right choice, it could end up costing you more than the profits that benefits bring.

So, if your organisation is looking for a digital transformation to the cloud, or doing its research on finding the platform to migrate to, here's your guide to understanding the main concepts and types of cloud computing: public and private clouds.

What is a public cloud?

A public cloud solution can be best defined as a multi-tenant and cost-effective solution. A provider offers a cloud service to multiple customers who require their data and applications to be stored in the cloud. Not only is it efficient, but it also ensures privacy and security. You can rest assured of the privacy of the data, and the regular backup and retrieval facilities through multiple backup channels and applications.

It is best understood by envisioning a co-working space. It's a shared space, where different companies get to work in isolation in their specific parts. It's also much cheaper than renting an entire building for office members.

Types of public cloud

Known as an alternative approach to on-premise IT architecture, a public cloud is run by a third-party provider who hosts these cloud computing services. The organisation can access the cloud server through a network connection. The public cloud architecture includes a virtual environment where the data of the organisation is kept separate and isolated from the data of other organisations that have hosted on the same cloud.

Based on cloud architecture, we can categorise the public cloud into three cloud service models,

a. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

In this form of architecture, the provider hosts the infrastructure components such as the servers and the storage, along with a virtualization layer. Hence, the users can run any operating system on the computers and servers without the maintenance or the buying cost of the hardware. Rather than acquiring specific infrastructure for a project or a test, IaaS is a cost-effective solution. This helps businesses focus on core business goals rather than the cost of IT infrastructure and resources.

b. Platform as a service (PaaS)

In this cloud computing model an entire platform is delivered to the users. This includes servers, computers and the cloud server. This way, the organisation only runs the software deployment while the cloud provider delivers the IT infrastructure from scratch.

c. Software as a service (SaaS)

Compared to traditional, packed software which require evaluation, maintenance and upgradation, software as a service is a cloud server providing or delivering applications over the internet as a service. The third party provider hosts, manages and updates the applications such that the organisation uses these cloud based apps over the internet. With the provider covering the most costs, this is a minimal-cost project for organisations.

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud is a cloud computing service by a provider that is exclusive to an organisation that opts for it. Unlike the public cloud, there is no sharing involved, and private clouds provide a private network, hardware and software dedicated to your organisation.

This is equivalent to an office renting an entire building for its workers. It may not be cost-effective, but the workers have an entire building dedicated to the company, with their own security and chance of customization.

Types of private cloud

Thought to be synonymous with critical business applications and sensitive data, organisations often switch to private cloud due to its increased security and scalability. Based on the provider of the cloud computing services and the location of the cloud, private cloud can be classified into,

a. Managed private cloud

A managed private cloud provides the best of public and private cloud computing services. It removes the burden of responsibility for hardware and data centre operations as the vendor manages the support, maintenance, upgrades and remote management of the price cloud.

b. Virtual private cloud

A virtual private cloud is an isolated private cloud, hosted within a public cloud. It has the features of a traditional private cloud, but is hosted remotely by a public cloud provider. This is done so by giving the organisation a dedicated subnet and VLAN that are only accessible by the customer that has opted for the virtual private cloud

c. On premise private cloud

As the name suggests, the cloud environment is hosted within the organisation, using an internal data centre. This is secure, scalable and is managed by the organisation's IT department. This may be a bit cumbersome in the long run as it increases time and effort for maintenance.

d. Hosted private cloud

The third party hosting partner provides a hosted private cloud that can either reside on premises or in a data centre. These cloud computing services are not shared with other organisations, and the responsibility of maintenance, upgrades and updates are taken over by the cloud provider. Additional features such as hardware, software, and operations may also be provided by the cloud provider.

Differences between a private cloud and a public cloud

With various cloud deployment models in the market, it is recommended to do thorough research on the type of cloud computing model to opt for. The right cloud-based solution for your organisation can be assessed through pros and cons, comparing the use cases and the cost that can be borne by the organisation.

FeaturePrivate cloudPublic cloud
Scalability Higher scalability and flexibility in case of higher workload demands and support larger growth Difficult to scale as scalability depends on the demand of the users utilising the public cloud
Security Better suited for sensitive data as the data and applications remind behind a firewall. The providers will only cover the security of the cloud but not the data or the applications in it.
MaintenanceMust have dedicated IT staff for maintenance at all timesService provider handles the server, and you need a staff only for the maintenance.
Cost Increased cost due to the installing hardware, software and network, and need for additional equipment or storage. Lower capital expenditure as there is no need to purchase hardware or software, follows a subscription system.
PerformanceContinuous performance unless you need to purchase and install new software or versions. Hardware and network problems can occur as multiple users use the shared resources
Location of data centreA private cloud system must be hosted on-premise.A public cloud can be located anywhere on the internet.
Compliance Greater control over and can achieve regulatory compliance and meet governance mandates easily.Organisations are forced to rely on the compliance measures offered by the cloud provider

Public cloud vs private cloud: what should your organisation opt for?

In the era where organisations use their computing services hosted on the internet, the use of traditional IT infrastructure provides barriers to organisations looking to scale further.

Private and public cloud models tag along with its benefits and cons, but are still feasible in the long run in comparison to traditional forms of data storage and software accessibility. While we recommend a thorough assessment of what works best for your organisation's needs and cost demands, choosing the right provider, plan, and cloud server can compound in benefits in the long run.

Talk to our experts if you need further guidance and information on cloud-native apps, cloud-storage, and other data management solutions.