What is a Private Cloud vs Public Cloud?

‘Cloud’ is referred to as technology that stores information and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive. It comes with standard resources such as compute, storage, and networking that an application requires to deliver a complete user experience. The term cloud computing covers hosted services that are divided into three basic categories; Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

The cloud system is known to be more convenient than traditional web hosting services as it enables one to buy services on a per minute or an hourly basis for a certain period of time. Vendors provide software, data, and resources to computers on-demand, and they do most of the work in managing the overall platform. 

Today, we shall look into the popular ‘private cloud vs public cloud’ debate, which will offer a better understanding of their distinctive features and benefits. 

What is Private Cloud? 

This deployment model is designed for the dedicated use of a single business, and the vendor provides virtualized cloud computing resources at their data center or through storage on-premise. Computing resources are delivered to select users through a safe, private network, and one can easily customize this specific cloud according to their unique business requirements. It facilitates greater control over IT infrastructure and allows enterprises to manage sensitive IT workloads by introducing security options only available at on-premise servers.

What is Public Cloud? 

Anyone from the general public can utilize the services of this cloud, and data center resources are shared between multiple users. There are some public cloud spaces that businesses can access free of cost or on a promotional basis. If you wish to use the services on a long-term basis, you will be required to subscribe to them. The cloud vendor is responsible for controlling and managing the pool of services among different users. By leveraging a subscription-based pricing model, a public cloud offers scalability and high-elasticity for IT-related services at a reasonable cost. 

Key Features And Benefits

‘What is Private Cloud vs Public Cloud’ is a common question in the IT community. With every organization having a unique set of requirements, choosing between the two requires understanding them in detail. Here is an overview of their characteristics:

Private Cloud Public Cloud
Supports a single customer with a dedicated server system  Supports multiple customers with a shared server system
Runs protocols, configurations, and customizes services High scalability and flexibility based on changing workload requirements
More complex as it demands customization and the vendor does not control IT infrastructure Less complicated with no organizational involvement in IT infrastructure management as the vendor is in total control
High SLA performance, efficient, and secure environment with an authorization process Various SLA offerings with flexible payment options
Delivers business agility by transforming IT infrastructure according to changing needs Cost-effectiveness allows companies to make smart investments from savings in other business strategies
Ideal for large-scale IT, software, and business enterprises Storage services, cloud-based server hosting, online office apps, and webmail enable better use of resources for SMBs
Fixed data costs Variable costs due to pay-as-you-use policy


‘Are there any limitations of private cloud vs public cloud’ is yet another question we often come across. While both private and public clouds offer a wide range of benefits, there is no denying that each does have specific limitations. Let’s have a look.

Choosing a public cloud can pose security concerns such as cyber crimes as one essentially shares space with many individuals. As a user, you do not attain complete control when it comes to service customization. For example, your vendor may not allow you to switch storage solutions or install a new OS. Moreover, public cloud services are delivered from various countries, so you need to know all the legal requirements of data management. 

This holds especially for SaaS vendors such as Dropbox, MailChimp, etc. as locating storage data to ensure compliance with international regulations is a crucial factor. Why should one be so concerned? Let’s not forget that the international community is increasingly emphasizing on data protection and privacy. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sheds light on user data privacy, and it applies to any company working with European Economic Area customers.

Next up is the private cloud. With this model, affordability can be a challenge because it costs more as compared to the public cloud. Most expenses are incurred at the time of purchase, and there are considerable ongoing costs for administration, energy, and so forth. Sometimes, businesses will pay the costs that arise when contracts are signed, and the hardware is bought. Moreover, setting up and supporting a private cloud network is a time-consuming process, and a dedicated in-house IT staff is required for running operations smoothly. This is by no means an easy task, whether one chooses to outsource the assignment or build in-house expertise similar to that of cloud vendors. 

Looking Ahead

According to a recent survey consisting of 786 IT professionals having more than 1000 employees in their companies, 94% of respondents use the cloud. The adoption rate of the public cloud is 91%, and that of the private cloud is 72%. Enterprises plan to spend 24% more on the former in 2019 as compared to 2018. Another key trend mentioned is an increase in the adoption rate of the private cloud in 2019. Many businesses are now opting for a combination of both which makes up the Hybrid Cloud deployment model.

Final Remarks

Should you opt for the private or public cloud? Looking at things from a long-term perspective, it is suggested that you take your preferences, IT architecture, and unique business model into consideration before making a decision. To benefit from expert opinion, contact our 24/7 online team. We are just a click away.

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