Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud: Are We Really Just Hybrid?

Michelle DeFiore

blog-201006-virtualizewhychoosehybridclouddgenfullThere have been a couple articles this week arguing for or against private cloud and public cloud. It’s clear that the federal government is on board with private clouds, as are service providers. But what will enterprises really come out with?

(Photo credit: AcuteSys)

The argument for private clouds is simple. They are owned and managed by the organization, and also offer restricted access controls as well as the opportunity for users to to provision their own services.

The private cloud seems to be the best option both for enterprises and for government, who are often concerned about security and access control of their information.

With private cloud you may have control, but you’re also then stuck with management.

Private clouds are designed for your business, and often offer a way to consider capacity planning and utilization rates in a way that makes sense for your organization.

You are able to define the technology, where your information lives, who has access to it, what applications you run, your end-user experience, and a clear way to view and track accountability when something goes wrong.

Public clouds have advantages as well. Much of what you hear about in the media around clouds centers on Amazon EC2, Google, and other resources.

Users are able to rent virtual computers and use them to develop or run their applications, all while paying for what they use.

This “pay by the drink” system works well for companies who need the flexibility to scale up or down depending on need.

With public cloud you don’t have to worry about management, but your level of control is decreased. Many worry about vendor lock-in with the public cloud, but can’t you worry about vendor lock-in with any tool?

We think almost everyone will have a hybrid cloud environment. Hybrid cloud seems to be the best of both worlds – offering the experience of a SaaS oriented world, along with the security and control of managing your own information in a distributed environment.

Enterprise IT benefits from the opportunity to have on-demand, agile environment where you have services available that can ramp up and ramp down as needed.

“Here’s a classic example: leveraging storage, database, and processing services within a private cloud, and from time to time leveraging a public cloud to handle spikes in processing requirements without having to purchase additional hardware for stand-by capacity.” – David Linthicum

David points out that hybrid clouds provide the “cloud-bursting” architecture that many enterprises are moving towards. Not only that, but David also mentions that a hybrid cloud gives you a foundation for disaster recovery.

We can certainly argue for private clouds, public clouds, or hybrid clouds – but we believe that the world is changing into a truly hybrid cloud environment. And that doesn’t sound like a bad place to be. The next question is – how do we monitor it?

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