AWS vs Private Cloud: What’s Best for Your Business?

Posted on by Ronald Caldwell
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Are you comparison shopping AWS vs Private Cloud?

We've gathered the pertinent information so that you can compare the two solutions and decide what works best for your growing enterprise.

Now, more than ever, business owners are looking for IT infrastructure that is easily maintained and scales with ease. In-house data centers are becoming a thing of the past as some move to cloud hosting providers to ease the pressure of staying up to date with technology.

The cloud debate usually leads to the same choices. Beyond AWS and private cloud, there are still many options for cloud hosting. 

The best option for you will depend on the nature of your project. Read on to get the complete list of pros and cons for hosting with AWS vs private cloud.

Table of Contents:

What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon, provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs on a metered, pay-as-you-go basis. These cloud computing web services provide essential infrastructure and distributed computing frameworks and tools. 

An example of these services is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows users to have a virtual computer instance. By combining multiple instances that are accessible via the Internet, users can construct resilient applications. AWS's version of virtual instances imitates most of the attributes of a real computer.

Types of Hosting

AWS chooses to offer a wide range of cloud-based infrastructure services. The products offered via AWS are vast and include services similar to Dedicated Server hosting and VPS hosting, along with Storage services and Analytics. Growing enterprises looking to host websites, eCommerce stores, applications, or just looking for file storage may need to consider their requirements when considering AWS vs private cloud.

Users need to consider autoscaling, specific tools, as well as integrations with still more open-source, third-party tools using AWS vs opting to host easily on a private cloud such as Liquid Web’s VMware Private Cloud.

Pros and Cons of AWS vs Private Cloud

Pros of AWS vs Private Cloud

Autoscaling and Elasticity

The AWS environment is a public cloud built on a vast array of server farms. The very nature of this public cloud offers the ability to create many virtual machine (VM) instances at will, enabling IT teams to scale up and down automatically for many applications. The infrastructure is elastic, allowing you to have as many or as few resources as necessary.

Reliability

Some IT teams prefer using AWS vs private cloud because they’re essentially partnering with Amazon. AWS users get the advantage of Amazon’s multi-billion-dollar computing infrastructure on their side. 

Leveraging a platform that serves over one million clients gives business owners the peace of mind of working with a platform that performs tasks the right way every time. AWS users can also rely on services like automatic recovery and DynamoDB storage that stores data in three accessibility zones to ensure mission-critical data remains intact. 

Cons of AWS vs Private Cloud

Potential to Overspend

Most consumers look at a pay-as-you-go structure to be a good thing. In this structure, you pay for what you use, which offers flexibility. However, if you don’t carefully monitor usage, your monthly spending can become more than you originally budgeted. This might not be a concern for larger corporations, but every dollar counts for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Lack of Support

Strongly consider the support level you will require for your business, both now and down the road. How much or little help you need will play a factor in choosing AWS vs private cloud. 

AWS’ Developer, Business, and Enterprise support tiers come with a substantial price tag, while most other packages come with little to no support included. If you need help beyond the underlying infrastructure, you have to be ready to pay for it.

General Service Issues

While leveraging the power of a company the size of Amazon can be a gift, it can also be a curse. Millions of IT managers and CTOs around the globe choose to use AWS. 

That amount of traffic can bog down any infrastructure—even the infrastructure of a multi-billion-dollar company. As a result, you can experience more temporary cloud computing issues like server downtime and inconsistent connectivity with AWS vs private cloud.

AWS Use Cases

Ideal use cases for Amazon Web Services are developers, agencies, and companies who need scalability in addition to high availability. They would also have the technical aptitude to architect and manage their environment to take advantage of the entire range of AWS services. Also, they would not require support from the vendor often. 

Support options are available from third parties who are part of the AWS Partner Network, but users can expect to pay extra for it. Finally, usage costs may be less of a concern for these clients because they can closely track usage and its impact on the utilized services.

If you’re deciding whether AWS is suitable for your business, it may be helpful to look at some real-world scenarios. Here are a few more specific examples of where AWS can be put to work.

1. Mobile, Web, and Social Apps

AWS allows engineers to develop trendy, innovative web, and social apps on Amazon’s serverless platform. Not so long ago, this type of project required the use of Amazon’s on-site legacy server room. But now, that’s no longer the case.

Evolutions in AWS give developers the ability to design these apps without needing a server OS or other typical system infrastructure.

2. Enterprise IT

Traditionally, the time it takes for procurement and server implementation are notorious culprits of the slow pace associated with Enterprise IT adoption. 

By using AWS, IT managers and CTOs can run and test secondary operations in the cloud. 

3. Gaming

High-speed, high-resolution gaming applications are infamous for being resource-intensive software platforms. AWS offers a readily available global gaming network that provides an evolved gaming experience to its users.

What is Private Cloud?

Private Cloud is a service through which you can connect two or more physical servers into one. All of the resources from the physical servers or nodes are joined together into a single pool of resources. Those resources get distributed across virtual machines that you deploy on your nodes.

A private cloud offers similarities to the public cloud but in your very own cluster of servers. Regarding the comparison of AWS vs private cloud, AWS leverages various server farms instead of server clusters.

When structuring your private cloud, you can set up as many nodes as you need to accommodate the necessary number of virtual machines for your project. This leads to predictable spending and lowers the total cost of ownership of private cloud vs AWS.

Types of Private Cloud Hosting

There are three main types of private cloud hosting: virtual private cloud, hosted private cloud, and managed private cloud.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

Virtual private cloud (VPC) is a remotely hosted private cloud instance located within a public cloud. When comparing AWS vs virtual private cloud, VPC can offer more security and access control, since it leverages logical separation.

Hosted Private Cloud

Hosted private cloud gets hosted by a cloud service provider in an off-premises data center. This type of cloud is on dedicated server infrastructure and is not shared with other organizations. The service provider manages the network and takes care of the software and hardware behind the cloud.

Managed Private Cloud

In managed private cloud hosting, the provider is responsible for networking, hardware, software such as VMware, and the private cloud’s day-to-day operations. The managed private cloud usually includes additional features, saving businesses considerable time and money in the long run. You’ll have much more control over your resources with a managed private cloud vs AWS.

Pros and Cons of Private Cloud Hosting

If you’re considering using AWS, you may want to take a look at private cloud hosting before you pull the trigger. While AWS can fit the bill in some cases, private cloud is much easier to set up and operate overall. 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, and what you can expect from private cloud hosting.

Pros of Private Cloud

Feature-Rich

Available firewalls and load balancers are built-in to the infrastructure of your private cloud and part of our service here at Liquid Web. With the high-performance NetApp SAN (Storage Area Network), your files can be stored centrally and accessed across your virtual machines. These features give you all the resources you need to support your current server usage and also allow you to scale.

Predictable Spend

Private Cloud hosting offers a set cost over time since your environment is set up based on the necessary resources. For most static or predictable resource usage, you can have fewer price fluctuations with private cloud vs AWS. Liquid Web customers also get the added benefit of free outbound traffic. 

The total cost of ownership will ultimately be lower because of the monthly recurring cost structure.

Ease of Consumption

Private Cloud is also easy to consume without the need for additional skills and training. Users may also prefer the familiar structure they get with private cloud vs AWS. 

Unlike the API and services model of AWS, Private Cloud hosting operates within Windows and Linux environments on easy-to-use frameworks and server stacks. Once your infrastructure gets set up, you're ready to go.

Cons of Private Cloud

Licensing Costs

You may want to consider pricing when choosing private cloud or AWS. A private cloud solution can be costly because of the need for additional licensing. There is a premium to be paid for additional licensing if needed. If this is a fixed cost and rapid growth is unnecessary, the cost can be more predictable. 

It pays to conduct a proper assessment to determine how Windows licensing cost will affect your project.

Less Elastic

The private cloud, though extremely powerful, is not as elastic as a public cloud solution. Adding resources is easy enough and can even be done on-demand within the confines of your private cloud’s resource limitations. Projects requiring rapid growth and short turnaround times may need more flexibility if changes are not predictable.

Private Cloud Use Cases

Ideal use cases for Private Cloud would be those agencies, businesses, and developers looking for single-tenant cloud hosting. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS hosting) projects, eCommerce sites, Point-of-Sale apps, client management systems, and cross-platform applications all have requirements that Private Cloud meets.

Truly seeing the comparison of private cloud vs AWS, for some, may require seeing how both technologies unfold in the real world. Let’s take a look at where private cloud could improve the real-world performance of your IT estate.

1. SaaS Applications

One of the projects that take advantage of the private cloud infrastructure would be multi-platform SaaS applications requiring single-tenant hosting with the cloud's power. The servers you need may be minimal, but you need those servers highly available and scalable. You can create the required virtual machines with available load balancing and failover for high availability with the allotted resources.

2. Big Data

Database-intensive websites and applications have massive data sets that are continually growing. Your solution needs to be able to store and process the data efficiently across nodes and virtual machines. The Private Cloud's Distributed Resource Scheduler responds by redistributing resources from other virtual machines to aid in your mission-critical tasks.

Scaling for growth in these instances is made simple by adding additional nodes to accommodate increased resource needs. By adding resources in this manner, virtual machines can be scaled across the private array as needed.

3. E-Governance Applications

Private cloud and public cloud offer similar advantages for serverless hosting and speed. However, one of the unique benefits of running an in-house, private cloud is added security.

Government organizations at all levels feel comfortable and confident knowing they can rely on this added layer of privacy. Private cloud also allows governments to reduce the costs of managing, updating, and installing their web-based applications. That money that’s saved can go directly toward improving the lives of citizens via improved public service initiatives.

Choosing Between AWS and Private Cloud

If you’re looking for ease of use, then private cloud is the choice for you. Liquid Web’s VMware Private Cloud can provide you with all of the features, storage, and security you need to manage your important data.

While AWS offers a wide variety of products, their EC2 is really the only application comparable to a private cloud solution. And that solution is very much a do-it-yourself setup. There are a seemingly endless number of customizable components users have to consider when setting up AWS. 

By using Liquid Web’s VMware Private Cloud, customers will get a done-for-you solution that doesn’t require any additional knowledge. Virtualization and setting up instances through AWS requires a significant amount of additional training and can be a very daunting task for the average user. 

Liquid Web’s Managed Private Cloud Powered by VMware

Liquid Web's VMware Private Cloud provides a fully managed and secure solution built for performance and backed by our world-class 24/7/365 support. 

We take care of the infrastructure and cloud platform so that you can focus on your virtual machines, websites, and applications. You get a secure single-tenant environment with premium hardware, a firewall, and a load balancer. Combine that with ultra-fast NetApp SAN storage, and your virtual machines will deliver maximum speed, scalability, and reliability. You’ll also receive the benefit of a dedicated vCenter safeguarding your data along with VMware backups powered by Acronis Cyber Backup.

This in-depth comparison of AWS vs private cloud should give you the necessary information to make a confident, informed decision about the right provider for your organization. Speed, security, reliability, and your specific niche are the main factors to consider before pulling the trigger on your final choice.

As always, Liquid Web is here to help. Contact a representative from our team today with any questions, or feel free to browse our extensive library of online resources.

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About the Author

Ronald Caldwell

Ron is a Technical Writer at Liquid Web working with the Marketing team. He has 9+ years of experience in Technology. He obtained an Associate of Science in Computer Science from Prairie State College in 2015. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart and lives in Michigan with her and their children.

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