AWS vs Private Cloud: Choosing the Absolute Best Cloud Hosting For Your Growing Enterprise

May 3, 2021 Ronald Caldwell

Are you trying to compare AWS vs Private Cloud?

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

Now more than ever, business owners are looking for infrastructure that is easily maintained and scales quickly and efficiently. In-house data centers are becoming a thing of the past for some as they 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 the two options we are comparing, there are still many options for cloud hosting. 

The best options will depend on your project. Read on to get the full list of pros and cons for hosting with AWS vs Private Cloud.

Looking for powerful and secure cloud infrastructure with predictable billing? Download our Complete Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Analysis of Private Cloud for SMBs.

What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon, is a provider of on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs on a metered pay-as-you-go basis.

These cloud computing web services provide various 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 does not provide standard hosting solutions (such as dedicated servers or VPS hosting), but instead services. The products offered via AWS are vast, ranging from Storage services to Analytics. Growing enterprises looking to host websites, eCommerce stores, applications, or just looking for file storage may find what they are looking for with AWS. 

Pros of AWS

Autoscaling and Elasticity

The idea is that the environment is a public cloud built on a vast array of server farms. AWS's public cloud nature offers the ability to create many virtual machine (VM) instances at will, enabling them 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.

Autoscaling and infrastructure elasticity are often enough for any business to want to sign up. However, where there are pros, there are cons alongside them.

Cons of AWS


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 in scaling demand. However, if usage does not get carefully monitored, your monthly spending can become more than what you originally budgeted.


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 whether AWS is a good fit for you. Their Developer, Business, and Enterprise support tiers come with a substantial price tag, while most services come with little to no support included. If you need help beyond the underlying infrastructure, you have to be ready to pay for it.

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 often require support from the vendor. Support options are available, but they have to be ready to pay for it, usually from third parties who are part of the AWS Partner Network. 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.

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. 

As opposed to leveraging various server farms, you get the ability to set up as many nodes as you need to be able to create the right number of virtual machines for your project. This leads to predictable spending and lowers total cost of ownership.

Types of Hosting

There are three main types of private cloud hosting: Virtual Private Cloud, Hosted Private Cloud, and Managed Private Cloud.

Virtual Private Cloud

A Virtual Private Cloud is a remotely-hosted private cloud instance located within a public cloud. The Virtual Private Cloud takes advantage of logical separation for increased security and access control.

Hosted Private Cloud

A Hosted Private Cloud gets hosted by a cloud service provider in an off-premise data center. This type of cloud is dedicated and not shared with other organizations. The service provider manages the network and takes care of the software updates 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.


Highly Customizable

Available firewalls and load balancers make your private cloud highly customizable in addition to scalable. With the high-performance NetApp SAN (Storage Area Network), your files can be stored centrally and accessed across your virtual machines. All of these, combined with the ease with which nodes can get added for computing power, provide vast customization for your sites and applications.

Predictable Spend

Private Cloud hosting offers a set cost over time since your environment is set up based on the resources needed. For most static or naturally growing workloads, you can have fewer price fluctuations and thus a steady calculation of cost. The total cost of ownership on a level monthly recurring cost structure will ultimately be lower.

Ease of Consumption

Private Cloud is also easy to consume without the need for additional skills and training. Unlike the API and services model of AWS, Private Cloud hosting gets built on familiar frameworks and server stacks within Windows and Linux environments. Once your infrastructure gets set up, you're ready to go.


Licensing Costs

A potential downside to a private cloud solution is that it can be costly when factoring in 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 and fixed. A proper assessment would be beneficial to determine how licensing will affect your project.

Not Elastic

The private cloud, though extremely powerful, is not as elastic as a public cloud solution. Adding resources is undoubtedly easy to do, but it is not done automatically as usage increases. In slower growth scenarios, this won't be a factor. Projects requiring rapid growth and lower turnaround times would need a growth plan or a more flexible solution if changes are not predictable.

Use Cases

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

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. With the resources you are allotted, you can create the required virtual machines with available load balancing and failover for high availability.

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.

Choosing Between AWS vs Private Cloud

As with any hosting decision, your specific needs will determine which solution is right for you.

  • Do your workloads require elasticity, or are they static with steady growth?
  • Do you have a specific budget set aside for hosting month over month?
  • Are you going to need support with more than just the underlying hardware but don't have an additional budget for paid services?

There are specific use cases where a Private Cloud solution makes more sense for your project. By taking inventory of your needs upfront, you can make the best decision without causing headaches down the road.

Liquid Web’s Managed Private Cloud Powered By VMware and NetApp

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. Combined with ultra-fast NetApp SAN storage, your virtual machines will deliver maximum speed, scalability, and reliability.

And a dedicated vCenter safeguards your data along with VMware backups powered by Acronis Cyber Backup.

Looking for Powerful Cloud Infrastructure With Predictable Billing? Here’s a Complete TCO Analysis of Private Cloud for SMBs.
White Paper - TCO Analysis of Private Cloud for SMBs

About the Author

Ronald Caldwell

Ron is a Senior Hosting Advisor with Liquid Web where he assists existing and potential clients in finding the right solution for their needs. He has 7+ 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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