Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Destiny Bertucci, Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Apache

@CloudExpo: 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.


@CloudExpo Stories
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
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 ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"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...