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Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud: Advantages and Disadvantages

By: Jessica Clifford

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Companies switching to the Cloud may hit a speed bump when they realize they have many unanswered questions. Organizations may ask: What is the Cloud’s security level? Who will manage it? How much money will this cost me in the long run? Questions, such as these, pile up to the point where the idea of moving to the Cloud is overwhelming. However, knowing the difference between a public vs. private Cloud can help answer many of these need-to-know questions.

Private Cloud

The main difference between a Private and Public Cloud is the location. A Private Cloud resides on an organization’s intranet or data center, optimizing storage capacity and processor power. Essentially, this kind of Cloud is like modifying a car’s engine, so that it runs faster and more efficiently than normal.

However, also like an expensive car, Private Cloud computing requires the organization to handle all the management and updates to the data center. Therefore, the company is solely responsible for the Cloud, which can be a challenge for organizations that do not have an in-house IT staff member.

Most organizations that choose this type of Cloud utilize a data center or internal network infrastructure. There are additional expenses for Private Cloud computing, such as purchasing new equipment when the original hardware stops working. Maintaining this kind of Cloud could cost more than a Public Cloud, in the long run.

One huge advantage to this type of Cloud is its security. Unlike a Public Cloud, a Private Cloud stores only the data from the organization that owns or leases the servers. Meaning, there is almost never a possibility that the organization’s data mixes or leaks into another company’s set of information.  

Lastly, this type of Cloud has the perk of being customizable. Essentially, it could be as large as a company can afford and physically arranged to the organization’s desires.

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Public Cloud

Unlike a Private Cloud, a Public Cloud stores data in the provider’s data center. In other words, an organization’s information is stored remotely and tends only to be accessible to the IT providers themselves.

Since a company cannot access the data center equipment, the Cloud hosting provider is responsible for its maintenance, management, and updates. Essentially, a Public Cloud is similar to placing children under the watchful eye of a careful babysitter or daycare center, meaning an organization hands this responsibility over to someone with expertise.

A company pays for Public Cloud computing differently than they would with Private Cloud computing. Public Cloud is on a pay-per-use basis, with expenses varying depending on the amount of service required by the company and the amount of data stored on the provider’s servers. Over time, this kind of Cloud can be cheaper because of the shared nature of the public cloud.

For many organizations, the only worry they have with the Public Cloud is security. The owner of the data does not control the information’s direct security; however, most providers take extreme caution. Each company’s information is separate from other customers, which maintains protection against security breaches or a mixing of data.

Lastly, one perk with this type of Cloud is that it cuts down lead times in testing and setting up new products, allowing more time for an organization to finish what they need to do most.

Which Cloud Should You Choose?

Unfortunately, there is not a quick and easy answer to which Cloud is better for an organization. The answer comes down to what a company wants more of: the access and customizability of a Private Cloud, or fewer expenses and responsibility of a Public Cloud. Though moving to the Cloud can be a confusing process, deciding on which type of Cloud is best for your organization will help simplify the task.

Are you still unsure about which type of Cloud is right for you? Do not make the decision more challenging than it has to be. At Total Computer Solutions, we have over ten years of experience with server to cloud migration. TCS can help with our no obligation Cloud consulting, just call us at  336.804.8449. 

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