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When Does It Make Sense to Deploy a Public Cloud vs. a Private Cloud?

John Freimuth
March 11, 2014

For many of the same reasons that outsourcing your data center is an attractive option for businesses—it’s scalable, flexible, and cost-effective—deploying software and services via the cloud is also a very attractive option.

The cloud takes the benefits associated with outsourcing your data center and makes them even more appealing. Need to scale up to ten times your current capacity? Not a problem. Need to downsize because your business is in a month-long lull? That’s easy, too. If you want to ensure flexibility and accessibility, it’s often hard to beat the cloud for most business needs.

But when it comes to the cloud, there are two different options for you to potentially deploy:

  • The public cloud: A public cloud is managed by a single external provider. Amazon Web Services is one of the most popular; it’s used by millions of businesses daily. In the public cloud, resources are pooled together and users pay only for the resources they actually use. When you deploy software via a public cloud, your data is logically separated from other users in the cloud, but is still all technically housed on the same network and most cases the same physical hardware.

    Public clouds (depending on the provider, of course) are secure, but not as secure as a private cloud or housing your data on-location because it still technically occupies the same space as many other users. Even so, for flexibility, scalability and overall speed-to-market, the public cloud is unparalleled in the tech world today.
  • The private cloud: A private cloud, on the other hand, is a data center and/or network that uses cloud computing technologies. Peak is an example of a cloud provider that has public cloud options but whose customers typically demand private clouds. A private cloud can be deployed and managed by the IT department of the business using it or can me managed by any number of growing cloud providers. Private clouds can be deployed within a companies own data center, a colocation partner’s facility or directly with a cloud provider. Scalability is still fairly good with the private cloud, but the main difference is that the user is always paying for all of the resources, regardless of what percentage of them is being utilized. Since your business owns all of the resources in a private cloud, it’s up to you how and when you use them.

If your plans are to deploy a private cloud within in your own data center versus with a cloud service provider, you can expect to be faced with many software, hardware and architectural decisions to make. Not to mention the resources, different skills sets and new ways of thinking about IT service delivery.

A private cloud provides the advantage of added security over a public cloud because your business has complete ownership, control and maintenance of all the data within the private cloud environment. This increased security, does however come at the expense of losing the scalability available within a public cloud option.

Whether you should deploy a public cloud or a private cloud depends entirely on your needs. As mentioned above, a public cloud is highly scalable, but less secure because of the way that resources are pooled together, whereas a private cloud is very secure, but will require more time, expense and skills to deploy on your own. Private cloud deployments through a cloud service provider offer the best of both worlds for many organizations.

Understanding how both different types of clouds work is the key to determining which makes the most sense for your business. Regardless of what you choose to deploy, Telx provides cloud solutions that can be custom tailored to meet you needs. If you’d like to learn more about how the cloud can help your business, reach out to us via the contact page of our site, or by Facebook or Twitter.

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