The use of a cloud has long been established for many companies. However, when it comes to cloud computing, many users keep asking themselves: what is better? The private cloud or is it the public cloud?

What is cloud computing?

Before this article goes into the two different forms of cloud computing, private and public cloud, it should first be clarified what the generic term is all about.

Cloud computing is the term used to describe the shifting of data, systems and applications to a cloud, so that these, together with the necessary IT-based resources, are made available flexibly and on demand. This provision takes place via a network, such as the Internet. Cloud computing offers the added value that installations on local computers are superfluous for the user. Instead, it is provided via technical interfaces, protocols or a web browser. This results in the possibility of a more flexible way of working and access from anywhere.

Among the various possibilities of cloud computing, one can differentiate between private and public cloud, which is why this article takes a closer look at both options.

Private cloud

As the name suggests, the private cloud is user-based. This means that it is only available to certain users and cannot be accessed publicly. In this context, the cloud is often relocated to a company’s own server or a secure data center operated by an external provider. While the former option is often managed by the internal IT department, external service providers often offer a choice. This usually consists of the two options IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).

IaaS is a popular choice of companies, which enables them to borrow the technological infrastructure, e.g. hardware or server storage, from an external provider without limit, instead of purchasing it themselves.

PaaS, on the other hand, is more useful for web application developers. It offers its users a platform with an optimal and quickly usable runtime and / or development environment. The otherwise high administrative effort is borne by the provider, as is the provision of the required software and hardware.

Public cloud

The public cloud is characterized by its public availability, which means that it is accessible to everyone via the Internet at any time. So, so to speak, it represents a free platform on which many users can jointly use a virtual infrastructure. Often this web-based service of the public cloud is not located in the user’s country of origin, but can also be located in a completely different place in the world. Accordingly, customers generally have no influence on the form of data security or other protection aspects. However, the network bandwidth and the range of different tools are also very limited in the public cloud, depending on the provider.

Public clouds often correspond to SaaS services (Software as A Service), for example web-based e-mail services. As a private end user, you are often familiar with these from your own daily use. But many companies also use public cloud services like this. For example, they use Microsoft Office applications or a server via Amazon.

Conclusion

Which cloud is the right choice depends primarily on your own requirements and expectations. Basically, however, it can be said that workloads with a large volume work better with public cloud. The private cloud, on the other hand, should be used especially for workloads with clearly calculable usage requirements.

Additional information on cloud computing can also be found in the following articles:

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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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