Public vs. Private Cloud Computing: Cetrom Explains

confused.jpgFirst of all, what exactly is cloud computing? By definition, cloud computing is “the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.” In recent years, the IT world has seen the emergence of two very different flavors: private and public cloud. The private cloud is a single-tenant environment where the storage, network, and hardware are dedicated to a single client or company. The public cloud (like Amazon Web Services or Office 365) is a multi-tenant environment where the resources and hardware are shared. Here we will briefly cover the benefits and considerations of public vs. private cloud.

Primary Benefits

The private cloud is an environment built specifically for an individual client.  It is customizable, scalable, and more secure. Hosting and storing all data on one controlled, dedicated environment also allows for more security and compliance; an absolute must for any cloud computing solution for accountants and legal firms, or any industry that handles private data.

The public cloud appeals primarily to those businesses preferring a self-managed solution that allows you to set add and remove servers regularly without having to configure your network hardware. And because you are paying for a “slice of the pie,” you must share the hardware resources with other clients, rendering compliances like PCI and SOX not possible.

Additional Considerations

Some companies may need to run an in-house, high-speed database application to track orders, projects, etc. If so, the private cloud has the capability to support what are called “hybrid deployments.” In the hybrid cloud, that hardware can be integrated into a private cloud, which essentially hybridizes the solution between virtual servers and dedicated servers. This is not possible with a public cloud model.

Overall, the private cloud is generally preferred by most mid- to large-sized enterprises because the hardware is dedicated and can meet the necessary compliance requirements. For more information, visit