What is private cloud?
A private cloud is an on-site cloud computing architecture that is accessible and managed, by a single enterprise or organization, offering additional virtual processing and storage resources. It provides cloud computing benefits with high security and control of on-premises IT infrastructure. The main benefits include resource customization, flexibility, scalability, quick delivery, and access controls.
Reasons behind the preference for private cloud over public cloud:
- It is easy to fulfil the regulatory compliance standards.
- It validates the security and integrity of sensitive information and documents, such as financial records, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information.
- It enables the transfer of workloads to public cloud or hybrid cloud environments.
The private cloud is also known as single-tenant or isolated access, as all the computing resources are available to a dedicated customer. It is generally hosted on-premises in the data center of an enterprise/organization. However, in some cases, it can be hosted on autonomous data centers. Virtual Private cloud allows the users to provision and configure the servers virtually and access computing resources on demand to facilitate optimal resource utilization.
Advantages of private cloud
Customers can buy hardware and software resources according to their preferences. Also, they can customize the servers and software according to their needs with the help of add-ons or via custom development. Also, the users get unified visibility and control as the workloads run behind firewalls.
Restricted Private Cloud Access
While it shares many benefits of cloud computing, such as scalability and flexibility, private cloud access is restricted to a single customer or organization, offering optimal security for specific industry or regulatory requirements or for those who work with sensitive data such as medical records or confidential documents.
No Limits Based on Third-Parties
With a private cloud architecture, end users are not beholden to third-party providers, giving them more controlled access to their data—and the ability to respond quickly in the case of component failures. And since all infrastructure is located on the premises and not shared with multiple tenants, private cloud models enable more opportunities for customized IT architectures.
How does private cloud work?
Before they begin IT infrastructure virtualization or container orchestration, administrators build their custom assemblage of servers, software, security, and other applications depending on their precise workload needs. This ability to customize—which isn’t offered through public cloud offerings—is one of the more attractive advantages of private cloud. However, greater customizability, access, and visibility often incur additional upfront expenses.
The private cloud can span multiple server, storage, and network systems. This enables IT administrators to create a pool of resources that can be partitioned for multiple workloads using virtual machines and/or containers. This partitioning or sharing of physical resources provides better efficiency and is easier to scale up or down. The process for provisioning new workloads for applications is automated and monitored through a central management including optimization, security, and business continuity.
Private cloud vs. public cloud vs. hybrid cloud
Private cloud is only one of several cloud options available for enterprises and organizations. Depending on their needs and who maintains it, a cloud can be classified into two additional categories, each with their own benefits.
Because private clouds are often dedicated to one group or tenant, this method offers more opportunities for customization, access, and security—at a higher upfront cost. Additionally, compared to public cloud offerings, private cloud capacity can be much more or much less scalable, depending on the infrastructure and the predictability of the change in demand.
Public cloud services are managed by a third-party provider at a remote location, offering highly flexible and scalable cloud resources for many enterprises and organizations. For an agreed-upon rate, the third-party provider manages and secures all resources or storage. The primary trade-off is visibility, access, and customization for enhanced, on-demand agility.
Hybrid cloud infrastructures combine elements of public cloud and private cloud. Here, an enterprise or organization offloads certain resources to a third-party provider while keeping select infrastructure on site. Doing so increases a company’s ability to control, access, and manage its data and hardware, especially for varied workloads, and meet stringent security or privacy requirements.
Modern private cloud applications
Despite the rising popularity of public cloud, private cloud still remains a valuable and powerful infrastructure for many organizations and enterprises, especially ones with strict regulatory and security requirements.
Typically, private cloud is delivered as a virtual, hosted, or managed environment. With a virtual deployment, businesses and organizations isolate a private cloud within a public cloud. While this server space is technically shared by other groups and organizations, these resources are dedicated to certain workloads. Hosted private clouds environments, on the other hand, are not shared with other organizations. A third-party provider will maintain hardware and software, but only for one group. Managed private solutions are run by providers on behalf of another group, who either doesn’t have the IT personnel or needs to focus their energy outside of technology.
How a private cloud application works will vary from company to company, depending on their specific requirements. For instance, a financial services company can deploy a private cloud for additional on-premises security, such as storing and processing trade orders and other sensitive client information. Likewise, healthcare providers can use private and hybrid cloud to store medical information that adheres to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other compliance laws.
Why use private cloud?
The private cloud offers a wide range of features and benefits, which make it a preferred choice for cloud vendors, enterprises, and service providers. Here are some potential reasons why you should consider using the private cloud:
- Security: Compared to the public cloud environment, the private cloud is highly secure as it has dedicated resources and infrastructure. Businesses have complete control over their information assets. Also, the private cloud has restricted traffic; therefore, risks are less likely, with high control over all elements – applications, networks, and security.
- Performance: Since the private cloud architecture has a dedicated infrastructure, it offers high performance without sharing bandwidth or infrastructure. Businesses can process data quickly, reduce latency, and enhance application performance.
- Long-term savings: Though private cloud technology requires a significant initial investment; it offers economic benefits. It also lowers the recurring costs related to the public cloud, including diverse pricing models and data transfer fees.
- Cost: Businesses can reduce upfront investments using the private cloud architecture, including hardware maintenance and infrastructure upgrades. Also, the flexible pricing models allow businesses to scale resources based on their needs, optimizing costs.
- Governance: A private cloud complies with all the regulatory standards, thereby enabling businesses to exercise complete control over their data and IT assets. Also, businesses can set up their policies, access controls, and compliance standards to ensure data privacy.
In a nutshell, private cloud technologies are ideal for businesses that need the benefits mentioned above and focus on innovation.
What are the benefits of a private cloud?
Private cloud offers multifold benefits for businesses, cloud vendors, and cloud service providers. Let’s understand them in brief:
- Control over infrastructure: Businesses have control over their infrastructure, which means they can personalize and optimize the resources depending upon their requirements. They can buy the hardware and software to improve business efficiency and productivity.
- Security and access control: The public cloud architecture enables businesses to incorporate robust security protocols, access controls, and encryption techniques to protect their confidential data. This ensures the data is safeguarded and complies with all the industry regulations and standards.
- Regulatory standards: Industries such as healthcare, education, finance, and government are heavily regulated. Therefore, businesses need to comply with the regulatory standards. Businesses can use a private cloud architecture to use dedicated resources and take advantage of policies such as data isolation and compliance controls.
What are the components of a private cloud?
The components of a private cloud solution are integrated efficiently to offer businesses a secure and flexible private cloud setup customized to their business needs. The basic components of a private cloud infrastructure are:
- Hardware: The hardware components include storage devices, networking devices, and physical servers. All these components are generally hosted on an organization's data centers or on-premises. These components support the execution of tasks such as resource allocation, virtualization, and computing. When choosing hardware for your organization, it is important to consider factors such as memory storage capacity, network bandwidth, and processing performance.
- Software: The private cloud architecture is powered by software solutions that facilitate automation, resource management, and virtualization. Organizations need different virtualization software to create and manage virtual machines on the underlying hardware. Also, the solutions provide an exhaustive list of tools to provision, orchestrate, monitor, and self-service in a private cloud architecture.
- Networking: Networking forms the basis of connectivity, communication, and data transfer between diverse components. It has different parts, including firewalls, routers, switches, and load balancers, to establish network connectivity and ensure its security to protect data and control access to resources.
What are the challenges of the private cloud?
Deploying private cloud environments may bring different challenges that are essential to overcome to ensure its effective implementation and operation. Here are some of the potential challenges related to the private cloud:
- Cost: During the implementation of a private cloud environment, businesses incur high upfront costs, which involve buying the hardware, software, and networking devices and also hiring trained professionals to manage their private cloud setups. Additional operational costs include maintenance, upgrading, and licensing charges. Therefore, businesses must strategize and evaluate their decision to deploy private clouds at an economical cost.
- Management: In a private cloud setup, businesses are responsible for managing the capacity and ensuring optimal resource consumption. They need management tools and processes to monitor, control and provision resources across the private cloud setup to accommodate different workloads. This results in an additional workload for the internal cloud operations team to monitor and manage the capacity proactively with the help of the observability stack.
- Security: Despite the strong security offered by the private cloud, businesses need to implement robust security techniques to prevent potential vulnerabilities and threats. Protecting sensitive organizational data and ensuring compliance with the regulatory standards is critical.
To overcome these challenges, organizations need to plan, monitor and optimize the resources of private cloud technology.
HPE and private cloud
HPE provides the technology and expertise necessary to make private cloud solutions and strategies possible. Depending on a partner’s needs, HPE can deploy any number of components and services, including HPE GreenLake, HPE Synergy, and HPE ProLiant and Apollo servers. Combined, these solutions help organizations and enterprises simplify IT; achieve higher degrees of control, agility, and efficiency; reduce rising infrastructure costs; and accelerate business outcomes.
To help LAKE Solutions, a cloud service and IT consulting provider in Germany, deliver a new service offering called backup as a service, HPE integrated an infrastructure that let them offer hosted and on-site backup services for a vast array of customers, and so allow them to meet more specialized workload demands.
When working with Sopra Steria, another IT consulting and services company based in Paris, HPE used a flexible, agile model to help them accommodate their customers with a wide range of workloads, including a composable, hosted infrastructure with scalable storage.
And when telco giant Nokia Software needed to accelerate 5G software development and automate R&D workflows, HPE stepped in with a private cloud built on all-flash storage and HPE blades, helping maximize performance, lower capex, reduce energy demands, and decrease the amount of floor space needed for their data center.