Private Cloud vs Public Cloud: A Cloud to Cloud Comparison

Posted on June 13, 2020 Cloud

A predicted 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers by 2025 and move to cloud computing. 

Are you looking up to the clouds for security solutions too? Discover the pros and cons of a public vs private cloud system to help decide which one fits your specific needs. 

Understanding the Differences between Public vs Private Cloud

The largest of the cloud variations is most likely the public cloud.  This is because public clouds house storage and data for multiple organizations at a time. Users not only have access to services such as data storage, the most basic cloud function but a variety of others.  These additional serves may include email, marketing, and social apps.  

Private clouds on the other hand are used exclusively by one business or organization. Organizations can form their own private networks and manage them independently at a datacenter. In some cases, a private cloud may be considered part of their own IT department deployed in house.

Cloud security is a big concern for organizations because whether in a public or private space it is essential for businesses. Public cloud providers are usually third party services and they carry out cloud maintenance regularly. Private cloud may offer more security because it is on its own infrastructure and includes benefits such as stronger cybersecurity and physical security.

So which one is better? Take a look at the key features of public clouds versus private clouds.

Public Cloud: Pros and Cons


– Productivity

Since public clouds offer a wide range of services, they inherently have more tools that encourage more productivity.

– Usage Flexibility

You have access to as much storage and applications as the cloud service provider has available.  Not many usage limitations for users.

– No Cloud Maintenance

Maintenance is managed by a cloud provider, so that’s one less concern for users.


– Security

The standout feature of public clouds is the sharing of information and features.  This means security risks are also shared across all users on the network.

– Limited Features Customization

Public clouds have broader storage and management settings which prevents users from toggling with them as much.

– Expenses

While you have unlimited access to whatever your cloud provider has available, storage plans vary and the larger ones can be costly.  

Private Cloud: Pros and Cons


– Increased Security

Hosted cloud services assume responsibility for security measures, similar to third party public cloud managers. 

This difference is that threats don’t have public access, making it harder to target a private network. 

This offers a layer of protection against threats. Services without a host means that organizations will use in-house security which still prevents threats through public access.   

– More Internal Management and User Compliance

With a private network, users have more control over what data is stored as well as access requirements for retrieving that data. 

This just means that administrative users can choose what information is stored and who sees what information. 

A structure like this can ensure that non-administrative users adhere to access protocols or procedures.  

– Unique Network Feature Customization

Allows unique cloud feature customization tailored to the organization. Custom changes to network features such as log retention or the domain name system (DNS) are possible.


– More Internal Cloud Maintenance Required

Making sure software is updated and the network computes smoothly is an extra task to manage with private servers. 

This can be especially cumbersome with organizations that require a lot of servers for their private network. 

– High Expenses

Network features, applications, and hardware all have to be provided by the organization. 

You may need additional software just to enable some network features or access applications critical to your organization’s function.  These costs can add up. 

– Extensive Hardware

You may need a lot of servers to justify the cost-benefit of a private network. Depending on your organization, you may require an extensive number of servers for storage. This means you’ll need to determine the cost-benefit of installing numerous servers instead of choosing a hosting option. 

Servers also require space, installation costs, and regular maintenance.  

Private Cloud vs Public Cloud Security

Despite the list of pros and cons, one cloud platform doesn’t definitively offer more protection than the other. It’s a common opinion that one of the biggest differences between public and private clouds is that private platforms offer greater security, however, this doesn’t mean that public clouds are objectively unsafe. 

In fact, since public clouds are generally large, they may have security specialists dedicated to simply tracking and monitoring threats to the cloud. 

Unless an organization chooses a third-party host to manage its cloud, private clouds may just have the organization’s IT professionals working on maintenance rather than security specialists dedicated to maintaining the cloud. If the organization doesn’t have tech professionals to monitor a cloud network, relying on personnel without security risk experience can be dangerous.  

Also, public clouds improve as they face threats. Exposure means that the clouds and their maintenance teams can adapt to security risks as they happen. When clouds are tried through the fire, future attacks can be more accurately calculated. Once recovered, public clouds can resume a strong service with new preventative measures.  

Both cloud platforms have to treat security as a priority so it’s their approach to maintaining the security that matters. In a public vs private cloud comparison, it’s up to you to identify the key features you need. 

The Two Types of Private Cloud

While public clouds provide service to multiple organizations at a time, private clouds provide exclusive service to one at a time.  There two main options for those looking for private cloud service:

1. Independent Management by the Organization

Organizations can form their own private networks and manage them independently. In some cases, a private cloud may be considered part of an organization’s IT department if it is built by the organization.  

Independent management by the organization also involves physical servers contained within the organization’s premises. 

2. Management by a Private Cloud Service Provider 

Conversely, organizations can choose to have their data centers hosted by a third party with infrastructure unique to their needs.  

The Importance of Cloud Storage 

“Cloud computing” is the general name of the process given to the different types of cloud services.  The name is rumored to date back to the 1990s and different service models primarily “software as a service” (SaaS) made an entrance.

Since then, more and more organizations are adopting cloud services for different reasons depending on the company, although there are common threads between them.  

Before you decide between public and private cloud storage, consider these reasons and key features that you can find with both platforms. 

Some features may be easier to find in one platform than the other but each offer these to an extent.  

Here are key features that will help you navigate what you want in a cloud. 

Get More Space as You Need It

One of cloud computing’s most attractive features is scalability.  But what does scalability mean in an environment where nearly everything is virtualized?

Put simply, scalability means having the ability to increase or decrease cloud network resources.  Why is this an important feature for clouds?

Scalability directly affects performance.  If you lack enough space and computing power to hold information and carry out work functions, this will cost you productivity. 

Servers commonly display symptoms of this in the form of error messages or applications shutting users out. 

If you decide to host your own cloud service you may face the task of purchasing and installing additional hardware such as servers. 

Or, you may just consider using a vertical method in which you just add memory to the existing serves you have.  This way, you get the most out of the resources you already have rather than adding new ones.    

On the other hand, third party cloud vendors allow you to purchase more space as needed but this also comes with its own costs. 

Too Much Space

Despite all this, scalability doesn’t just apply to how much more space you need.  It also involves how much have and whether that amount produces any redundancies.

Here’s what happens when you overcompensate with cloud coverage.  

When it comes to adding space, overcompensating for a gap can be costly and complicate organization. 

Servers have designated functions, adding more without properly distributing tasks means you’re allocating double the amount of resources to one task.  In other words, this hinders productivity. 

A solution to consider is horizontal scaling, in which you split tasks between servers.  By doing this, you’ll evenly distribute tasks so that one server doesn’t get overloaded with tasks and doesn’t complete redundant tasks.  

Once you evaluate the situation with physical servers, scaling with software can either be completed with an engineer manually inserting changes. 

Or the software itself may have automatic scaling routines once your resources exceed a certain data threshold.    


The ease of completing tasks and keeping track of workloads.  The cloud’s job is to compartmentalize work.  Convenience isn’t just about clouds having the space to store data, it also involves having the tools to manage that data.  

In addition to space and security, clouds can also offer a variety of social and communication apps that make work processes more direct and efficient. 

The cloud’s purpose is to provide the user with a “virtual desktop” of sorts that gives them ease of access to features in more traditional work environments.  

Keep in mind that the ability to customize organizational cloud features varies depending on what type of cloud you choose.  

Still, cloud storage is now the superior method for managing data compared to previous older methods.  This is especially true for hosted cloud services both public and private.  


Extensive storage is the other key feature organizations look to cloud storage for. 

Saving large amounts of data at the time within once space is exactly what clouds are designed to do. 

You can always get even more space with clouds as well, though it either requires more hardware memory or network bandwidth.  

Referring to the pros and cons of public vs. private clouds, one platform is not objectively better than the other. 

Instead, you’ll find that one cloud platform may fit the needs of a particular organization better than the other platform.

Choosing Public vs Private Your Organization

Understanding the unique needs of your organization is key to knowing which platform is best for you. 

Public vs private networks is a comparison that should help you determine what your organization actually needs to function efficiently and effectively.  

To get started choosing the platform that’s right for you, get in touch with an expert today.

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