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Private Cloud vs Public Cloud: Differences and Benefits
March 5, 2019
Over the past few years, cloud computing has become a common option for businesses and individuals alike. However, the debate over private cloud vs public cloud has become more involved.
While there are a number of reasons you may choose to use a public cloud, it’s undeniable that a private cloud network can offer a number of perks that a public option doesn’t.
It’s now possible to store vast amounts of information online instead of on hard drives or servers located in your home or business, which can save space and provide increased security.
A cloud allows you to keep contact information, documents, and large files in another location so it frees up more space on your hard drive and allows others to access and download any files you want to share.
Cloud hosting can be used through a provider, or it can be created for a business on a private level.
What is private cloud hosting?
Private cloud hosting is the use of an intranet account connected with your business. All of your data is located on your own cloud and is protected by firewall technology. For companies that have already invested in a data center, private cloud hosting can seem like a logical next step because you are already paying for the space.
Plus, it can be easier to access your information quickly and efficiently through your own cloud hosting because you already have the infrastructure available.
For many businesses, private cloud computing services can be a great option when sensitive information is involved or if you want another layer of control that you can’t get from a public server.
If you are working directly with clients and you strive to keep their data safe from hacking or other security issues, then having your own cloud directly connected with your own server can help ease your mind and increase your customers’ confidence in your operation.
Another reason for larger companies to consider switching to private cloud hosting is that it includes the ability to access the server from a variety of locations through an encrypted connection. It’s likely that these companies may have a few different offices, and workers may need to access sensitive data over their network.
This also requires another level of security because employees may be accessing important data from a variety of devices and locations. Private cloud hosting can provide that extra layer of security that can end up benefiting businesses handling documents and data that shouldn’t be shared.
What types of private cloud hosting exist?
There are two standard options for private cloud hosting available: in-house and through a provider’s data center. Depending on your business, either offers more security and control than you would receive from public cloud hosting.
What is in-house private cloud hosting?
In-house means that you are paying for your own server and will be involved in all aspects of data storage and the type of security programs you use. A provider already has the server available, and you’re basically paying for the space.
Purchasing your own server can be expensive, doubly so when it has to be replaced. However, it can be worth the expense if you plan to store vast quantities of information or data you don’t want to be compromised.
Private cloud hosting can also be better from an energy efficiency perspective. For the most part, a private cloud tends to be useful for businesses that require more advanced computing or that run complex websites.
The LAN distribution on a private server tends to be better because it can be specifically set up in order to meet that business’s unique needs. This also can reduce the carbon footprint of your server over the long run.
Cloud bursting is another added benefit to using a private cloud hosting service. Your server can be designed to take on an extra load if the traffic to your website increases or if you need to store more information than you were expecting.
This can help your site avoid any major crashes due to an influx of visitors, which can be a problem for businesses with a few thousand customers or those that expect their sites will experience rapid growth in a short period of time.
How is a private cloud beneficial for storing data?
If you are storing a vast amount of sensitive data, losing it can be one of the worst possible things for your business. With private cloud storage and computing, you can make a number of backups at any given time, which can be helpful in case your site crashes for any reason.
Disaster recovery can be an invaluable resource when the success of your business hinges on customer information, so the additional expense can be worth the peace of mind you get from knowing that your files are backed up.
Another reason some business owners prefer using a private server is that they’re often much more reliable. On a public server, you’re connected to other accounts sharing the server space, so you may run into problems accessing login pages, accomplishing back-end work on your website, and sharing data.
When you use a private server, however, you can often pull resources from other unaffected sources. This means less downtime for your site, and more time accomplishing tasks and keeping customer data safe.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of public cloud hosting?
One of the issues businesses find themselves facing with private cloud hosting is that almost all of the management needs to be done manually. This can include setting up all of the back-end work and advanced coding, as well as email programs, data storage, and front-end development.
Public cloud hosting tends to offer support for this. Depending on which service you choose, it may already have a basic software that allows you to work off the server without having to worry about some of the more technical aspects of cloud hosting.
With a private cloud, you’ll most likely be responsible for replacing your own servers, which can be costly if you are housing large amounts of information or receiving a lot of website traffic. With public cloud hosting, you are basically “renting” the space for your data, which means that your overall cost will likely be much lower than it would be if you choose to purchase your own.
Why shouldn’t my business use a public cloud?
There are some reasons why businesses may want to avoid public cloud hosting. One of the major ones is that security is often a concern. Because you are sharing a server with several other businesses or private websites, it can be easier for hackers to access sensitive data.
Data breaches tend to be more common when companies share their information across a server, so if your business heavily relies on customer trust, then public cloud hosting may not be your best option.
If you expect that your site will have any heavy traffic, then public cloud hosting can potentially negatively impact your business. This is because if another site on the same server suddenly experiences a spike in traffic, you may experience slow loading times because resources are being used to keep the other website online. This could also cause your pages to crash, which could then lead to loss of business.
Public cloud hosting tends not to be as safe when you find yourself facing a disaster or a data wipe. Private cloud computing makes it simple to make direct copies of your website, and if you have a lot of data, it can easily be stored on the private cloud server.
When you choose a public server, however, the amount of information you can back up tends to be much smaller, and it is more likely that you will lose all of your hard work and customers’ files. This can be devastating for businesses of any size.
This can also be an issue when it comes to security. While most private cloud services offer an additional firewall to fend off cyber attacks, you are often stuck with the security software chosen by the cloud service you use.
This won’t be an issue if the software is high-quality and the server is constantly monitored, so it’s worth finding out more about the security in place before choosing a provider.
What about hybrid cloud hosting?
For small or medium-sized businesses, hybrid cloud hosting can bridge the gap between providing additional security and not breaking your budget. With this option, you can choose which aspects of your website or back-end data you want on which type of cloud.
It also allows you a bit more security than you may have by solely using public cloud hosting, although there are some drawbacks to this type of server, as well. Crashes can still happen, and the level of control you want may not be available if you are looking to create a unique site built specifically for your company’s needs.
Both the public and private clouds also need to be highly compatible with one another so you are less likely to run into issues and so that everything works smoothly. If there is a conflict between the two, you could potentially lose the data you’re trying to protect.
The bottom line
The type of cloud hosting you choose depends on the size of your business and the expectation of growth in the future. For many large corporations, it makes sense to have a private cloud because they’re storing such vast amounts of sensitive data.
They need complete control over this data while knowing that if they have a major increase in traffic, their cloud computing can handle it. However, this can also be incredibly expensive, and it’s likely that a company who has private cloud hosting also has an IT department for monitoring purposes.
Who will be accessing your private cloud and from where are also concerns for big businesses. Also, with a large server, it can be challenging to make everything run as coherently as you want it to. On the other hand, the additional control you have over your entire operation can be necessary, particularly for companies that need to access data quickly and securely.
For individuals and small businesses who don’t need the highest-security option, a public server can do the job. It’s often simple to find services that can house any information you need, and unless you expect a rapid increase of visitors to your website, it is likely to run just fine. However, make sure that the service you choose has a comprehensive security plan in place and that backups are performed on a routine basis.
A hybrid option can be a happy medium for smaller businesses, but you may need to research cloud compatibility and determine whether your private and your public clouds can work together. In that case, it can be worth consulting professionals to make sure your site stays up and running, and that your data is safe.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.