Private cloud storage is on-premises storage that uses the cost savings and flexibility of the cloud while limiting access to authorized users only. Also known as internal cloud storage, private cloud storage is used for mission-critical work that requires more security than public cloud.

Current storage trends

Recent surveys reveal that more than half of enterprises rely solely on legacy purchase and acquisition models for storage. Reasons for doing so vary, but most organizations who persist with on-premises storage do so for data security reasons.

However, in the last year, an overwhelming majority of enterprises have increased their cloud usage—far more than what was estimated in 2019. This dramatic shift occurred due in large part to urgent changes in business operations caused by COVID-19.

How does private cloud storage work?

Private cloud virtualizes storage for all users within an organization that can only be accessed by authorized nodes. It operates by connecting a storage virtualization application to a data center housing a series of storage clusters. Using a multi-tenant architecture, storage space for multiple applications, nodes, or departments is housed on a single storage array. Access to the nodes is controlled by administrative policies and a management console located on the organization’s internal network.

Security and private cloud storage

In a private cloud, enterprise IT has direct control over data and is largely responsible for its protection. As opposed to public cloud, the business maintains its cybersecurity posture in-house and keeps full visibility of all data protection efforts, adjusting as needs change.

The price for such granular control and visibility, however, is higher than for public cloud storage access. While providing more flexibility, it also requires more time for enterprise IT to manage the design and maintenance of cybersecurity tools.

How is private cloud storage used?

Private cloud users generally have security requirements that prevent them from deploying storage to the public cloud. For example, major pharma companies often need to keep at least some of their data, systems, and apps on-premises because data breaches would be catastrophic to business. Due to heavy regulations on protecting patient data, they need the exceptional cybersecurity protection offered by private cloud storage. By deploying storage on a private cloud, they gain the cloud-like benefits of asset management and redundancy, as well as scalability, while creating a more stable and efficient business with streamlined operations and a healthier data ecosystem.

Government entities also often need modernization, which would benefit from adding a private cloud storage component to their infrastructure. For example, as the volume and criticality of data continues to swell from new systems, devices, and users across hundreds of sites, state-owned enterprises have come to recognize they need to future-proof through a more flexible and secure infrastructure. The solution? A platform that brings the cloud to them, avoiding costly and time-consuming on-premises buildouts. Private cloud storage provides the flexible, scalable, and secure cloud experience that gives room to grow and with costs apportioned to that growth.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of private cloud storage?


  • Reduced cost: Using private cloud storage allows an organization to avoid unnecessary infrastructure purchases in advance of needs and decreases the risk of purchased technology becoming obsolete.
  • Increased business agility and adaptability: Because private cloud storage is scalable, expanding or contracting resources is more fluid and cost effective, which enables a more agile, adaptable enterprise that can more rapidly adopt technologies that drive business value.
  • Flexible OPEX: Private cloud storage provides a pay-as-you-grow fee structure with capacity and cost transparency that aligns IT spending with actual usage.
  • Strong security: Using private cloud storage ensures secure access across an organization. And because of its secure network links, it also provides greater control and privacy.
  • Resource efficiency: AI-based automation offered within private cloud storage platforms drives faster and more accurate task execution, along with self-service capabilities that free up precious IT resources to work on higher-value projects and support more business units.


  • IT complexity: With private cloud storage in the ecosystem, IT must own and maintain extra hardware and software stacks for disaster recovery.
  • Automation costs: The automation technology needed for efficient storage processing between the private cloud and on-premises infrastructure requires significant capital to purchase.
  • Compatibility issues: Most systems are now sprawling collections of VMs, which means a lot of variation in systems, processes, and performance. That can impact connections and data migrations to the private cloud.
  • Bottlenecks and blind spots: IT must execute consistent performance testing to keep an eye on issues that may crop up at any time.

What is the difference between private and public cloud storage?

While both public and private cloud storage share the scalability and self-service capabilities found in cloud computing, they have a few significant differences.

  • Architecture: In private cloud storage, the virtual infrastructure serves the needs of a single organization. By contrast, public cloud storage serves multiple organizations at the same time. This difference is known as single tenant vs. multi-tenant architecture.
  • Management: With public cloud storage, users do not have to create or maintain their own storage systems. However, in a private cloud storage environment, IT must set up, maintain, and control the proprietary architecture within its own data center.
  • Cost: Public cloud storage offers the ability to pay for storage as a “utility,” where you only pay for resources that you use. Private cloud storage comes at a greater cost since users maintain total control and ownership of its environment while the service provider takes care of basic network maintenance and configuration.
  • Security: With private cloud storage, users gain the increased security of an isolated network.
  • Performance: The public cloud presents a certain measure of unreliability and lack of control due to its dispersed architecture. With private cloud storage, having resources solely dedicated to one organization allows for more reliable, consistent performance.
  • Customization: With private cloud storage, providers cater custom environments to organizations, whereas in the public cloud, users get standardized offerings.

How does HPE help with private cloud storage?

Named a leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Primary Storage, HPE now makes it possible for organizations to achieve speed, simplicity, and pay-per-use value in their private cloud environments with HPE GreenLake.


HPE GreenLake for private cloud

HPE GreenLake provides the cloud experience on-premises, with a managed service, including design, installation, and operation, of your private cloud infrastructure. It offers a self-service dashboard that enables users to quickly spin up VMs—within IT’s governance and control—and offers full transparency of usage and costs.


HPE GreenLake for VMs

For enterprises deploying 100 or more VMs, or those with significant DevOps resource demands, this scalable offering includes the infrastructure and software to bring a public cloud-like experience that can improve productivity on premises. With this HPE private cloud solution, you can spin up VMs in five clicks or less from the self-service VM dashboard. This solution can be installed in your data center with no up-front capital costs; you only pay for VM usage above your reserved amount.


HPE GreenLake for containers

HPE GreenLake delivers a preconfigured platform designed for fast, easy multi-cluster, multi-tenant Kubernetes container deployment. This on-premises, fully managed, pay-per-use solution supports both cloud-native and non-cloud-native applications and delivers the security and scalability your business demands.


HPE also provides HPE Synergy, a composable infrastructure that manages and optimizes data center assets. With HPE Synergy, you can modernize your business operations and gain availability and performance improvements without concerns of overreaching costs or losing functionality.