Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Yeshim Deniz, Sandi Mappic, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Open Source, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Apache

Cloud Expo: Article

Virtual Private Cloud Computing vs. Public Cloud Computing

Which one makes the most sense depends on your requirements

Cloud computing has found its way into many organizations as business leaders and IT departments look to capitalize on the many benefits that cloud offers. As your company considers moving all or part of its IT operation to the cloud, a key decision is whether to rely on public cloud, virtual private cloud, or a combination. Finalizing a cloud strategy must start with understanding your objectives and how they best align with the value each offering can provide.

The public cloud can be characterized by IT resources delivered via the Internet using a standardized, self-service, pay-per-use methodology. Public clouds are designed to provide compute resources virtually at will - similar to that of a utility. Public clouds are highly standardized, allow limited customization, and their respective resources can be oversubscribed and massively shared. Workloads requiring inexpensive storage or compute cycles where known response time to the user community is not critical can be a fit with the public cloud.

Virtual private clouds offer scalable compute resources similar to that of public clouds, but in a more controlled environment. Virtual private cloud providers, especially those with managed services around hosted applications, bring insight into the workload and impacts to the infrastructure. Virtual private cloud providers have the flexibility to customize solutions to meet security and performance requirements. They can also identify where customer data is stored, as in a specific data center or country. The setup allows for more customization and delivers a higher-degree of privacy and security.

As you determine which methodology makes the most sense for your business, here are the three major assessment areas to consider and help guide you in your decision.

Availability Comparison
When it comes to accessing more computing resources, both virtual private and public clouds are designed to provide highly elastic compute power and data storage. When you need more resources, you can request and receive them almost immediately. However, there is a tradeoff since public cloud customers are competing for the same pool of resources. This can impact the cloud experience with unexpected bursts in demand or seasonal type activity. Virtual private cloud providers are able to introduce a level of segmentation to protect workload for a predictable user experience, but still provide the resiliency and flexibility the cloud provides for availability.

Like the public cloud, virtual private cloud services rely on virtualized computing resources to provide elasticity and scale. However, each customer is given its own private pool of resources rather than sharing them. Resources can be expanded, but it is done in a more controlled manner.

Virtual private clouds can offer a degree of elasticity, but also a higher degree of stability than public clouds. This is why virtual private clouds are more attractive for production environments, where the ability to scale is important, but uptime is just as critical.

Another key component to availability is access to the compute resources in the cloud. Traditionally access to the public cloud is done via the Internet. Virtual private cloud providers can be more accommodating for those customers that want to leverage the private line wide area networks currently deployed. With the potential to leverage the Internet as an alternate path to the environment with a dynamic reroute across a hardware-based VPN solution should any carrier issues arise.

Security Comparison
Like any utility, public clouds are easily accessible by the masses. Security controls are in place, but with limits as to how much they can control risk. Public clouds thus can be attractive targets for hackers who enjoy the challenge of breaking into public clouds, which they can then use anonymously to attack other sites.

Virtual private clouds offer more security since computing resources are more logically separated. Where virtual private cloud providers are hosting known applications, tighter security at the network layer can be deployed to further reduce the risk of unnecessary traffic. Security zones and firewall rule sets can be deployed to address multi-tenancy concerns of cloud offerings.

As stated above on availability, there is also a higher degree of security with access to the cloud resources and connectivity. Companies accessing the virtual private cloud via virtual private networks or dedicated circuit can beneficial for firms in highly regulated arenas where enterprise data needs to be protected carefully to demonstrate financial and operational stability to regulators and investors.

Control Comparison
By design, public clouds give users direct control over the volume of computing resources provisioned: you simply provision what you need when you need it. But, you cannot control what other customers in the resource pool access, which may affect your environment and minimize performance predictability.

Public clouds also make modifications to the underlying infrastructure more challenging. For example, if a technical change is needed, such as a software patch or hardware swap, that change impacts everyone because customers are not isolated from each other. Also there is no coordination with the application MTRs running on top of the infrastructure and how the updates may impact functionality. In addition, customers must diligently control the level of computing resources they contract for, monitoring the resources they need and use, and then requesting resources to be turned off when no longer needed; providing less control over computing costs.

Conversely, a virtual private cloud gives you more control over the performance of the technology environment. Customers can work jointly with virtual private cloud providers to adhere to change control policies that may already be established. Resource allocation and load balancing can be finely tuned based on each customer's environment, usage patterns, and resource consumption.

The environment is also more resilient as more sophisticated redundancy and failover capabilities can be incorporated. Virtual private clouds can also more easily provide degrees of data backup for various data retention policies. Customized solutions for disaster recovery customers based on recovery point and recovery time objectives can all be taken into the design criteria for a solution.

Utility and Consistency Requirements Dictate the Ultimate Choice
If your business requires basic computing resources where uptime and system control are not mission-critical, public clouds can serve as an inexpensive method for rapid provisioning of IT infrastructure. As is the case with most utility companies, public cloud providers offer a serviceable, raw platform at a low cost.

But if you want scalability benefits with more control, virtual private cloud services are much more likely to meet your requirements. Virtual private clouds essentially provide a more consistent experience because providers are more in tune with how their customers use the infrastructure and can plan accordingly. This allows for application performance SLAs where customers can shift their focus away from managing the infrastructure and concentrate on their business. Customers receive the benefits of scale and can leverage the cost savings that cloud provides without all the management issues.

More Stories By Kjel Hanson

Kjel Hanson is Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services at Velocity Technology Solutions, where for the last 14 years he has focused on the delivery of hosting JD Edwards and Infrastructure Managed Services. He has participated in over 75 customer ERP migrations to hosting. Areas of responsibility have included the design and operational delivery of all data center and cloud technologies including network, server platforms, virtualization, and storage.

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.


Cloud Expo Latest Stories
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore’s Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, to discuss how infrastructure teams should be aware of the capitalization and depreciation model of these expenses to fully understand when and where automation is critical.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.