How to choose between private and public cloud?

Tuesday 14 January 2014

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A near universal understanding is developing about the advantages of cloud hosting.  Issues such as scalability, reduced operating costs, improved system utilisation management, instant provisioning and the ease at which the server base can be expanded are all recognised to be major advantages of virtual (or cloud) hosting.  However, the consensus ends when people look at the private cloud versus the public cloud (it breaks down even more when hybrid cloud is considered, but that is a topic for another article).

When thinking about incorporating the cloud, or moving the entirety of their IT systems to the cloud, companies must consider the different ways that the two very similar systems of private and public cloud operate in order to make the best and most informed decision.  Companies need to look at the specific applications they need to use and take into account other concerns such as security, cost and compliance before they make a decision.  It may be that a company feels some applications require a private cloud or it could be that it is happy operating in the public cloud.

The most important consideration for most companies, and particularly those where IT is mission critical, will be security.  The advantage of the private cloud here is that it is possible to restrict access both externally and internally to applications, with additional firewalls being able to be implemented to protect against external threat.

Yet a closer look at public cloud shows that it can be just as secure if it is well managed.  It is important to ensure that a company is equipped with intrusion detection and prevention systems and that it is backing up information with application-consistent backup in order to prevent data loss.  Intrusion detection and prevention systems are similar to traditional firewalls but their capabilities extend far beyond those of firewalls.

Private clouds also enjoy fewer issues with compliance as they are managed and stored entirely by one company, but the public cloud can also cover these areas by adopting best practice and pro-actively ensuring policies and systems are in place to assist with compliance.

In terms of scaling, both offer a degree of flexibility, but the nature of the public cloud means that it has almost an infinite capacity to expand.

If your business is considering moving to cloud hosting and you need advice on hosting options then you should contact CWCS who are a company operating on the leading edge of hosting services and whose service agreement includes a 100% uptime commitment.

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