Cloud computing: Which is better, public or private?

private of public cloud computing

How your business can stay protected in the cloud

Moving to the cloud is a no-brainer when you consider all the ways it increases collaboration and productivity. Forward-thinking companies understand this, and a 2017 report found that the number of Australian businesses using cloud technology rose from 19% to 31% in just one year.

Although making a business case for the cloud is easy, deciding between a public or private cloud service is more complicated.

Public cloud

The public cloud is a service where computing resources like processing power, RAM, and storage space are accessed over the internet. Some common examples of public cloud services include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Office 365.

With public clouds, you pay a fixed monthly fee for the resources you need, while your provider manages and maintains your software applications and data. This eliminates the need for you to purchase and manage your own in-house servers, and provides the added benefit of highly-secure backup servers to ensure maximum uptime.

Yet there are some downsides to using public clouds. For starters, public cloud servers are shared with multiple users (or tenants), which means your data could potentially co-mingle with other companies’. If your provider’s servers have subpar data access controls, unauthorised tenants may be able to access it.

Data compliance can be an issue, too. Since a third party secures and backs up your data, they may not be aware of specific regulations governing your business like ISO, GDPR, and the Privacy Act.

Private cloud

Unlike the public cloud, the private cloud is an IT infrastructure dedicated to a single company. It can be off site or on premises with the company ultimately responsible for managing and maintaining the hardware, software, and data, not the cloud provider.

This means you’ll need to hire an IT expert to manage your servers, but it’s the better option if you have high security and performance requirements. With a dedicated cloud-hosted or on-premises server, you can install cutting-edge firewalls, encryption systems, and data backup solutions of your choice to ensure maximum data security and compliance with industry regulations.

However, private clouds can incur high upfront costs because of all the hardware and software licensing you need to purchase. Maintenance may also be higher than with public clouds since you’re in charge of upgrades and security patches, but studies show the cost of private clouds eventually evens out the longer you use it.

How do you choose?

The best cloud for your business depends on your needs. Generally, public clouds are ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses because they’re available for a relatively low fee. Public clouds might also be better when you have volatile computing demands. For example, if you hire more people during the busy seasons, public clouds allow you to add more accounts and scale up resources on short notice.

Private clouds are primarily designed for organisations that must adhere to strict data security policies like healthcare institutions and financial services firms. So, if you have highly confidential data and want reliable performance, the private cloud gives you more control over those two areas. Also, if you’re certain about how many people you’ll have on staff or how much storage space you’ll need over a long period of time, there’s no point in signing up for a public cloud service because you can build your private cloud servers to have all the resources you’ll need.

At Empower IT Solutions, you can have the best of both worlds. We offer public cloud services like Office 365, and private cloud solutions hosted in our very own secure data centre. This way, you can store confidential records in the private cloud and take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of public clouds. We also provide cloud migration and 24/7 maintenance services to guarantee you the highest level of performance and security possible. Contact us today to find the perfect cloud for your business.