cloud computing

The difference between public and private cloud

At this point in the game, most business professionals have a basic understanding of what cloud computing is. But if you’re out of the loop, it’s simply another way to process, manage, access and store data.

However, as you probably know, there are different levels of cloud computing — public, private, and hybrid. But what exactly is the difference between public and private cloud?

We thought you’d never ask.

Public Cloud

When it comes to cloud computing, the public cloud is typically what most people are familiar with. This is because a public cloud is usually cheaper to manage and implement than a private cloud — which means most SMBs operating in the cloud are operating in a public cloud.

With a public cloud, your data is hosted inside a third-party data center. As a result, all of the maintenance, upgrades, and updates are handled by this third party.

Although your data is still technically separated from other data in this data center, many organizations view it as insecure. So if your company is looking for more privacy and if you need to meet industry standards like HIPAA or PCI, then a public cloud probably isn’t the right choice for you.

However, as mentioned earlier, public clouds are considerably cheaper to use and maintain. For starters, you can opt for a pay-as-you-go model and only pay for the resources you use. And since all of the maintenance, updates, and upgrades are handled by the third-party vendor, you can also eliminate those types of ongoing costs. To top things off, with parts of your infrastructure hosted in the cloud, you’ll be able to decrease energy consumption and reduce costs even further.

Private Cloud

The private cloud works a little differently, mainly because it’s hosted by the company itself. In other words, the data lives in the company’s data center — not with a third-party. Because of this, however, things can get a little more expensive.

All of the management and maintenance that goes with this private cloud is now the responsibility of the company; this includes the cost of these items, as well. Nonetheless, this additional work and expense does involve a significant benefit.


With a private cloud, a company has maximum control over its data and how it’s processed and stored. This means greater security — which goes a long way for a business that deals with very sensitive data or for one that needs to be HIPAA- or PCI-compliant. On top of this, none of a private cloud’s resources are shared. The dedicated data center manages only one company’s data.

At the end of the day, however, a private cloud still operates similarly to a public cloud. You can receive the same level of flexibility that a public cloud receives … it’ll simply come from an on-premise data center.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between public and private cloud platforms, then give us a call or shoot us a message today. We’d love to talk cloud.