Nearly everyone agrees on the key benefits of virtual servers — scalability, improved resource utilization, reduced operational costs, instant provisioning, and the ability to quickly expand the server base. But there is no “one size fits all” consensus around private vs. public cloud servers.The selection of a public vs. private cloud depends upon a number of factors. When considering a move to the cloud, companies must evaluate these two functionally similar technologies and assess the appropriateness of each for their needs. They must look at the specific applications and processes they want to transition to a cloud-based infrastructure, and factor in security, compliance, cost and scalability before deciding which of the two options aligns most closely with their business strategies. Some companies might determine that specific applications and processes require a private cloud, while others can live in the public cloud.
Public CloudA feature rich, multi-tenant on-demand cloud environment that can be customized to meet IT needs. It is ideal for businesses experiencing rapid growth, heavy dynamic traffic, or running complex network applications in production.
Public clouds provide a “Virtual Private Data Center” resource pool – meaning specific Virtual Private Servers (VPS) can be configured and customized, and grow and shrink on demand. The Virtual Private Data Center supports multiple network segments and options, with perimeter security and load balancing – beyond just a virtual machine or machine image.
Businesses may also choose from a variety of support options, including completely managed services such as managed databases and fully managed operating system administration.
Private Clouds on the other hand, by definition is a single-tenant environment where the hardware, storage and network are dedicated to a single client or company.
Private cloud computing also has a number of trade-offs:
Security – Because private clouds are dedicated to a single organization, the hardware, data storage and network can be designed to assure high levels of security that cannot be accessed by other clients in the same data center.
Compliance – Sarbanes Oxley, PCI and HIPAA compliance can not be delivered through a public cloud deployment. Because the hardware, storage and network configuration is dedicated to a single client, compliance is much easier to achieve.
Customizable – Hardware performance, network performance and storage performance can be specified and customized in the private cloud.
Hybrid Deployments – If a dedicated server is required to run a high speed database application, that hardware can be integrated into a private cloud, in effect, hybridizing the solution between virtual servers and dedicated servers. This can’t be achieved in a public cloud.
As opposed to public clouds, private clouds are not delivered through a utility model or pay-as-you-go basis because the hardware is dedicated. Private clouds are generally preferred by mid and large size enterprises because they meet the security and compliance requirements of these larger organizations and their customers.