Public Cloud vs Private Cloud: Which One Is Right for You?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, August 15th 2012 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

Deciding to go with a public or private cloud? It can be a big decision. Here is some basic information that might help when trying to figure it out. It is simply defining the terms and offering some questions to ask yourself about your company.

Private Cloud. Cloud infrastructure that is operated solely for one organization. It may be housed and managed on the organization property (enterprise private cloud). Or, it can be located offsite and managed by the organization (hosted private cloud) or managed by a third party (managed private cloud).

Public Cloud. A cloud infrastructure that is multi-tenant and made available to the general public or a large industry group. It is owned by an organization selling cloud services.


Questions to ask yourself when weighing the options of private vs public clouds:

1. What are your security needs?

Identifying the level of security or compliance requirements for your company or organization is important. Though public clouds offer a very secure environment, private clouds offer an inherent level of security that meet even the highest of standards. In addition, you can add security services such as intrusion detection systems and dedicated firewalls.

2. What are your speed of scalability requirements?

One negative to private clouds is that its performance is limited to the number of machines in your cloud cluster. Should you max out your computing power, another physical server will need to be added. In a public cloud, this isn’t an issue as there are already other server resources available.

3. What is your knowledge of virtualization?

We are seeing companies interested in turning their current servers into a private cloud, but they don’t have the virtualization knowledge needed. In this case, Green House Data’s certified engineers can offer the consultations needed to create their own cloud environment using their existing hardware.

4. What applications should be run on a private cloud?

The most ideal candidate for private cloud deployments are large enterprise applications. Systems designed to support very large databases for ERP or CRM deployments are suitable for private cloud infrastructures. However, the expense of the private cloud might not be justified for data storage, file servers or even an email exchange server. In some cases, a hybrid option (combining public and private cloud infrastructure) might make the most sense.

5. What is your budget?

The truth is that a private cloud can cost a substantial amount more. However, don’t fret! Public clouds, though multi-tenant, can offer a robust and secure environment for your critical data at a fraction of the cost of a private cloud.

6. Are you concerned about cloud lock-in?

There is growing concern regarding cloud vendor “lock-in” which may cause a business to overlook a public cloud solution. Many vendor provided public clouds have been developed with proprietary APIs or other methods that make it considerably difficult to migrate to or integrate with another cloud platform. Green House Data has overcome this scenario by  providing a cloud platform that adheres to commercial cloud industry standards such as .OVF (Open Virtualization Format). This standard allows for our clients to import and export virtual machines from a wide spectrum of cloud infrastructures such as Hyper V, Xen and VMware.

We hope this information on private and public clouds has been helpful, but please feel free to contact us if you have further questions that you would like answered. Our goal is to be a great resources for businesses trying to determine the best solution to their IT infrastructure needs.