Public & Private Clouds

 

Private-vs-public

It’s cheap and available abundantly. Starting from 1.0GB storage space, cloud-based storage services are available for signups for free.

Today there are many ways to get access to cloud storage solutions, from big names like DropBox or iCloud. But putting them on the table, a cloud storage service is not different from your private portable hard drive. Except that you need not purchase a physical device or plug anything to your laptop’s USB ports. 

With cloud storage, all you need is simply an Internet connection, a registered account and a web browser. And you are good to go, to store and retrieve your data files, to and from a remote file server.

While the approach of having a hardware-less storage facility is quite appealing, the concept of cloud storage is in fact the delivery of a feature, rather than a product. It is a feature that facilitates you in doing certain things, and in this case to store and retrieve files.

On the other hand, cloud computing is also understood as a term in computer technology. It is a technical approach in software engineering where the process of implementing service applications indirectly into a given hardware platform. In the past, say if you need a file server, you buy Windows Server 2012 from Microsoft and say a server hardware from IBM or Dell. And you install or implement the software into the hardware to make the combination perform as desired, a file server for you and your peers to store and retireve files.

In cloud computing, the relationship between software and hardware is being rearranged. Instead of setting up an app directly onto a server, another layer of software called hypervisors, clusters or nodes forms the basis of goes into the hardware. This is known as cloud technology.

Eventually your apps (like your Windows 2012 file server) are then implemented onto the cloud platform, like clouds hanging in the sky and shifted according to weather. Likewise, apps can be moved, deleted, shifted, copied or restored according to needs.

So what’s the difference between a public and a private cloud? A public cloud is a service delivered to you as an Internet-based feature whereas a public cloud is a infrastructure system built by you or an organisation with cloud computing technology.

Choosing between a public or a private cloud solutions is heavily dependent on your needs and nature of business. It is obvious that public clouds are less costly, some even going for free for unlimited time. But if you are a medium or large enteprise and having to deal with huge chunks or storage data from your pool of users, the limitations of public clouds makes them not practical for any consideration.

Therefore large enterprises usually opt to implement a private data storage facility using modern cloud computing technologies. The benefits of cloud computing technology are becoming more and more evident by the day. One of its benefits are the seamless adding of hardware resources, like processors, memory modules and hard drives, done by simply stacking additional servers to the existing cluster and nodes set up.

With a legacy server set up, you can’t stack hardware as and when you wish to, unlike what you can do with a cloud computing platform. This is the defining difference of a private enterprise cloud versus a legacy software/hardware set up.

One of the cons of using public cloud storage services is the issue of data ownership. If the account holder is no longer available due to death or perhaps he/she has resigned from your organisation without surrendering his account access credentials, most public cloud service providers are not obliged to hand over data ownership to you. Unlike a private cloud platform, the issue of the legitimacy of ownership lies on whomsoever signed up for the service and/or the owner of the email account in which a particular cloud data storage is registered under.

In an enterprise private cloud, the organisation owns everything end to end, from every piece of hardware equipment to all software applications and data files that resides in it. But building a private cloud can be a costly affair. Anyway we have been paying big money to buy servers and software for decades and cloud computing is not likely going to change that.

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