There has been a lot of talk about private clouds, and even going back to mainframes and the security and privacy benefits they can offer over public clouds.
More services are available to make it easy for institutions to host their own clouds, including a new release that works on Windows Server 2012. And, they can shield your institution from some of the security concerns with data housed in other states and countries.
However, the cost of buying and maintaining the equipment and security in-house can be higher than with public clouds, where those costs are spread across multiple users. Public clouds make a lot of sense for higher education, with the many options for admissions, student data management, faculty research across institutions, and student access off-site.
So, some institutions are choosing a hybrid approach, storing the most sensitive data in a small-scale private cloud and using public cloud resources for other types of data and applications. This can help balance the need for security with the desire to keep costs down.
One of the main things you want to think about when deciding which type of cloud — public, private, or a blend of the two — is the best option for your school is the level of security that is required for the type of data storage or computer processes you are hoping to virtualize. If your stakeholders or governing body require the highest security, a private or hybrid cloud might be what you need to implement.
Find more background info on the differences between private and public clouds here. If you are interested in learning more about how to create and manage a private cloud or how it compares to public clouds, you can order the Private Cloud Computing Market and Focus to 2015: Worldwide Analysis. Be warned, though, that the cost is a little steep.