26 Aug
2016

Public or Private Cloud: How Businesses Can Choose the Right Option

Businesses of every size are adopting the cloud because of its usefulness in handling important work tasks like file storage, app deployment, backup and disaster recovery. In fact, a study conducted by B2B research firm Clutch reveals that enterprise cloud spending is expected to increase 50 percent in 2016. According to Jason Reichl, CEO of Go Nimbly, businesses are spending more money on the cloud because it is “building ROI faster and with better business accuracy.”

Whether or not to invest in the cloud is no longer the question. Now, nearly every IT professional and business leader will be faced with choosing between a public or private cloud infrastructure at one point during their career. The best choice depends on an organization’s specific needs. The following is a closer look at what each solution brings to the table and where it falls short. 

 

Public Cloud

Pros

  • Rapid access to resources for quick and easy deployment
  • Nearly maintenance free, which is ideal for organizations with small (or no) IT departments
  • Flexible and easily extensible to accommodate seasonal or unexpected workloads
  • Protection from the financial impact of service interruptions or outages with service-level agreements
  • Comparatively lower costs to set up than private cloud solutions
  • Pay-per-use pricing structure that clearly defines predictable short- and long-term costs

Cons

  • Underlying hardware is shared with other customers 
  • Little-to-no choice in where data is housed, which is a barrier for industries that must adhere to strict data sovereignty laws
  • Slower data transfers during peak usage hours
  • Not as customizable as private cloud solutions
  • Potentially more attractive and accessible to hackers
  • Greater potential for service outages and downtime with large, complex infrastructure

 

Private Cloud

Pros

  • Geographically co-located data to the company, which is the best option for industries that must comply with data residency regulations 
  • Greater local security and performance controls
  • Fewer worries about potential service provider acquisitions, mergers and solvency issues
  • Easily customized to an organization’s needs
  • Adaptable for companies that rely heavily on legacy apps

Cons

  • Responsible for costs associated with maintenance, upgrades and infrastructure 
  • Higher initial cost outlay
  • Dependence on infrastructure for good performance
  • Inherent vendor lock in
  • Deployment and infrastructure maintenance that requires staff, resources or expertise that some companies may not have 

 

Important Factors to Keep in Mind 

Choosing between the public and private cloud is not a decision that should be made lightly. CIOs and CTOs should consider their projected data usage patterns, budget size, regulatory requirements and fluctuating demand issues to decide what’s best for their organization. 

For example, the team behind Tesco’s video on demand service, Blinkbox, needed scalability and low IT costs to deliver digital content to its customers across a wide range of devices. The company chose Microsoft Azure because its cloud service enables Blinkbox to expand its services alongside advancements in video technology.  At Microsoft’s Future Decoded event, Blinkbox’s IT Director Jon Robinson explained that having a platform that could grow with them was a big benefit and that the cloud services enabled Blinkbox to develop new services, including streaming Dolby 5.1 and HD content. Just like Blinkbox knew that it needed to grow quickly to keep up with technology advancements in its field, businesses must take a look at their current and future needs before choosing the right infrastructure.

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