In the past, many large businesses struggled with the dilemma of whether or not to embrace the cloud for business. These days, many businesses are adapting to the use of the cloud. Some businesses have adopted not only the private cloud but use the public cloud as well. However, as more businesses look to adopt cloud services, the personalized business needs will determine which cloud options improve accountability, efficiency and other KPIs for the organization.
As you consider private and public clouds for business, it can be useful to try to draw up some comparisons of each option.
Here are some points that you should consider:
Public cloud service providers may prove to be more cost-efficient for businesses that may or may not need continued access to a server. Many services come with pay-as-you-go service options so that you will not have to continue using a server if you no longer need to.
You should also appreciate the major differences between private and public clouds when it comes to elasticity. While you may enjoy the flexibility when it comes to payment for a public cloud, it may prove to be the most expensive choice if your workloads become static. The costs could be higher than you originally anticipated.
However, for private clouds, just because the resources are available does not always mean that they are accessible. In order to control costs, IT departments will generally limit access and demand justification for the allocation of additional resources.
Self-Service and Support
Public cloud and private clouds differ greatly when it comes to self-service and support. For public cloud service providers, the concept of self-service is extremely important as these companies typically service thousands of customers at a time. As a result, getting help from a support representative is usually just a phone call away. For more technical people, the quality of the interfaces and APIs that are provided by public cloud services are also surprisingly good.
However, if you are planning to make use of the self-service options in private cloud software, you should be aware that your options may be limited. In some cases, APIs are also not available. Private cloud service providers generally have less self-service options to offer, including virtual machines, than you will find with a public cloud provider.
In the multi-tenant environment of a public cloud, you will general share hardware with other cloud users. Most public cloud service providers operate as multi-tenant clouds. In addition, because you are in a resource pool, you will not have a choice of whether a new or old virtual machine is being operated. Unlike the options that are available with a private cloud, in a public cloud you will not be able to select your network devices, storage hardware (SATA or SAS hard drive), cache or other options. With the public cloud, you will have to rely on the options provided to you by the cloud provider. Although, some providers may offer more options than others.
Private cloud offerings generally come in two options. “Two private cloud flavors exist: in your data center (or that of your chosen partner), and in the cloud service provider’s data center,” says Rick Hamilton, IBM Master Inventor. “On-premises private cloud offers virtualization, allowing better returns on infrastructure investment while off-premises private cloud allows you to extend dedicated resources with the same control and guaranteed performance expected in your data center.”
Not having control over the hardware means that you will not be able to meet the standards of Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI or HIPAA compliance if you use a public cloud for your deployment. For compliance, as well as, security, private clouds are preferred. With resources that are dedicated only to your organization, a high level of security can be assured.
Security is important for the majority of businesses that use the cloud, including Call Tools, a call center technology provider. “Private cloud enables us to comply with SOX, PCI, and HIPAA compliance and assure high levels of security for our customers. Meeting compliance requirements, such as PCI or SOX, is not possible in the public cloud. The private cloud also eliminates the “noisy neighbor” problem encountered in public clouds, which reduces server and network performance and causes a loss in call quality or service interruption.” says Taylor Murray, a senior developer at the company. “With our private cloud deployment, customers can rest assured that they have the flexibility of the cloud, with maximum security and call quality.”
Broad Network Access
The networks of the corporate private cloud are generally able to keep up with local users. Most private clouds do not require access outside of the local area and are generally designed to deal with static workloads. However, in the case of businesses that require broad network access, public cloud providers offer a better solution because they are better equipped to deal with the unique networking needs of growing companies.
Public clouds also have dedicated networking resources available to deal with the needs of specific businesses. “They might provide their own content delivery networks, points of presence, and new ways of software-defined networking. They also often have a global presence that means your cloud resources can be available globally,” says Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies.
Public clouds also consistently invest in their own infrastructure, where in many cases private clouds may fall into under-investment. In scenarios where access from locations outside of the corporate network and performance is essential, private clouds may fail to keep up with the service quality that a public cloud can provide.
The decision of whether to use a public or private cloud will depend on how well the enterprise can make use of the features and identify justifications for cost expenditures involved in the implementation and maintenance of the cloud. While public cloud providers are generally more innovative and are likely to make upgrades and provide flexible billing options, the details offered may not be what every user needs. On the other hand, the private cloud deployments are generally limited by cost constraints and depend on the enterprise itself to drive innovation.
Images: “Cloud technology concept: Blue Cloud on digital background, 3d render / Shutterstock.com“
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