Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer, Glenda Sims, Paul Simmons, APM Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Public and Private Cloud Platforms | @CloudExpo #Cloud #BigData #IoT #API

The original five cloud characteristics, as stated by NIST, are a great starting point for such a comparison

Pros and Cons of Public and Private Cloud Platforms

For the past few years, enterprises have grappled with the personal cloud dilemma: "Should we use private or public cloud?" To some degree this has moved beyond a binary, either-or decision and now many enterprises are using both, but the question still remains on a per-workload basis: "Should I run this workload on public or private cloud?"

To help enterprises weigh up the pros and cons of public and private clouds it's useful to find comparable attributes and to consider their pros and cons. The original five cloud characteristics, as stated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are a great starting point for such a comparison:

  1. On-demand self-service
  2. Broad network access
  3. Multi-tenancy (resource pooling)
  4. Elasticity
  5. Operations (measured service)

1. On-Demand Self-Service
Cloud consumers and administrators love being able to serve themselves. If there are no people and, more importantly, no service request tickets or forms to fill in, then the nirvana of friction-free IT feels nearer.

For public cloud service providers, self-service isn't an afterthought - they have deliberately made it the only way to control your resources, see your bill, and use your services. For this reason, public cloud self-service quality is incredibly high, with quality user interfaces and APIs.

However, there is a downside to this laser focus on self-service - it's not enough when things go wrong. In such scenarios, cloud customers who have put the IT backbone of their business in the hands of a third party want to talk with a human being. They want to be assured that a quick fix is imminent; they might also feel better raising their voice a little. Thankfully, public cloud service provider phone support, usually provided at an extra cost, is now improving.

Private cloud software has improved to now offer users self-service and, at least from the point of the users ordering extra virtual machines, things are better than they used to be. However, if you want more than virtual machines you might find that private clouds have fewer offerings via their self-service front ends, and these self-service capabilities are often clunky and poorly integrated - leading to a poor user experience. Additionally, APIs tend to be complex or completely missing.

2. Broad Network Access
Private clouds, running inside an enterprise, benefit users because they are on the corporate network and should thus be available to all. Plus most organizations have fast local and wide area networks connecting users to the datacenter within which the private cloud resides.

The downside to this is that enterprise networks can be under-invested in, which leads to fragmented and poorly performing networks that directly impact both user experience and the ability to connect to cloud services. The biggest issue is often the difficulty associated with connecting to private clouds from new locations outside of the corporate network.

Public cloud providers make enormous investments and innovations in their networking. They might provide their own content delivery networks, points of presence, and new ways of software-defined networking. They also often have a global presence that means your cloud resources can be available globally.

However, because these public cloud providers are so large and innovative, their networks have a history of issues with load balancers, noisy neighbors and, as one industry commentator cheekily put it, their own "weather patterns."

3. Multi-Tenancy (Resource Pooling)
The average public cloud provider offers a multi-tenant cloud, pooling resources that it then divides up for individual cloud customers. For example, the Microsoft Azure cloud architecture pools compute resources by rack and then into subdivisions. Storage is architected in pools that are then replicated many times across many locations and also shared among many tenants.

This is a very mature operation but there can still be differences in the service you get, often because the network is one of the most shared (and complex) resources. Resource pools aren't uniform either - when you start a virtual machine you could be in a pool of old or new machines, you don't have a choice. This is resource pooling in action.

In a private cloud, the same architectural pooling is possible, on a smaller scale, and similar mechanisms exist to create and share multi-tenant resource pools using software like OpenStack. However, a private cloud is single-tenant, so the resource pooling has a lower isolation requirement (because the whole cloud is isolated).

4. Elasticity
This is the biggest difference between public and private clouds because it's about size and responsiveness.

Elasticity of resources, up or down, with the requisite changes in billing, is the raison d'etre of cloud. It's what allows people to save money and yet to still be agile and experimental. The only downside is that this pay-as-you-go capability can be costly if you have long-running static workloads.

Private clouds offer consumers elastic resources but they are ultimately constrained by the enterprise IT procurement process. Users can consume all they want up to the ceiling, but to move the ceiling up takes time (and justification).

5. Operations (Measured Service)
In an elastic, self-service system the cloud platform needs some "smarts" to optimize itself and to help the administrator make sense of a constantly moving system.

VMware's Dynamic Resource Scheduler is an example of an enterprise measured service system that is used by VMware's private cloud technology. Visual operations systems then integrate with such a resource scheduler to allow both dynamic and human modifications of cloud resources. However the downside is that these enterprise-grade optimization tools often aren't built specifically for cloud, but they are slowly being integrated and modified over time.

Public cloud systems offer limited, but increasingly better, operational systems for cloud customers. They are constantly optimizing the provider-end of resources to balance acceptable performance with density. These cloud operational systems are built for cloud so they integrate and operate very well, but they may lack the detail that the enterprise user expects.

In summary, public cloud is more advanced than any private cloud; it's becoming easier to use and more integrated with the enterprise. The rate of feature releases and reducing pricing levels at the leading cloud service providers also make a compelling case for public cloud. Private cloud may be comforting to enterprise IT staff, but the cons are stacked with constraints and costs.

More Stories By Sarah Lahav

As the company’s first employee, Sarah Lahav has remained the vital link between SysAid Technologies and its customers since 2003. She is the current CEO and former VP of Customer Relations at SysAid – two positions that have fueled her passion in customer service.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.