The key difference between public and private cloud computing is related to access. Organizations in the public cloud use shared cloud infrastructure, whereas organizations in the private cloud use their infrastructure. Continue reading to learn about the differences between public and private clouds and how to decide which is best for you.

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First question: What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing enables users to access data that has been uploaded to remote servers or clouds. These clouds act as a conduit between a user and the data they need access. Cloud computing is also referred to as Internet-based computing.

What is Public Cloud?

In a public cloud model, cloud services and resources are provided by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP) and provided over the Internet via a subscription model, such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), or software-as-a-service (SaaS).

In this model, the cloud provider owns, operates, and maintains all hardware, software, and other cloud infrastructure shared with other users. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are examples of public clouds.

What is a Private cloud?

A private cloud is a server, data center, or distributed network that is exclusively dedicated to a single individual or an organization. It can be installed in the organization's on-site data center or hosted by a third-party service provider.

An organization and its private cloud have a one-to-one relationship. Organizations that require customizable and highly secure IT environments often use private clouds.

Public vs. private cloud

The distinction between public and private clouds becomes more complicated by the day. The primary distinction between public and private clouds is who gets access to the data.

The engagement of a third party makes a cloud public. Public clouds rely on someone outside of the organization to manage the characteristics of a cloud. Data is stored and accessed by a third party.

A private cloud, on the other hand, is completely managed in-house. This is sometimes interpreted literally, with all data housed within the organization's boundaries housed in a data center. In addition, private clouds can have off-site locations.

Here are some key differences between public and private clouds:

Although public and private clouds offer hosting solutions, they differ in security, performance, and cost.

Parameters Public Cloud Private cloud
Definition A public cloud is a computing environment where computing infrastructure and resources are shared with the general public over the Internet.  A private cloud is a computing infrastructure and resource-sharing network linked to a private network through the Internet.
Cloud environment Multi-Tenancy-Shared environment. Single tenancy-only for single use of an organization.
Connection It is connected to the public Internet. It only provides connectivity over the private network.
Resource sharing Multiple users share server hardware, network, and storage in the cloud. No sharing of resources. Hardware, storage, and network are dedicated to using a single client or company.
Accessibility Because it is a multi-tenancy paradigm, the public cloud is accessible to multiple users from anywhere over the Internet. A private cloud can only be accessed via private and secure network links. This means that the single-tenant model provides its renter with exclusive access.
Scalability Public cloud scalability is instant and Unlimited Increases control and security while sacrificing scalability.
Business Requirement It is an affordable solution that provides room for growth. High performance, security, customization, and control options.
Performance Low to Medium Very High
Cost It is an affordable option offering a pay-as-you-go service fee. It requires high upfront costs for implementing the hardware, software, staff, and other resources.
Cloud Storage Storage as a service is provided via the public cloud on a pay-per-use basis. Best for disaster recovery backups and archiving email and static non-core application data. OneDrive is an example of a public cloud storage service. The private cloud provides internal cloud storage that runs on a specialized architecture in a data center.
Hosted It is hosted at the Service Provider site. It is hosted at the Service Provider site or enterprise.
Providers Amazon web service (AWS) and Google AppEngine, etc. Microsoft KVM, HP, Red Hat & VMWare, etc.
Security Security matters and is dependent on the service provider. It gives a high class of security.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Public Cloud Storage

There are pros and cons to using the public cloud, just as there are to using private cloud storage. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks might help determine whether a public cloud is good for you.

Benefits of Public Cloud 

  • Payments are made every month. In contrast to creating a data center, a public cloud storage service might provide a cheap monthly cost rather than a significant upfront investment.
  • The setup is quick. Furthermore, with a few exceptions, most public cloud services are meant to be simple.
  • Incentives. Public cloud providers might give incentives such as free trials and tiers to make their services more appealing to consumers.
  • Scalability and speed. Public cloud services offer significant scale and speed because they can spread the cost of their infrastructure across many customers.

Drawbacks of Public Cloud

  • Security:  The public cloud model adheres to The Shared Responsibility approach. This means that while a third-party service provider monitors and responds to threats to the cloud infrastructure, they are not in charge of safeguarding each customer's data, applications, workloads, or operating systems. That effort is solely the responsibility of the customer. Many customers may be unaware of their position in the Shared Responsibility Model, nor have they implemented robust cloud-specific cybersecurity policies. Furthermore, because the public cloud is a shared resource, businesses that use it are vulnerable to security concerns created by other tenants.
  • Compliance: Due to the multi-tenancy issue, certain firms may confront high regulatory compliance standards that are difficult or impossible to achieve in a public cloud environment.
  • Vendor reliance: While the public cloud provides considerable cost reductions for most enterprises in the short term, the company will eventually rely on its selected cloud vendor to continue business operations. As a result, even if rates rise, the company may face vendor lock-in.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Cloud

Using a private cloud has pros and cons, just like any other technology. However, employing a private cloud can provide greater security and service for sectors with highly specialized demands, such as government and defense.

Benefits of Private Cloud:

  • Control: Users of private clouds may completely alter the environment to suit their unique requirements since they have complete control over the infrastructure and services.
  • Security: Since only authorized users may access private cloud services, they are often more secure.
  • Compliance: Private cloud users have more control over compliance requirements since they can customize the environment to meet specific regulatory requirements.
  • Customization: Private cloud users can customize the environment to their specific needs, which means they can optimize performance and efficiency.

Drawbacks of Private Cloud:

  • Cost: Private cloud services might be more expensive than public cloud services due to the need for a focused infrastructure.
  • Upkeep: It can be time-consuming and expensive for users of private clouds to maintain and update the infrastructure.
  • Scalability: Private cloud services may not be as scalable as public cloud services, which means they may be unable to handle sudden spikes in demand.

Which is better, public or private cloud?

The most significant aspects for most businesses and organizations when choosing a cloud are pricing, accessibility, reliability, and scalability.

Your business's demands, laws, financial situation, and long-term goals will determine if a private, public, or combination of clouds is the best option. The good news is that many choices exist to meet any use case or budget.

Need help in deciding which cloud model is right for your business? Get in touch with us today and let our experts guide you through the key differences between the public and private cloud.