Private or Public Cloud: If You Had to Pick
The cloud is more than a decade old, but general conventions are changing when it comes to which is better: the public or private cloud.
At the advent of the cloud 10 years ago, nearly every enterprise making the transition did so via the private cloud. It’s stability and security were untouched by and public option offered at the time. However, much has changed in the last decade and big players such as Amazon and Microsoft have entered the public cloud game, bringing with them greater security and more stable user experiences. With these changes came a mass migration to the public cloud.
Truth be told, whether due to budgetary constraints, infrastructure restrictions, or other variables, most enterprises deploy a hybrid or multi-cloud solution. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Right Scale, 71% of enterprises utilize a hybrid cloud infrastructure. But if a company was forced to choose between public or private, which one should they pick? It all comes down to questions of function, cost, and privacy.
A general consensus used to exist among IT experts that said it was less risky to develop, implement, and maintain a local network infrastructure rather than move resources to the cloud. However, that thought has faded as the reliability of the cloud has improved. Now, even companies that develop IT hardware — like Hewlett-Packard — opt to utilize the public cloud for certain needs rather than build out their own infrastructure.
As demands and expectations on IT teams grow, budgets have failed to keep pace. As a result, IT professionals are regularly pressed to find ways to drive innovations without reverting back into the cost center that the department once was.
When it comes to cost, there is little argument against the savings the public cloud can bring. Though IT professionals have yet to develop a way to effectively calculate Total Cost of Ownership — each cloud vendor has their own — it’s safe to assume that a properly implemented and monitored public cloud strategy saves money in capital expenses, operating costs, and indirect costs. According to an example reported by Forbes, one company saw savings to the tune of 37% over a three year period after switching to the public cloud.
Security has always been a concern when it comes to moving resources to the public cloud, and though providers have made vast improvements to their service’s capabilities to keep data from prying eyes, there is no foolproof way to secure data in the public cloud. For some industries, hosting sensitive customer data or financial records on a public cloud is simply not an option due to regulations. Because of this, some companies utilize the private cloud for certain applications. This helps mitigate some of the risk of data falling into the wrong hands.
So Which Is It?
As is the case with most IT solutions, the answer isn’t as black and white as some may want it to be. The truth is that public cloud applications have broad applications and a suite of cost-savings potential, but there are simply some situations that would benefit from a different infrastructure.
At the end of the day, most companies choose to deploy a hybrid cloud solution. This may be as a result of budgetary constraints, existing network solutions, a staggered adoption plan, or a conscious strategy to deploy different infrastructures. In order to maintain the health of these complex networks, IT professionals must have powerful tools that provide unprecedented visibility into the network resources.
The Vityl Suite from TeamQuest gives IT teams that ability. Vityl Adviser is a vendor-agnostic monitoring solution that gives an at-a-glance health and risk indicator for each individual process regardless of where it is hosted. IT teams can see into every corner of their environment, whether it is public, private, on-premises, or virtualized. Armed with this ability, they can begin to make proactive decisions about when and where to deploy resources to ensure their networks are always online.