Cloud comparison

In many circumstances agency executives may now have three models from which to choose when building their IT portfolios: A fee-based public cloud; a shared cost, government-only private cloud; or the traditional buy and manage your own.

Public Cloud

Private Government-Only Cloud

Traditional Owner-Managed Infrastructure


Standard defenses offered, but many agencies uncomfortable not knowing exactly where their data physically resides.

Agencies have more control over physical and IT security.

Owners have total control and responsibility, for better or worse.


Typically not very configurable, to insure provider’s economies of scale from common platform.

Varies by number of agencies using the service. Configurability typically rises with fewer users.

Maximum flexibility.

Administrative tools

Very lacking to non-existent.

Lacking, though a highly customized private cloud can have finer controls.

Wide range of very mature tools available.


Excellent value, sometimes even free.

Can be less expensive than traditional infrastructures, but the economies of scale of public clouds often lost.

Higher up-front costs, but cost of a long-lived software package can end up less than cloud’s recurring fees.


Depends on provider’s policy, but may be impossible to move.

Very portable.

Very portable.

Source: FCW

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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