What is a Private Cloud?
A private cloud is a computing environment for a specific organization, featuring public cloud benefits but hosted in a company’s datacenter or via a third-party provider. Private clouds are known for their reliability, scalability, and security, and therefore are often the choice infrastructure option for enterprise workloads.
There are three general cloud deployment models: public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.
A public cloud is delivered through an independent, third-party vendor. Most popularly, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure dominate the market for public cloud. Companies like these maintain compute resources that their customers can utilize when needed. Businesses who use the public cloud share these resources. This is commonly referred to as a “multi-tenant” environment.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a business can create, own, operate, and maintain their own private cloud. While there is more security in this format, on-premises cloud architectures aren’t always the most flexible or scalable because the organization must depend on the resources they already have rather than a third-party vendor’s resources.
Many businesses have realized the benefits of both public and private clouds, and have thus moved on to adopt a hybrid cloud model. In this architecture, a private cloud connects with a public cloud, letting businesses run resource-intensive workloads in both worlds. Commonly, the business will primarily use their private cloud environment, and then “burst” into the public cloud when needed. For a hybrid cloud-based model to work, there must be a high level of compatibility between the software that runs the clouds and the services used in both.
A private cloud, on its own, does offer some of the main features you’ll see in a public cloud. Namely, businesses can still enjoy self-service, scalability, the ability to provision and configure virtual machines (VMs), and scale resources up and down when needed. In short, private clouds are agile, secure, and flexible.
Organizations can also implement chargeback tools to track high-performance cloud computing usage and ensure the business only pays for the resources or services they’re actually using.
Though private cloud has its benefits, especially in regards to security, many businesses don’t intend on only using an on-prem cloud, hoping instead to expand to a hybrid or multi-cloud architecture in the future. That said, many IT decision makers have to pause that goal due to major budget constraints, keeping them from preparing for the multi-cloud operating model.
That’s why it’s important businesses make sure their underlying infrastructure is well-suited to support future hybrid and multi-cloud initiatives, or, if they intend on sticking with a private cloud solution long-term, that the infrastructure delivers public cloud-like power and flexibility into the on-prem environment. But ultimately, the separate storage, servers, virtualization, and networking components in legacy, 3-tier architecture are the root of the issue.
With hyperconverged infrastructure, these separate components merge, eliminating silos. Indeed, this architectural solution supports the private cloud paradigm, providing:
- Reliable security configurations and audits
- Data-at-rest encryption
- Built-in data protection, backup, and disaster recovery
- Rapid, non-disrupted deployment
- IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS)
- Reduced operating expenses and improved ROI
Nowadays, about 52% of organizations run on some form of a private cloud. But this majority, according to recent research, is set to grow even further. In a recent IDC study, researchers found that 80% of organizations had moved applications out of the public cloud and back onto their private cloud. They also found that within the next two years, 50% of all public cloud applications will move back on-premises. What can account for that switch?
In nearly all cases, the reason came down to cost savings. In a separate study, IDC also found that predictable workloads, which account for the majority of all enterprise workloads, on average were about twice as expensive to run in the public cloud than on-premises. There’s also security and predictability in a private cloud, leading many organizations to opt for the cost-saving benefits of running their own cloud architecture in-house.