Hello SOTGC community,
Debates still rage between supporters of the private versus public cloud. Public cloud advocates point to its elasticity, pay-per-use models, and deployment speed, and declare that theirs is the only sensible option. Private cloud users highlight their side with management visibility, security, control and privacy, and state that public should be relegated to dev/test environments.
With most debates, both sides overlook the other’s positive attributes while pushing their own agendas. The answer isn’t only public or private, but integrating both to form a hybrid cloud. Today we examine one side of the hybrid equation: private cloud.
A private cloud provides a dedicated infrastructure and allows you to have more control when it comes to the applications you want to install and integrate with one another. It also provides you with the ability to control what people have access to right at the tip of your fingers, depending on what type of provider you go to. Some providers simply provide you with a skeleton, which includes RAM, CPU, hard drive space, while others, called managed-service providers, will include the actual build of the server as well as installation of software that you already have the licenses to. This type of environment is not possible with a public or shared environment, controlling resource isolation for performance and security.
Two types of private cloud exist: in your data center or the managed-service provider’s data center or on premise private cloud, both offering remote access and virtualization but which also has to be maintained and updated by you or your IT staff at all times. Off-premises private cloud or colocation allows you to have dedicated resources with the same remote access and control with guaranteed performance expected from the data center, reducing your cost in equipment and in-house IT staff.
Why a private cloud?
Virtually every business has a unique need for a private cloud. Here are just a few ways that customers are finding value in a private cloud:
- Better control and dedicated infrastructure, combined with the public “isolation,” which guarantees stronger security.
- “Exclusivity” in use, but still being able to subdivide it between various employees and clients when needed.
- Ensuring protection of your work’s sensitivity, by eliminating the unreliable public variable from the equation.
- Pricing and costs control, including IT costs and eliminating equipment costs.
What do businesses want from a private cloud?
All private clouds are not created equal. Despite the misconceptions, the cloud is not simply about an interchangeable infrastructure. Rather, both enterprise-size businesses and small businesses have explained the need for private cloud capabilities.
As we all know, one size never fits all. There are many different instances where you may need different software for different employees and clients depending on the services you offer, as well as for growing your business. Your needs will change as far as the resources needed to run your cloud smoothly with no interruptions or latency, which can be experienced often if you don’t have the knowledge of each software’s requirements and what they need to run successfully.
One firm may require more RAM but fewer users while another may need more storage and fewer applications. Your data center should preferably be close to your clients and close to your place of business, but if it’s not, just make sure to run a speed test before choosing a data center making sure you meet or exceed System Requirements, and that their SLAs (service level agreements) have production-ready service levels when business demands it.
Scalability is important because solutions should grow seamlessly as your business expands. The need for shared managed clouds is an increasingly common practice in businesses that provide a couple of software solutions that are popular such as QuickBooks for example. Accountants can offer anytime anywhere access for their clients as well as multi-user accessibility to the same set of books, providing the client with access anywhere they have an internet connection without the overhead of equipment and IT costs.
Businesses often seek assistance with private and managed-service providers of cloud implementations and set-ups. Another thing to think about is compliance. How does that fall into private and public clouds? Depending on the type of compliance you need, and whether you are utilizing a data center or a managed service provider’s data center, you should always request a SOC report and what environment provides which compliance. If you need HIPPA Compliance, that is not provided in any public cloud and would automatically put you in a private cloud. These are things that need to be asked or understood prior to investing in a cloud infrastructure. Accountants, lawyers, medical facilities, and others all have different compliance laws and regulations they need to comply with.
Finally, some customers want turnkey solutions with self-service choices, and others need a customized solution for each of their clients and their organization. The cloud’s beginning days were recognized by one-off deployments and unique designs. Now, with modular application approaches with choice of options, services, and technologies, cloud design and implementation is much more streamlined.
Wrapping things up
After years of private verses public, the cloud picture is continuing to change as more software solutions now offer IaaS, SaaS, PaaS applications. As the software companies begin to offer more and more of these types of structures, you need a cloud that can not only utilize the box software but can also integrate with these types of programs. Thus, the private cloud is needed but as the future unfolds those providers that integrate with SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS will likely meet more of the customers’ needs until box software no longer exists.
As technology continues to evolve so will the cloud. Organizations will have to adapt to the consumers’ needs and decide which cloud best fits each organization or client needs, remembering that it’s always a good choice to reach out to a consultant or an advisor that is familiar with your type of organization before investing into a new or even older technology that simply may or may not be a good fit for your organization based on all the specific pieces involved.
If you need assistance in choosing a cloud technology, contact Blue Ocean Principles to discuss the pros and cons of each and find out what implementation will look like for your business! firstname.lastname@example.org