A blue street sign shows the word Private pointing in one direction and the word Public pointing in another direction. The background shows clouds, and the street sign is pictured from below.

Knowing that businesses are still debating private cloud vs public cloud is enough to make you want to put any infrastructure optimization on hold so you can switch focus to something more on fire. After decades of hearing that you should move to public cloud and put your business in the hands of AWS, Azure or Google Cloud, you find out that there were other valid options the entire time? Even worse, that you might be overpaying instead of reaping all the cost savings that were promised with public cloud?!

Why do anything at all until there’s one settled solution? 

Listen, we understand. As a strategic infrastructure partner, it’s our job to validate each and every bit of new advice, meaning we’ve chased down just about every trend of the last 20 years. We just didn’t recommend that our clients do the same. At Deft, we’ve stayed true to the fact that the right infrastructure is the infrastructure that’s right for your business. There will never be one answer. There’s just your goals, and the set of tools that can help you accomplish them. 

It’s never made us particularly popular with folks looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s still the right answer — especially now, as we’re seeing somewhere in the neighborhood of two-thirds of our clients moving applications from the public cloud back onto private infrastructure

So. If you didn’t rush to the cloud, what do you need to know now? And if you did, what do you need to watch out for to make sure you’re getting its promised benefits? 

Public cloud can beat private cloud — if you keep it simple

When you’re dealing with a giant public cloud provider, a straightforward approach that maps directly to what they’re offering is the only way to go. Specialized setups belong elsewhere. Keeping your infrastructure as simple as humanly or robotically possible will help you avoid pangs of regret when the bill comes. 

The pitch of the public cloud was the ease of the switch. For many, though, lifting and shifting their infrastructure, without adapting to the cloud platform, left them paying more for what they were getting before. Bigger cloud providers can set bottom-of-the-barrel prices because they operate at scale. There’s one solution, and businesses must make themselves fit to it — not the other way around. 

If you’re starting something new — or willing to change over your entire way of working — that’s fine. You just adopt the tools that come with your public cloud provider of choice. If, however, you depend on software and services that aren’t already a part of the public cloud network you’re looking to join, you’re either looking at a lot of migration and training, or increased risks and costs for every deviation from the norm. That includes apps and tools that weren’t expressly architected for the public cloud environment. By working with a private cloud provider (like Deft and others), you can keep the unique qualities of your environment without getting nickel-and-dimed for everything that makes your infrastructure yours. 

Private cloud vs. public cloud: A question of responsibility and control

So yes, public cloud can be a blessing, and yes, it can bite you if you’re not careful. Like so much of business IT, it’s about finding balance. Public cloud can be set-it-and-forget-it, but you only get so much control over that “set-it” part. AWS will not be adapting its systems to accommodate you. With public cloud, you are relying on a huge organization to do what’s best for your digital assets.

Private cloud, on the other hand, gives you operational, technological, and financial control. The downside is that someone has to run it.

Fortunately, that someone doesn’t need to be you. Few companies will benefit from hiring one staff for running data centers and another for running the business. At Deft, our team specializes in mapping your infrastructure to your needs. You tell us what outcomes you’re looking for, and we do the fact-finding to make it so. 

Private cloud requires more attention, but offers more customization

When you choose a private cloud, you start by selecting everything specific for your business to ensure that steady-state workloads can perform optimally — for both the technology and the billing aspects. You keep total control over your application layer, while a private cloud provider like Deft manages everything that happens behind the scenes. It’s not a plug-and-play solution. It’s bespoke enough to deliver the customization your business needs to keep operating as usual without getting hit with unexpected bills. And it gives you the added benefit of a partner who actually has your back. 

Learn more about private cloud migration

Deft is routinely able to cut our clients’ cloud bill in half by putting steady state workloads into the private cloud while connecting them to the appropriate public cloud resources they want and need or would never have the staff to build themselves.

In most cases, a hybrid public and private cloud solution delivers the best foundation for today’s dynamic organization 

In our decades of experience, a significant proportion of the businesses we’ve worked with have found a custom blend of public and private cloud to be the most cost-effective and efficient way of working. 

The simplest applications can stay in the private cloud, and benefit from the scalability and cost savings that can come with it. The pieces you need more control over though, those can stay in your hands, supported by a service provider who understands your business.

We love this approach, and love being able to provide holistic guidance about how the two can come together. In every engagement, we’ll find some bit of the business that’s best suited to the public cloud ecosystem. We encourage our customers to take advantage of every tool that will make their businesses better, even if it’s not one we offer ourselves. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to determine (or maintain) the best cloud infrastructure for your business alone

Navigating public cloud vs. private cloud can be tough when trends and business needs can shift year-to-year. A hybrid cloud — managed by a trusted IT partner like Deft — will give you options, without requiring you to take on the work in-house. So the next time things change, you’ll have an open line of communication to the experts, and a clear eye into what’s working for your business. 

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Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
sales@deft.com | +1 (312) 829-1111

Inc. 5000 America's Fastest Growing Private Companies