Learn the Differences Between Private and Public Clouds Before Deciding Which is Right For You.
Public vs. Private Cloud Hosting
There are many clouds, ranging from the simple and inexpensive to the type of enterprise-class and compliant private clouds offered by OnRamp. While there are several common ways to classify one cloud versus another, by far the most important question to ask about a cloud service is “how safe is it?”
There are several ways to answer that seemingly innocuous question, given that cloud computing can be rather complex. Public clouds, in particular, have several security-related concerns, including:
- Cybercrime that ranges from ‘classics’ like password hacking and phishing to brand new forms of attack like hyperjacking, where the criminal attempt of one tenant in a public cloud gains access to the virtual infrastructure and toolset of another client.
- Multi-Tenancy Issues that include ‘not-quite-criminal’ acts like the new users in a multi-tenant virtual space that inadvertently ‘undeletes’ information that belonged to the previous ‘tenants’ of that space.
- Virtualization Exploits that rely on minute flaws in the code used to create and distinguish one virtual machine from another, allowing attackers to, in worst-case scenarios, simply decommission a virtual machine in mid-operation.
There is, however, one unspoken aspect to each of these cloud attacks; the cloud in question is accessible by users from outside of your company. If your company chooses to leverage Private Cloud Hosting, you have no co-tenants to stumble across your data, no other virtual machines that a second client might launch hyperjacking attempts from, and so on. That is one of the many benefits of a private cloud, but it’s not the only one.
A private cloud allows your business to access the virtualization software that operates the environment, and that is a meaningful advantage. Unlike a shared cloud, it allows you to create and remove virtual machines on the fly as your needs require. No more suffering from ‘peak load syndrome.’ You can add new virtual machines to handle the excess load and then decommission them as soon as the traffic spike ends.
Public clouds simply cannot handle the amount of bandwidth needed to run a high-speed database application that supports a number of users. A private cloud can be used to hybridize the application from a dedicated server to a number of virtual servers, granting cloud-like access to the database while keeping the application on a single physical machine.
Finally, there are specific industries that have regulations which prevent the use of public cloud architectures due to laws like HIPAA and PCI. A HIPAA Compliant Cloud, for instance, can effectively address the security concerns of these industries and reduce the danger of violating industry regulations.
Private clouds provide virtually the same user-level benefits of a community or shared cloud. And, for individuals and entities that put a high value on privacy and security, they accomplish both objectives in an affordable and efficient way.