“Private cloud is like a summer home, while the public cloud is a hotel.” – Part 2
This is the concluding part of a two part article. For the previous part, please see “Private cloud is like a summer home, while the public cloud is a hotel.” – Part 1.
The owner of a summer home can hire private security to safeguard his property. However, if he doesn’t have the financial strength to do so, he risks incurring heavy losses. In a hotel, on the other hand, the management takes care of security. Similarly, the private cloud owner should invest to secure the cloud. However, for a small organization which cannot afford to spend separately on security, it makes sense to depend on the public cloud provider. I had addressed this scenario in an earlier article (See: Is Cloud Computing Secure? Yes, Another Perspective).
Consider the scenario: It’s Christmas and the summer home owner is playing host to his extended relatives from across the country. Without advance warning, his granddaughter decides to bring along four of her college friends. Unfortunately, the house is packed to capacity and there is no room to accommodate the additional guests. Obviously, the host cannot add rooms to his house overnight. One solution would to put them up in a nearby hotel.
In fact, this has strong parallels with how certain private cloud users operate. If there’s a sudden spike in demand, the additional load is moved to a public cloud in a process known as “cloud bursting” (See: Zynga’s Shift from the Public to the Private Cloud). For a hotel occupant or a public cloud user, such demand spikes are easier to deal with.
If a tannery is built in the locality, the owner of a summer home cannot sell the house and move away at a moment’s notice. It takes time to find alternative accommodation, move the furniture and sell the house. However, a hotel customer, if dissatisfied with the service, can leave immediately. Even if additional days were paid for, the costs incurred in moving sooner will be lower than selling a house at short notice.
Even with the difficulties caused by lack of universal standards, it’s easier for a public cloud customer to move to a different public cloud than a private cloud user to change platforms. Thus, the comparison is apt.
Use of existing resources
The owner of a summer home may have excess furniture and household staff in his original home that he would like to make use of in the former residence. However, a hotel customer has no such resources that he would like to use in the hotel, but utilize what is provided by the management.
In the same manner, the private cloud owner can make use of existing IT infrastructure and IT personnel. The public cloud user, on the other hand, depends on the service provider.
Considering all the aforementioned factors, it is obvious that private clouds are suitable for enterprises with somewhat stable demands, enough financial strength to secure their IT environments, existing resources that they would like to deploy and the desire for absolute control of their data. On the other hand, public clouds are better for smaller companies and organizations who want the ability to scale up and down on short notice and low cost, and willing to lose a bit of control in the process.
By Sourya Biswas