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Public vs Private clouds

Reaching for the cloud

Every business will go through a stage where they will have to make a decision to which cloud model they want to utilize.

It's your job as the business analyst to review the business requirements and identify the right cloud model to meet these requirements. I admit, it can be very daunting when you first start looking at this area to get your head around the language and jargon, which is used by everyone.

What you should also know that the debate between public vs private clouds has raged in the cloud technology sector for a while. We, still don't have a winner and I am not sure we will have any time soon.

So, let’s get into it …

Touching cloud

Public cloud

This is the one that you may be familiar with, if you use google docs, Dropbox and slack then you would have used the public cloud.

Public clouds are owned and maintained by third-party service providers, the most popular ones are; Amazon Web Service, Azure and Google cloud platform. Under this model, the business is able to relatively quickly upscale or downscale to fit its business model. All, users under public cloud will share the same infrastructure with each other, they will experience the same security protection as each other.

One of the key difference between public and private cloud is that as a business you are not responsible for the maintenance, the bandwidth, applications and hardware. As these costs are covered by the providers.

Which customers...

The customers that benefit from this service…

• The application will be used by everyone in the organization for example, google docs

• When the user is not clear how many users will be utilizing the service

• Users want to keep the cost down

• There is a requirement for the team to have access to collaboration projects that do not need strong security infrastructure


• Cost model: public cloud uses the pay-as-you-go model; so, the users only have to pay for the resource that they are using.

• Flexible approach : there is a no contract in place to state how long the business should use the service for.

• Share hardware : under public cloud, users can purchase services, databases and hardware devices to run their business.


  • Limitations : one of the biggest drawbacks of public cloud is that it has limitations to how much users can change security or any other configurations to meet its needs

Private cloud

Private clouds

The big difference between private cloud and public cloud is that private clouds are built solely to meet business needs. Private clouds are owned by the company.

This cloud model gives the business the functionality to be able to host applications in the cloud while at the same meet any data and security concerns that the users may have.

There are two different variations of private clouds-

On-premise private cloud:

This model is commonly referenced to as “internal cloud”. The cloud is hosted by the business own data center. It offers the business the opportunity to have standard processes and gives the users protection that they require. However, this model is limited in its size and scalability and therefore may restrict in what the user can do with this cloud model.

This type of cloud is best suited for situations where the users have applications that need to have control and configurability of the infrastructure and security of the organization.

Externally-hosted private cloud:

This model is same as the on-premise private cloud model, the only difference is that an external cloud supplier will host the cloud. The cloud supplier will provide assurance that the environment will be private.

This type of cloud is best suited for organizations that do not want to use public cloud, as they are worried about the risk of sharing physical resources.


• Security : private cloud gives the business complete control in designing their network, data storage to meet their security and data needs.

• Customizable : as there is only one organization then the user can customize the applications within the cloud to meet their requirements.

• Compliance : compliance is easy under private cloud, as the user.

has complete control of the application they can choose how they want to meet their compliance requirements.


Cost : the business is required to purchase and maintain all software and infrastructure themselves, which can cause the cost to go up.

So, if you are part of a team that needs to make a decision between public vs private cloud - use this blog to frame the questions that you need to ask the business

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