Public vs. private cloud (part 2 of 2): Pros and cons of private clouds

Public vs. private cloud (part 2 of 2): Pros and cons of private clouds

In our previous post, we tackled the benefits and drawbacks of using a public cloud. In this post, let's take a look at private clouds more closely.

What is a private cloud?

In contrast to a public cloud that is accessible to anyone, a private cloud consists of IT resources utilized by only one organization. That is, if you have a private cloud, all of its hardware and software are dedicated exclusively to your business, which means you can configure it to fit your organization's needs and exercise near absolute control over it.

This type of cloud environment can be hosted in house or located in a cloud service provider's (CSP) remote data center. Wherever you set up yours, it'll be on a private network that your business has exclusive access to. This reduces external security risks, though this usually means that your IT team must be the one to monitor and maintain your private cloud.

Private clouds can be categorized under three types:

  • Virtual – This is a private cloud that's set up within a public cloud. In a virtual private cloud, workloads are kept separate from those of other public cloud users. This is akin to renting out a whole condominium building floor.
  • Hosted – Unlike in a virtual private cloud, all of the IT resources of a hosted private cloud are exclusively yours to use. To continue the real estate analogy, using a hosted private cloud is like renting out an entire condominium building.
  • Managed – This is a hosted private cloud, but with your CSP providing you with added-value services like identity and access management. This is similar to renting a condotel that offers room service and other amenities.

In contrast to a public cloud that is accessible to anyone, a private cloud consists of IT resources utilized by only one organization.

What are the drawbacks of using a private cloud?

Here are a few reasons why private clouds aren't for every organization:

Considerably more expensive than public clouds

As you can imagine, using private clouds costs more than using public clouds, and as you move down the list above, each item becomes more expensive than the last.

Requires a team of cloud specialists

If you're not using a managed private cloud, you must have a team of cloud specialists ensuring that your private cloud is being used cost-efficiently. You must also hire people to redesign the infrastructure of your data center and then manage the whole cloud.

More than adding manpower, you must also invest in cloud management tools and pay for basic services like network maintenance.

No assurance of speedy tech support

While you may expect that paying higher rates entitles your business to preferential treatment, some CSPs may have a long list of private cloud clients. This means that unless the CSP has guarantees on service response times, you'll be put on a waiting list and you’ll just have to grin and bear it.

What are the special features offered by a private cloud?

For most organizations, public clouds are sufficient. However, there are others that need private clouds for the following reasons:

Easier data regulations compliance

The exclusivity of private clouds makes them easier to secure than public clouds. This is a boon for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies that need to ensure compliance with data regulations.

More resources available

Generally, you gain access to more IT resources when you use a private cloud. If your organization has high compute and storage requirements, then a private cloud is likely to be the best fit for it. And with more resources at your disposal, you can scale your business more significantly, too.

Greater customizability

A shared IT resource, like one in a public cloud environment, must be optimal for all users. It cannot be tailored to individual users.

On the other hand, the exclusivity a private cloud provides allows you to customize IT resources to better serve your needs.

Which cloud type would best fit your business?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing a cloud type for your business. The primary ones include cost and your business requirements. To best figure out if you need a public cloud, a private cloud, or a hybrid of the two, talk to our cloud experts at SpectrumWise. We'll help you understand all of the pertinent pros and cons so that you can make the best decision possible for your business.