What is private cloud?
Private cloud is a computing model that offers a proprietary environment dedicated to a single business entity. As with other types of cloud computing environments, private cloud provides extended, virtualized computing resources via physical components stored on-premises or at a vendor's datacenter.
One of the chief advantages of a private cloud deployment is the enhanced degree of control offered to the organization. Because the private cloud is only accessible to a single business, that organization can configure the environment and manage it in a manner that is uniquely tailored to the specific computing needs of the company.
A private cloud strategy may be comprised of hardware hosted locally at a facility owned by a business, or it may be hosted by a cloud service provider. Virtual private clouds are typically paid for on a rolling basis, but provisioned hardware and storage configurations maintain the benefits of a secure, exclusive network.
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IT leaders have three general cloud models to choose from, each with a unique set of capabilities and advantages. A private cloud (also known as an internal cloud or corporate cloud) is the most secure option because the organization has direct control over the infrastructure and only authorized users can access the network.
Public cloud services are another popular choice because the enterprise can control costs by reducing on-site hardware investments. With low upfront costs, an organization can deploy an application within the public cloud with ease. Public cloud also allows organizations to fail cheaply if the application does not meet expectations. This can be important for lean businesses that need to reserve capital.
Hybrid cloud models offer the advantages of public and private clouds by bridging the two models with a layer of proprietary software. Hybrid cloud makes it possible to store vital data in a secure on-site environment while simultaneously leveraging the computing power of the public cloud. Meanwhile, the business only pays for the computing power it uses, allowing for additional cost savings.
Private cloud solutions bring value to an enterprise by abstracting cloud computing processes in a much more efficient way compared with traditional virtualization. A few of the primary advantages include:
- Security and compliance: For businesses operating in heavily regulated industries, compliance is paramount. Private cloud infrastructure gives organizations the ability to comply with strict regulations because sensitive data is held on hardware that cannot be accessed by anyone else. This advantage is available through on-site hardware installations as well as in hosted services.
- Customization: Private clouds are fully configurable by the organizations using the solution. A fully private cloud is constructed by an on-site cloud architect, which means stakeholders can specify the exact environment needed to run proprietary applications. Hosted private clouds offer the same advantages but require no on-site setup. In that case, the business works with a vendor to set up and manage a cloud for its exclusive use.
- Hybrid integration: When an application needs additional computing resources, hybridization extends the resources of the private cloud into a public cloud to maintain uptime without needing to install additional physical servers. This can be a cost-effective solution for organizations that need the security of a private cloud but still want other functions to operate with the power of a public cloud service.
A private cloud can introduce challenges if an organization does not have consistent computing needs. When resource demand is in flux, a private cloud may not be able to scale effectively, costing the organization more money in the long run. Here are key considerations IT stakeholders should review:
- Up-front costs: Fully private clouds hosted on-site require a substantial outlay of capital before they can bring value to the organization. The hardware required to run a private cloud can be very expensive and will require an expert cloud architect to set up, maintain, and manage. Hosted private clouds, however, can mitigate these costs substantially.
- Capacity utilization: Under the private cloud computing model, the organization is wholly responsible for maximizing capacity utilization. An under-utilized cloud deployment can cost the business significantly.
- Scalability: If the business needs additional computing power from the private cloud, it may take extra time and money to scale up the private cloud's available resource. Typically, this process will take longer than scaling a virtual machine or requesting additional resources from a public cloud provider.
Businesses that are interested in private cloud adoption but don’t have access to the capital required to invest in an on-site solution can benefit from working with a private cloud service provider. Some of the biggest names in this space include HPE, Cisco, and Microsoft.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been a major player in the private and hybrid cloud computing space for years. HPE offers robust services with support for any business need. Clients can choose the hardware and network configurations needed to optimize storage and computing needs.
Cisco offers on-demand infrastructure, automated container management, and advanced application performance management. Cisco solutions provide data security that moves with workloads to enhance compliance.
Microsoft Azure brings the power of an advanced cloud to any corporate datacenter. Azure is ready for hybridization, which means organizations can take full advantage of compliance offerings while benefiting from the full Azure cloud solution as needed.
Other major private cloud providers include Dell, IBM, VMware, Oracle, and Red Hat. Each provider has a unique set of cloud offerings.
As organizations look to achieve greater agility and control, many are looking to leverage a mix of private and public clouds—which means you'll need a way to manage public cloud resources alongside on-premises workloads. Citrix solutions allow organizations to create the hybrid cloud migration strategy that works best for the business.