When Air France recently decided to adopt a cloud solution for their expanding server network, they had to decide if a private or public cloud worked best.

With between 350 and 500 installations and reinstallations annually, the airline's Linux server farm was growing quickly, and installation costs were getting too high. They needed to standardize their network on a single tool that would allow them to automate all of the processes they were currently doing manually.

Air France chose a private cloud solution, helping them to automate and increase reliability of its 1,500 servers. Their cloud solution dramatically brought down the time it took to bring IT environments to service, as well as improved quality and cut costs.

"Since automating our installation processes, we have gone from around six days for installing a server cluster to one day and, instead of more than 24 hours, it now takes less than 15 minutes to install one virtual machine," said Air France head of open systems Patrick Bourel.

The biggest difference between public and private cloud solutions is that a private cloud only houses and distributes a single organization's data and applications while a public one serves multiple groups. By employing a private enterprise cloud, a business has many more options available to them because they are in total control. These include:

1) Security
Private clouds are more secure, most importantly, because there is only one enterprise's information on the server, meaning no one else can access it. When hosting data with a third-party cloud provider, data is accessible only through private and secure network links. Encryption and security measures also go further with a private cloud, because they are commonly behind firewalls.

2) Better Back Ups
Private clouds offer better redundancy control and allow an organization to choose how much is right for them, meaning a group never pays for something they won't use. An enterprise can customize its own disaster recovery plan as well, ensuring the company's interests are well protected at all times.

3) Enhanced Service
Private clouds offer completely customizable services that are built for business. Service is also more predictable and speeds are faster because a private cloud is only working with one enterprise. Additionally, there is greater flexibility to move workloads with a private solution. If specific servers see a spike in usage or a new application is put in use, things can be changed at a moments notice. With a public option, approval would need to be sought before any changes could be made.

4) Better Access to SaaS
A private cloud solution makes it possible for enterprises to implement their own software as a service platform, or a private SaaS. This simplifies employees' access to operational applications quickly and efficiently through a streamlined portal.

According to InformationWeek, "Taken together, this means higher asset utilization and much lower cost of service delivery. CIOs can implement SaaS to modernize and recast their current software application portfolios as profit centers based on business value, rather than as cost centers. And they can deliver these software services faster, with improved management, oversight and control."