Nowadays, with the development of cloud computing, almost every enterprise is using or going to use it. However, companies may not choose the same type of cloud model. Actually, there are three different cloud models, including private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud, of which the most common are private cloud and public cloud. To determine which cloud model best suits the enterprise's needs, it's necessary to make a comparison between them.
Just as its name shows, a private cloud is a cloud computing service dedicated to a single organization. In the private cloud, the computing resources are delivered through a secure and private network, so the users don't need to share cloud computing resources with any other organization.
The private cloud mainly focuses on high availability and flexibility, and the core attribute of it is a proprietary resource.
Normally, private cloud providers include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Dell, IBM, Oracle, and some familiar names from the public cloud provider space, including AWS, Google, and Microsoft.
High efficiency and security: The private cloud is built for use by a single organization, which can provide the users with the most effective control over data, security, and quality of service.
Low latency and customization: Since there is no sharing of infrastructure, no multitenancy issues, zero latency for local applications and users is possible. Furthermore, an on-premises private cloud also allows companies to choose precisely the hardware for their applications and data storage.
Laws and regulations protection: In the private cloud model, companies do not have to follow the laws and regulations offered by cloud service providers.
Full control: Private cloud enables businesses to take full control of the hardware devices and software. For companies requiring strong control over their workloads and underlying infrastructure, private cloud is of great value.
High price: In the private cloud, companies should pay for the purchase and installation of infrastructures as well as maintenance themselves, which leads to high operational costs. Besides, a lot of expenses on training are also needed.
Access limitation: Because of its high security, it shares very few resources with other organizations and mobile users also have limited access to the private cloud.
Manage complexity: When using a private cloud, the company must perform a series of tasks such as deployment, monitoring, and device protection in its own internal private cloud. Besides, they also need to buy software to monitor and secure the cloud environment.
In contrast with the private cloud, a public cloud is a cloud computing service that provides computing resources by Internet Data Center(IDC) service providers or third parties to the public. Users usually access the internet to obtain these resources.
The public cloud model includes many different technologies, capabilities, and features. However, at its core, it consists of self-service provisioning and broad network access.
Public cloud providers usually include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Alibaba Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud.
Cost savings: Using the public cloud, companies can deploy and maintain the IT infrastructure without investments, which cuts down IT operation costs. In addition, because of the large scale, public data centers can achieve a lot of economic benefits, which leads to the quiet low product price of public cloud services.
High scalability and flexibility: As application usage or data grows, it is easy to increase computing resources based on demand. Many public cloud service providers also offer automatic scaling, so users don't need to worry about when to add computer instances or storage.
Easy management: Using a public cloud, organizations don't have to spend time managing and maintaining servers and data centers, which reduces the delivery time of testing and deploying new products.
Lack of security: Users lack control over cloud resources and cannot guarantee the privacy and security of confidential data. What's more, the large size and diversified users of the public cloud make it easy to get attacked by hackers.
Fierce competition: Due to its characteristic of shared resources, performance issues are likely to occur during peak traffic, such as network congestion problems.
Restricted by laws and regulations: Unlike the private cloud, some public cloud service providers cannot meet the strict government requirements for their customer data. Eg, in Europe, some data is not allowed stored offsite, which affects the operation of the public cloud.
After knowing the definition and characteristics of the private cloud and public cloud, it's necessary to make a difference between them. The chart below will show which is the better option in different aspects.
|Private Cloud||Public Cloud|
|High Scalability and Flexibility||√|
|Laws and Regulations Protection||√|
From the above information, it's clear to see that both two cloud models have their pros and cons. The public cloud can provide highly flexible and scalable cloud services at a quite low cost, while the private cloud offers customized services with high security. Here is also a compromise plan for companies to choose, which is called a hybrid cloud. It is a combination of private cloud and public cloud services, sharing data and applications between them.
To be honest, the hybrid cloud still has some shortcomings. For example, due to the increasing complexity, the device is more difficult to maintain and protect. Besides, the integration of different cloud platforms, data, and applications can be very challenging. What's more, the compatibility of infrastructure should also be taken into consideration when developing a hybrid cloud.
However, the merits of it are also obvious. In this model, users are allowed to make the best use of the advantages of both the private cloud and public cloud. For instance, companies can use private cloud environments for their IT workloads and complement the infrastructure with public cloud resources.
In conclusion, all three models have their own merits and demerits. None of them is a truly perfect cloud computing model that can meet every requirement of use. Companies can carefully analyze their own needs to make the most economical choice and should take data security into first consideration.