The Cloud Debate: Public or Private?

by Brad Mitchell on June 27, 2017

Public Cloud or Private Cloud?

For Virtual DBS the Answer is Both

For most IT department managers, there comes a time to consider whether the company is better served by outsourcing management of the servers and other information infrastructure. Naturally, this leads to decisions about moving to the cloud, and the important distinction about what’s better for the business—public cloud or private cloud?

There are numerous pluses and minuses of using public cloud or private cloud, and there is a relatively clear delineation between what is considered appropriate for public cloud and what is considered a better fit for private cloud.

Public Cloud

In a public cloud scenario, a firm rents hardware capacity—essentially sharing IT resources with other companies. The location of the hardware is offsite, typically in a secure location which is owned by a third party and rented to any number of public cloud clients.

When extra processing power is needed, a firm can ramp up quickly—one of the major advantages of utilizing a public cloud.  This makes the public cloud option both cost effective and resource efficient.  Pricing is dependent on term commitments and resource thresholds, but generally it’s substantially less expensive than investing in additional hardware, with all the associated costs.

Private Cloud

In a private cloud scenario the equipment can also be rented, but it is dedicated to the firm rather than shared between multiple firms.  The equipment is used solely by the firm for its own use or for its customers’ use, in a marketing service bureau scenario.

Public Private
Dedicated Hardware No Yes
Customization of hardware No Yes
Support for bare metal environment No Yes
Security Less secure Most secure
Scalability Very flexible Capacity limited by hardware investment
Monthly cost Can vary monthly by usage Fixed monthly cost

Public + Private Cloud – Get the benefits of both

At Virtual DBS, security is the primary concern for hosting our proprietary databases and our clients’ databases.  For this reason, we host customer data and systems on multiple sites for back-up and disaster recovery—a good example of a private cloud.  We make recommendations to our clients based on each customer’s SLA requirements (contractually defined obligations and expectations).  Our private cloud infrastructure is engineered to meet the performance needs of each of our customers, and of course the security model of a private cloud is necessary for clients with regulatory requirements.

However, there are also several benefits to the public cloud that make it a better fit for other clients with different needs for speed, cost-savings and flexibility. Some of our clients’ applications are well-suited to using a flexible public cloud—customer dashboards, portals and websites are all examples.  The pay-as-you-go flexibility of the public cloud, along with the ability to scale up or down quickly can make this the preferred option in many scenarios.

When everything is taken into account, the most critical issue for security-conscious customers is the data custody and security model available in our private cloud.  But even these clients may have short-term needs that make public cloud the best option.  Overall, we have found that a blend of private and public cloud works well to meet the varied needs of Virtual DBS clients.

Virtual DBS, Inc. provides best-in-class database marketing tools and services including predictive analytics, marketing data, data hygiene and digital advertising. With products and services delivered in the cloud, omni-channel marketers have access to some of the most comprehensive B2B, B2C and Specialty databases available.