Public and private cloud services are often used by businesses to provide reliable, scalable computing power. Hosting key services in the cloud can save companies time and money by reducing hardware costs and alleviating some of the burdens on the in-house IT team.

There's an ongoing debate in the IT world about cloud services and the relative merits of public vs private clouds. Before you try to make a decision about deploying your IT services on the private or public cloud, it helps to understand the difference between the two platforms.

What is a Public Cloud?

Public cloud hosting solutions rely on third-party providers for their hardware and software. With the public cloud, maintenance, security, and deployment are managed by the cloud services provider. Examples of public clouds include AWS and Azure, although there are many other cloud service providers.

Public cloud solutions are popular because they allow for rapid deployment and testing. Businesses can simply spin up cloud instances on-demand to run their software, shutting them down when they no longer need them and enjoying the cost-savings of elastic computing.

The downside of public cloud hosting is the lack of control over the platform. Since the platform is managed by a third party, there may be some security risks.

What is a Private Cloud?

Private clouds are part of the company's intranet or reside in a hosted data center and are protected by the company's firewall.

Those who prefer private clouds appreciate having control over the software, hardware, configuration, and security. Another benefit of the private cloud is knowing that the resources on the machine are used only by company members.

While this additional control may be beneficial for some people, it comes with extra responsibilities and demands for the IT team as well as the expense of upgrading surveys over time and, in some cases, purchasing new software licenses. While a properly set up private cloud should be highly secure, a cloud solution that is not regularly maintained and patched to reduce the risk of software vulnerabilities could be a prime target for hackers.

Which Is Right for Your Business?

For smaller companies, the public cloud may make the most sense since renting resources on a public cloud is cheaper, and the public cloud is likely to be more secure than a server set up by a company with limited IT resources.

Bigger companies with an established IT team or that have the resources to outsource to an external data center may choose a private cloud because of the extra control it offers. To date, data breaches on the most well-known public cloud services have been rare. However, a properly configured, secured cloud in a managed data center offers a large company extra peace of mind. The decision could come down to how mission-critical the data stored in the cloud is and whether the company can afford the bad PR from a data breach.

If you're still not sure which cloud solution is right for you or you'd like some help setting up your cloud services, get in touch with us today. We offer a range of cloud migration services and ongoing support to help your company build a cloud infrastructure that will support the growth of your business.