Private Cloud: What are the Real Business Benefits?

By Dan Nichols on 29th November, 2016.

Understanding Today’s Private Cloud Benefits

There are enough options in cloud computing to make anyone’s head spin. So where do you start? Although you may be familiar with certain buzz words, like public cloud hosting or private cloud, you may not know what they mean exactly and which will be the right fit for your business.

Choosing the right hosting solution can have a massive impact on the effectiveness of your business. This is true for any company or organisation with an online presence, and particularly those businesses using their website or application to generate revenue.

So, how can you ensure you’re making the right choice? To help kick-start your research, we’ve pulled together some of private cloud hosting’s top characteristics to help you get a good grasp of the facts and discover more about whether it’s the right route for your business.

What is a Private Cloud?

First and foremost, what do we mean by private cloud? A private cloud hosting solution is a standalone cloud infrastructure that’s operated solely for one organisation.

Private cloud platforms have separate compute, storage and networking dedicated to the client. This differs from Public Cloud or VPS hosting for example, where several different customers are located on one physical server, separated by virtualisation software and sharing the same compute, storage and networking infrastructure.

Backstory: Public Cloud Perception and the Rise of Private Clouds

It is ten years since the launch of what is now described as the first of the Mega Cloud platforms, Amazon AWS. Back in 2006 server virtualisation was just starting to take hold in the enterprise space and many were sceptical about the security of Public Cloud.

Private Cloud was seen as the safer bet by many and consequently became the default choice for most CTOs looking to consolidate their sprawling server infrastructures. Primary drivers were, reduced cost, improved availability and simplified management.

Nearly, But Not Quite

Virtualisation technology was not yet developed enough to prevent resource contention within public clouds, which led to performance loss for some applications, as others monopolised all the available resource.

This ‘noisy neighbour’ syndrome could have a huge impact for businesses affected and was one of the reasons IT professionals look toward the reliable, guaranteed performance that a private cloud could provide.

There was also a lack of general understanding and perhaps mistrust about the public cloud and so private cloud seemed a safer option, not so big a leap away from the dedicated infrastructure that people were accustomed to.

This lack of knowledge and trust is something that has been dispelled over the intervening years as virtualisation technology has improved and people’s familiarity with cloud has led to more confidence in it.

Private Cloud: The Advantages

For some requirements, modern multi-tenant platforms can offer distinct advantages. For example, those businesses looking for rapid scalability up and down as required or those who want to move to a metered or resource-based payment model.

But private cloud still offers some very real benefits in the face of the public cloud revolution, both from a technological standpoint and importantly, one of organisational preference and choice.

Separation Reassurance

The stand-alone nature of private clouds makes them a great choice for any business needing complete separation of hosting infrastructure from other companies, for perhaps internal policy reasons or to satisfy their approach to data security and compliance regulations.

One obvious example of a great fit would be a business which deals with high volumes of sensitive and confidential data, such as a financial institution that just wants the simplicity of a hosting infrastructure dedicated to their operations.

This physical air-gap from any other platforms within a data centre rack makes it ideal for any company that wants to opt out, for whatever reason, of a multi-tenant environment.

Modular Scalability

As well as being a reassuring option for any business, private cloud hosting also gives companies the option to scale up their resources if they need to.

New compute, storage and network capacity can be added in a modular fashion as required, with the addition of additional servers, switches or storage, as the need arises.

Power When You Need It

Some companies like the private cloud option because they run resource intensive operations, like the rendering of computer graphics, for example.

These types of activities place strain on CPU and RAM and businesses that need this sort of processing power like having the server equipment they need, with the right specifications, in their platform to call upon when it’s required.

Take Control – If You Want It

Some companies have hosting expertise in-house and want to take full control of their platform – something that is not possible with the larger, international public cloud providers.

A private cloud can, to a much greater extent, be largely self-managed, with assistance provided by your service provider as and when you need it.

Benefits of Private Cloud

So, what are the business benefits of a Private Cloud?

This is not a comprehensive list but gives you an outline to help as you research your options:

1. An Air-gapped platform means no shared resource with other companies, adding an extra layer of reassurance if you need it

2. Modular scaling – add servers, storage and networking equipment as you need it

3. Dedicated resources can support resource intensive applications and processes

4. More control of the underlying infrastructure – if you want it

Is a Private Cloud Right for You?

Depending on your requirements, you’ll find that one solution fits your business needs better than others or that you require a blend of different solutions to fit different needs.

Talking to prospective providers about what you need your hosting infrastructure to achieve and any constraints you have, is a great place to start.

Cloud hosting is at its core about flexibility and finding the right technology set for your needs, whether that is public, private, virtual private or any combination in a hybrid, blended cloud estate.

If you’d like to find out more about private cloud hosting and how we approach it here at Secura, please get in touch and one of our experts will be on hand to help.

Dan Nichols

Chief Technical Officer

As Secura's CTO, Dan is responsible for the team that design, build and maintain our cutting edge cloud hosting infrastructure. He is also the dishwasher police - stack it or else.

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