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Which Is Better: Private Or Public Cloud?

March 14, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Jeremy Sutter, Independent Technology Author

J Cloud 300x195 Which Is Better: Private Or Public Cloud?

When companies look at putting up a cloud infrastructure, one of the first questions that comes up is whether they should use a private or a public cloud. 10 years ago, the answer was more often a yes for private clouds than it is today. Somewhere along the technology growth path, publicly traded computing facilities like Amazon got so good at security that it made sense for most companies in most situations to go out and implement a public cloud.

Here are some current considerations for companies that are comparing the two options in the here and now:

Is your forte computing infrastructure?

People that say planning and implementing local network infrastructure to support a cloud isn’t as much of a risk as using a commercial cloud service are no longer very commonly found running IT departments. Part of the reason that public cloud advocates rule is that even at companies like Hewlett-Packard, where they make servers and PCs, business divisions sometimes use public cloud providers because it is more convenient for them to do than create their own infrastructure as a prelude to using a set of web services online.

Although it often is not always underlined when companies make the decision to use public infrastructure, security concerns can play a big role in helping management decide how they will implement their requirements. In a world where the CIA is hacked and much of their cyber capability is stolen and distributed to private parties, security of your individual company network is certainly something that IT managers fret about.


Cost is a very important component of IT expansion in most companies. Cost also favors public cloud networks in most cases because they have economies of scale at work that allow them to offer features that would cost a lot to license if they were implemented privately. On the other hand, if your company has requirements that are not addressed by a public cloud, making a case for private network services is worthwhile.

One way that you can justify the cost of private cloud creation is to use ROI as a measuring stick. ROI stands for return on investment. It is a formula that essentially takes into account everything that you were doing before and how much it cost, and compares it to everything you plan to do and how much that will cost. Your return on investment will be the net difference. In many cases, technology innovation will allow you to actually run your department at a lower cost- even with a private cloud project.


Building a private cloud infrastructure inside your own firm or at a third-party provider can make your company better equipped to avoid some of the privacy pitfalls that can affect you when you keep your presence on a public server.

One company devised a secure phone solution for their high security clients. They used a Skype server hosted on a secure public cloud platform. As Skype is encrypted, they were able to advertise end-to-end security on their phone conversations with clients. Unfortunately, it was soon discovered that a limitation in the public network created a situation where it was possible for hackers or local IT people to reset the server so that it could be listened to locally. Had they built out their own infrastructure in-house, the snafu would not have occurred.

The decision to choose a public or private cloud as part of your IT infrastructure can be complex and require a lot of analysis. Fortunately, tools like ROI can help tell you how strong the financial decision that you are making is.


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