As previously stated, enterprise-class organizations are jumping onto the private cloud at much higher rates than the public cloud. Why are they doing this, and will this choice of private-over-public really spell the doom of a whole generation of Chief Information Officers, as some public-cloud boosters argue?
Public vs Private: Defined
The public cloud is the cloud we’ve all heard about, a space of shared storage, of software-as-service, a place where your organization doesn’t have to own any hardware of its own. In fact, the public cloud is sold as a place where your organization doesn’t need to hold any software of its own either, or really much of anything other than a few shipments of smartphones and tablets.
By contrast, the private cloud is a remote-hosted network solution that offers just about all of the streamlined benefits of the public cloud, but with a lot more control and security. In the public cloud the infrastructure hosting your network is shared with a bunch of other organizations. In fact, the infrastructure is shared with as many other organizations as your service provider thinks they can cram on theirs. By contrast, in the private cloud your organization’s data and applications are stored and managed through infrastructure that’s used exclusively by your own organization.
In other words- with the private cloud you can receive all the benefits of a remote-hosted network while still holding on to the assurance that your infrastructure is yours.
Is it any wonder the enterprise-class prefers private clouds over public clouds? Private solutions offer the flexibility, scalability and decentralized benefits of remote communications technology without the risks companies worry about when they think about the public cloud. With the private cloud an organization knows their data and applications aren’t connected to anyone else’s, ensuring their reliable performance and improving their security, and as far as enterprise-class clients are concerned reliability and security are key when it comes to their network.
If you could have all the benefits of a remote-hosted UC solution without the major downsides, wouldn’t you take it?
Public Strikes Back
Now, there are a few areas where the public cloud wins points over the private cloud. As public-boosters note an organization can take advantage of the public cloud without plunking down much upfront cash, while organizations who buy into the private cloud need to invest in their own hardware. Furthermore, proponents of the public cloud argue organizations who sign up for the public cloud will benefit from equipment upgrades yearly without having to pay for these upgrades themselves.
Proponents use the cost-savings argument quite a bit, and also point out the day-to-day costs of public cloud usage can be cheaper than their private counterparts, which is often true. However, businesses are more than willing to pay a little extra for services they consider more secure, more reliable, and which generally meet heir needs better.
While there are a few functionality points the public cloud boosters make that are valid, they tend to revolve around the scalability angle- the fact you need to purchase more hardware to increase your private cloud’s capacity, while you can just immediately take advantage of existing infrastructure when using public services. This is true, but the public proponents perhaps overstate its importance, and also conveniently fail to mention you can have a hybrid solution- a private infrastructure that lets you immediately take advantage of public server space if your requirements spike unexpectedly.
Overall it looks like enterprise-class clients are jumping to the private cloud over the public cloud for a reason. This isn’t to say the private cloud is the solution to all telecommunication needs, or even that the cloud itself is appropriate for everyone, but it is to say that the loudest and most visible networking options aren’t always the most appropriate (or even the most widely adopted), and that smaller, more personalized solutions almost always win out in the enterprise sphere over mass-market products.