Public cloud vs. private cloud: Which backup system is best for your business?

Public cloud vs. private cloud: Which backup system is best for your business?

Cloud-based backup systems have proven to be an invaluable tool that more and more businesses have chosen to adopt for storing and protecting important files and documents.

Unlike traditional backup systems based on local data platforms such as external hard drives, tape backups, and thumb drives, cloud-based backups provide a greater degree of accessibility alongside improved security. These cloud-based backups can be accessed from any internet-enabled device and with appropriate security clearance, and unlike local backup solutions are immune to physical threats such as theft, damage, or loss.

Moreover, cloud-based backups are often more cost-effective and easy to manage, with a single service provider being able to oversee all aspects of its maintenance for an all-inclusive monthly fee.

Public or private?

When it comes to cloud-based backup systems, the choice between utilizing a public cloud and a private one is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make.

Essentially, a public cloud backup system is built on infrastructure shared with those of other businesses or users, not unlike serviced apartments within the same building under the same management. Conversely, a private cloud is akin to a house that stands on separate premises from any others.

There are four crucial factors to consider when choosing between public and private cloud environments:


Use of a private cloud can stem from heightened security requirements, as being housed on separate infrastructure can minimize the number of access points to your material that can be exploited by unwanted third parties.

While public cloud-based backup systems are secure enough in the majority of circumstances, private clouds can be preferable if your business is under stringent data regulations like HIPAA and PCI DSS. If your business has very specific or particular security requirements, a private cloud will also allow you to configure privacy settings, file encryption, and data management protocols to your exact needs.


As with security settings, private clouds provide the flexibility needed to suit the IT resource requirements of your business. If your business’s needs are particularly dynamic and unpredictable, a private cloud can be tailored to those specifications without the complication brought about by other organizations.


The hardware of a private cloud can be determined by its user, so a private cloud is recommended if complete control over the hardware and servers your business uses is required. Constant availability can also be provided, with private clouds allowing for failover control, or the ability to keep cloud services going when servers shut down or lose connection by rerouting workloads to unaffected servers.


Private clouds can be enabled through a third-party cloud services provider or by investing in the hardware and software necessary to build your own private cloud on-premises. Either option incurs a higher cost than paying for allocation on a public cloud. You must ensure that your business will be able to shoulder these costs and that the cost is justified.

What to look for in a cloud service provider

Regardless of whether you opt for a public or private cloud backup system, you must thoroughly evaluate cloud services providers before migrating data to the cloud. These are the things to keep in mind:

Technology integration

Any cloud-based backup system you wish to integrate into your business needs to be compatible with your existing technology stack and processes.


In addition to compatibility concerns, you’ll want to choose a cloud system whose implementation will require minimal additional investment in terms of capital or training. Choosing a system with a smooth learning curve for your team will allow you to deploy more quickly and with fewer issues.


The speed of data exchanges and processes between data centers is influenced by the physical distance between them. You want to choose a solution that mitigates the distance between the cloud infrastructure and that of your business. In addition to performance factors, legal regulation differs between states or regions, and having a cloud infrastructure in a different regulatory area requires that you be ready to handle the complications that arise from this.

If you’re still undecided about whether to back up your data in a public or private cloud environment, consult with Athens Micro’s cloud experts. We’ll assess your needs and develop a suitable backup strategy for your business. Contact Athens Micro now to get started on your cloud-based journey.

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