It was a great discussion about public vs. private cloud.

I had an opportunity to attend the “The Big Cloud Debate: Public vs. Private – a Meetup Madness Event ” @ Sydney on 22 May 2018.

Meetup Madness conducted this event; They are Australian based self-funded impressive tech community group.

Debate topics

  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Legacy Strategies
  • Vendor Lock-in
  • Hybrid vs. Pure Private vs. Pure Public
  • Security
  • Leveraging Data
  • Speed to Market
  • People/Talent


There were total eight rounds. Each round had a 30-second huddle, followed by 2 minutes for each team, followed by 2 minutes back and forth.

Many questions were accepted from the audience throughout the discussion. Audience vote was at the end of each round.

At the end of the night, the team that wins the most rounds wins the debate.

Here is the quick summary to give you an idea.

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud, an exciting and essential debate.

They both are great in its ways, its necessary to compare and understand the pros vs. cons in each specific area.

At some point in a closed room, everyone debates this before kicking of each project. And now most companies realize and agree on hybrid or multi-cloud as their strategy.

Key Points

  • When someone’s business model is driven by technology (technology is/as a business ) and data security, then no point going behind a public cloud provider and lock in, because at some point they will limit your growth & increase your operational cost.
  • When your business model is not driven by technology, data is not a concern, & technology itself, not your business; then it doesn’t worth managing people and process in hosting a private cloud on-premises with a high capital expense.

A perfect example taken in a debate was Dropbox, they grown on AWS (Amazon Web Services) for first eight years, then moved 500 petabytes back to on premises, which is 90% of their farm to private cloud.

Dropbox is a cloud storage company, and it makes no sense paying AWS S3 a significant share. It is wise and worth the effort of managing tons of storage, people & process around it.

Another scenario…

A startup or a new project which is just stepping into the market with low capital and high-risk business idea. It’s not worth investing in people & process around managing high tech datacenter across multiple regions.

It makes sense to let it hosted on reliable public cloud platforms like AWS, Alibaba Cloud, Azure, Google Cloud Platform who has time and money to excel in technology, so the startup/new-project can focus on business.


Public Cloud team was announced as a winner based on audience vote.

Who were all there?

Debate Moderators

  • Monica Graham, Executive Director, Service NSW
  • Brent Smart, Chief Marketing Officer, IAG
  • Tim Otton, Head of Cloud Platforms, Telstra
  • Michael Ewald, Executive Manager, Commbank

Public Cloud Debate Team

  • Phoebe Goh, Cloud Architect, NetApp (Public Cloud Advocate)
  • Rory Chatterton, Lead DevOps Consultant, Contino
  • Anthony Leverington, NGINX
  • Google and Azure SME

Private Cloud Debate Team

  • Danny Elmarji, Director of Systems Engineering, DELL EMC
  • David Lloyd, Solutions Architect, VMware
  • Dirk De Vos, Technical Manager, ANZ, Pure Storage
  • Senior Representative from Cisco

Many organizations have started adopting or migrating their legacy infrastructure to the cloud. If you are a newbie, then this is an excellent time to learn to take your career to the next level.