Cloud computing can be basically divided into two types: public cloud computing and private cloud computing. Public cloud is the more dominant type; in fact we talk about public cloud computing unless specifically mentioned when we refer to cloud computing. A third type of cloud hosting solution known as hybrid cloud hosting is gaining in prominence as it seeks to combine the best features of both private and public cloud hosting.
In other words we can say that cloud computing has two distinctly different meanings. Public cloud refers to the process of providing computation resources (CPU, RAM, storage, bandwidth, software, application, etc.) over a general public network like Internet. These resources are provided on-demand and ‘pay as you go’ basis.
Private cloud computing in retrospect describes the architecture and technologies necessary to provide cloud hosting services in-house. A private cloud computing is a particular model of cloud computing where the service is provided in a virtualised environment using the resources of a pool of interconnected servers. However, this model ensures that the entire service is reserved for a single organization result in better security and management of data.
To put it in simpler terms private cloud computing offers the same benefits is that of a public cloud higher levels of scalability, reliability, etc., but through propriety architecture i.e. technologies and hardware reside within the premises of the organization unlike public cloud where the resources are offered by servers stored in data centres of service providers. Also, a public cloud delivers on-demand computational resources to multiple organizations and users. A private cloud in the mould of dedicated server hosting is reserved to serve the cause of a single organization.
This is the reason private cloud is best suited for businesses who require higher level of security for their data processing and also because of their unpredictable computing needs which require them to have direct control over their environments. Then there is also the difference of deployment model as both private and public cloud deployment model differs to a significant extent. Public clouds, for example Amazon web services share computing infrastructure across multiple users or businesses. However, the very open nature of this arrangement makes them unsuitable for businesses with mission critical workloads where security concerns run high.
A private cloud offers the same set of advantages and benefits as that offered by public cloud computing. These include self-service and scalability, greater reliability, on-demand resources, and utility model of billing among other important benefits. Moreover private cloud computing as such can be termed as ‘cloud computing at home’ as instead of relying on an open network like Internet to receive your computational resources a private offers services to a single organization, minimising security concerns that organizations usually harbour towards public cloud computing.
The basic idea behind this type of hosting arrangement is that you will get all the benefits associated with public cloud computing without compromising on control, security and integrity of your sensitive data.
Some of the important advantages offered by private cloud computing are as following:
- Higher security and privacy—public clouds are secure to a certain extent but nowhere near private cloud hosting. This is not hard to decipher as cloud hosting restricted to a single organization employs measures like access restricted to connections made from an organization’s firewall or dedicated leased line.
- Higher control– as a private cloud is intended to be used by a single organization, that organization has the right to tailor the solutions according to its own specific needs. However, this is a more costly option as it eliminates the cost efficiency of public cloud generated by a centralised management of hardware.
- Better reliability—private hosting like public cloud hosting scores high on factor of reliability. Creation of a virtualised environment ensures higher degree of resiliency for the network as the remaining servers can make up for the deficiency of the affected server.
- Cloud bursting– what happens if the private cloud is not capable enough to handle sudden or large spikes in network traffic. There are some quality service providers who in order to let organizations handle this situation provide the facility of cloud bursting. This service allows the provider to process data of non-sensitive nature on public clouds through a process known as cloud bursting.
Some disadvantages of private cloud hosting
Private clouds like public cloud hosting has its own share of disadvantages For example, on-premises IT team rather than a third-party cloud provider is responsible for private cloud’s management. As a result, maintaining a private cloud infrastructure is akin to managing an in-house data centre as organizations have to spend money managing, staffing, maintaining and running deployments. Moreover, there are additional expenditures related to virtualization, cloud software and cloud management tools.
One way to proceed is to combine important features of private hosting with public cloud hosting. This is known as hybrid cloud hosting where organizations can process sensitive data in house and take the help of public cloud for processing voluminous amount of general on public clouds.
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