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Private versus Public Clouds: What Are They, and Does It Matter Which You Choose?

Anyone who reads about cloud computing on the Internet (or elsewhere) will eventually come across a discussion of private versus public clouds. This information is somewhat confusing, because the definition of private cloud varies. Initially, a private cloud was a cloud environment hosted behind the firewall of a corporation for its own benefit, with all infrastructure—network, data server, etc. owned and operated by the company and its technical staff.

However, in the years since cloud computing appeared on the horizon, many cloud providers have begun offering private clouds, as well. Here, the provider dedicates a server specifically to one company and may also establish a dedicated network connection for that server. This model is also referred to as a "cloud server" (this is the term DynaSis uses).

We're not going to discuss in-house private clouds here, because they are simply not practical for anyone other than very large firms. They require an enormous amount of technological expertise to manage, and unless a company has cloud security experts on staff, they are very difficult to secure properly. Recently, IT expert Jason Bloomberg offered some excellent arguments against private, on-premise clouds in his new book, The Agile Architecture Revolution: How Cloud Computing, REST-Based SOA, and Mobile Computing Are Changing Enterprise IT.

So, what about private, hosted clouds? With a private cloud run by a third-party provider like DynaSis (a cloud server), your company doesn't share server resources with other companies. If you are running high-bandwidth or memory-intensive applications, it is a good idea to have a cloud server. If you want to move all your corporate assets (applications and data) to the cloud but are worried about ensuring security for your IT assets, a cloud server with a dedicated access portal (like our, ITility by DynaSis Solution), will give you the peace of mind you need.

However, if you're only looking to host Microsoft Exchange in the cloud, then a public cloud scenario will work just fine. In general, both public and private cloud resources tend to be more secure than the on-premise IT setup of the average small or midsized company (unless they are using managed security services). Your choice of cloud environment should depend upon your needs, not your fears. Adequately assessing your current and future business plans—and choosing a high-quality IT partner that runs a best-practices data center—are the best first steps you can take when walking towards the cloud.

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