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Private Cloud – Choosing the Right Cloud: Going Public, Private, or Hybrid

The choice of moving to your organization’s operations to the cloud is far more than just “lifting and shifting” your applications and workloads up to some cloud provider. It’s a move that requires some significant effort put into the selection of a cloud provider to meet your organization’s individual needs.

In this second blog in a three-part series on the various types of cloud architectures, we’re taking a look at the private cloud in an effort to guide you towards the right choice for your organization.

What is Private Cloud?

Private Cloud is normally defined as a made-to-order cloud offering some degree of hands-on management from the cloud provider. Smaller cloud providers (that is, smaller than the megacloud providers) typically fall into the private cloud category, offering both custom infrastructure and application services, with as much or little assistance as a customer requires.

Private vs. Public

It’s important to understand how private differs from public.  The most basic way to explain the difference is in the concept of tailored vs. commodity. Everything from the services offered, to expert assistance needed, to the cost structure is all custom-built to meet your organization’s specific needs with the Private Cloud.  In contrast, the public cloud has established offerings that you must adhere to.

Think of Private Cloud like ordering a custom laptop from one of the leading hardware providers; you get to pick the processor, memory, storage, OS, add on training, and on-site support.  This is vastly different from the “Public Cloud” experience of purchasing a laptop from your local electronics store –your only choices are the products and configurations on the shelf.

Why Choose Private Cloud?

  • Tailored Offerings – Putting your operations into the cloud may include some specific needs; physical servers, availability guarantees, dedicated infrastructure or custom expertise needs are just some of the things public cloud shys away from.
  • Control – A privately hosted environment offers the best option for companies looking to hold their data as close as they can while still taking advantage of the benefits cloud computing offers.
  • Custom Pricing – Like the offerings, your pricing model may require some customization to fit your financial objectives, private cloud is the best option for custom technology or service needs.
  • Personal Service – Unlike the Public Cloud where you’re just one of many customers, private cloud usually offers a bit more personal attention. So, everything from choosing services, to implementation, to ongoing support is accomplished with a more personal touch, rather than via a website and a set of knowledgebase articles.
  • Compliance – Many industries have specific needs when it comes to compliance. The advantage of a private cloud environment is that it can be built with specific retention and security measures in mind.

When Should You Choose Private Cloud?

Like the Public Cloud, Private isn’t the right choice for every organization.  Use our series-wide set of considerations below, to help you decide if Private Cloud is right for your organization:

  • Should you even be in the cloud? Look at each workload and application you have on-premises and determine whether there is either a financial or performance benefit to having it in the cloud.
  • Do you have custom needs? If your requirements are more complex or detailed, Private is likely a better option.
  • How much visibility and control do you require? Private offerings tend to allow for more access to the environment and infrastructure than a Public Cloud.
  • What about Compliance and Security? Tied to visibility and control, if your organization requires specific access and reporting to ensure security and compliance, Private is a better option.
  • Do you require assistance? If your organization has a lack of personnel or internal expertise, or you simply want someone else to manage the environment (or turn to in an emergency), Private Cloud vendors typically offer custom services to meet the need.

Going Private

Organizations often find if they have custom requirements, whether it be retention, compliance, security or service, Private cloud is the best option. If you’re still not sure, start with the business needs the cloud must deliver on, and then compare those with the public cloud. Should the Public Cloud not meet your environment, infrastructure, availability, support, or service requirements, you need to be looking at the Private Cloud.

In the next (and last) blog in this series, we’ll be taking a look at when going with a hybrid-cloud implementation is right for you.

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