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Critical Differences Of Public And Private Clouds

Private or public? Both cloud types offer benefits and both have enjoyed significant growth over the last few years. Yet, what’s the best bet for your business: The virtually limitless resources of public cloud stacks, or the close-to-home control of private alternatives? Here’s a look at some critical differences between public and private clouds.


As noted by Business 2 Community, the biggest difference between public and private clouds comes down to hosting. Public clouds are hosted on shared server infrastructure, which means multiple “tenants” all sharing the same physical space. Servers are partitioned so that virtual services and processes believe they exist in a singular-customer compute environment and tenants are effectively insulated from one another on the network.

Private clouds, meanwhile, are hosted on dedicated servers and host only a single tenant—your businesses. They are designed to meet your specific needs rather than supply basic resources for multiple customers, and are often associated with greater security control.


Another key differentiator between public and private clouds is cost. According to CBR Online, one of the main benefits tied to public cloud offerings is lowered cost, since all tenants pay a portion of the price necessary to keep servers up and running. Costs are typically metered on a per-use basis, meaning the more services and compute resources you use, the more you’ll pay each month.

Not surprisingly, private clouds are more expensive since your company is the only tenant: All server space and resources are yours to use as required. This leads to a fixed-price model that is consistent every month but is significantly higher than that of per-use public clouds.


Private clouds are often considered more secure because there are no other tenants on the network and servers can be hosted on-premises if IT staff want access to physical hardware. With IT given more control over the admin-level functions of private clouds, they are often the choice for security-minded enterprises or companies looking to store confidential data.

What’s more, while public cloud security has often been cited as a concern for organizations considering cloud migration, public offerings can now compete with most private and even local deployments when it comes to basic security controls. It’s worth noting, however, that law enforcement requests for the data of other tenants on public servers could compromise adjacent neighbors—as a result, it’s always a good idea to encrypt all information before it leaves your local network.

Resource Use

As noted by EdTech magazine, private clouds allow companies to partition any number of virtual machines (VMs) on their cloud network to empower changing workloads. Even though it’s possible for private clouds to scale on demand, their top end is ultimately bound by the resources available to underlying, dedicated physical hardware.

However, public clouds eliminate the need for physical hardware and can scale-up as needed given the size and scope of the network, but don’t allow for the same kind of granular resource control.

Public or private, clouds are quickly becoming an essential asset of corporate networks. Both are viable alternatives depending on your needs: Private solutions provide fixed costs, granular control and dedicated infrastructure; while public solutions offer scalability, flexibility and low-cost adoption.

By Chris Surdenik, CEO of Call One

Call One is one of Chicagoland’s premiere communications infrastructure solution providers, and is especially known for its work with phone systems and voice services such as PBX. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University.

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