What is the difference between public cloud and private cloud?

Whether public or private, the cloud is a key to secure and efficient IT operations

Cloud computing has become an essential toolset for efficient companies which have successfully taken the digital turn. Whether it is only to store documents, to accommodate their corporate applications, for web hosting, or to run complex big data and machine learning programs, the cloud is a reliable, safe and efficient place to operate. It can be either public or private. Each of these configurations have their own specifications which are best suited for specific types of corporate operations and in-house applications topologies. There are even hybrid cloud solutions that can be deployed. It is important to understand the advantages and weaknesses of both solutions and what are their real benefits for your company.


The main difference resides in management capacities

Basically, the main difference between the two types of clouds resides in the level and precision of control its user has over it. When private, one can accurately define a lot of parameters which can greatly enhance its functioning efficiency, its security as well as the users experience. Bandwidth management, usage quotas and in-built processing flows provide the cloud users with a high level of optimisation and integration. That is why they are best suited for large corporation which are already used to the extensive operation of large scale digital resources.

On the public infrastructure there are no, or close to no, in-depth administration possibilities. Administrations policies that can be designed and managed by the cloud’s user are largely limited to the ones implemented by the cloud operator. This makes this type of cloud a very easy to use solution and a quite cheap one to operate. The restriction of options that can be used to control this cloud makes it easy to administrate and cheap to operate. That is why its usage is best suited for small and medium-sized companies or for organisations with a low-level of digital maturity.



The public cloud enables full technology benefits with the lowest operational costs

If a company is only concerned about operating its cloud infrastructure as a transparent and reliable extension to its existing digital platform then it should go for the public version of the cloud. On a pay per use basis any organisation of any size can benefit from high data availability with very reasonable uptime of the whole infrastructure, which in fact means over 99% uptime. In this cloud realm you really get what you ordered. Bandwidth and storage capacity is automatically adjusted to your actual needs. There are no wasted resources and you are billed accordingly.

This scalability automatization is really appreciable when it comes to move your IT resources to the cloud in order to reduce exploitation expenses or when an organization is ready to publish a brand new corporation-wide application. Publishing it directly to the public version of the cloud would enable a more agile deployment and a much faster users appropriation. This achievement would also be demultiplicated by the around-the-clock expertise clouds operators usually provide to their customers.

Another good argument in favor of the acquisition of some cloud space and fonctions in public format is their compliance to most of the industry standards. Most of them are fully open to the latest technologies and to open-source standards and applications as well. Since all globalized markets require a fast adaptation to their own regulations clouds in the public format are a good choice when changes in technological paradigms are imposed by new business missions. Working in specific countries might require to shift to another operating system for instance. These types of clouds are very well suited for companies with limited budgets that have a great need for agility, compatibility and no high-level IT expertise.


The private cloud focuses on expertise, resilience, scalability and very high availability

As its denomination might suggest the cloud in its private form is a cloud of your own. This is the ultimate choice for the particularly demanding organization which has reached a high level of IT expertise. In a private cloud the users have the same level, or almost, that the private cloud operators do have. Of course the latest ones do keep the ability to shut down any instances of any of their customers, especially in case of the non-payment of pending bills. The cloud in its private form is the virtual space where any IT system of any size can freely operate at its maximum efficiency level.

In the cloud operated as a private infrastructure everything is controlable, adjustable and subject to a nearly perfect optimization. Users and processes roles and accesses are strictly monitored to gain maximum security level. Threads execution and data flows are strictly estimated, sometimes predicted, to ensure optimal usage of servers cores and memory. Corporate applications integration among the whole organisation infrastructure is achieved by tight inter-processes communication control. This definite and resilient network of resources allow even the largest corporation to achieve the best IT performances.

The total control over a top of the line infrastructure does not mean that you have to overspend to get the most of the cloud in it private form. In fact substantial savings can be easily obtained by properly using all the fine-tuning of its resources, even at a very deep hardware layer. In fact tuning options in this type of cloud can let you run the processing-power-hungriest tasks while the whole hardware infrastructure is the least used. Most of time corporations do not need all of their computational power. These valuable and very expensive resources can be consumed on a scheduled, often predicted, basis.

The same approach can be taken concerning data storage. When only a fraction of the data has to be consumed on a daily basis it does not have to reside permanently in the storage devices that ensure the fastest memory accesses. It can be moved back and forth from fast to slow devices on demand. Even if storage costs are less and less expensive data lakes tend to make an extensive use of vast amount of memory. This is a real concern especially for businesses using Big Data applications. Even some clouds from the public domain propose these different levels of storage spaces.

When operated in its private form the cloud provides a definite and essential resource to the mission-critical tasks of large corporations: availability. No matter what are the instantaneous computational, memory or storage needs this type of cloud fulfills them automatically and on demand. The workload mobility is natively designed to allow perpetual replication of resources among servers that can be distributed among many geographical zones. This repartition ensures the best access times as well and enable advanced availability functions like disaster recovery as a service.


Highly efficient configurations will benefit from hybrid clouds

There is a new configuration that can be envisioned by very competitive IT departments it is the hybrid cloud one. A it sounds it does take the best of both worlds, the private and the public cloud. It really does make sense to develop such an hybrid cloud solution when you definitely need best performances for the best price, for web hosting for instance. As for the different storage levels data moving principle you can freely move data as well as processes from one type of cloud to another in an hybrid cloud context. This represents the ultimate level of optimization in the cloud space. You can even develop logic apps and service buses to let large corporate applications efficiently communicate between the public and private clouds of your infrastructure.