Many businesses have not transitioned to cloud computing due to fears about the “openness” of the public cloud. Businesses and IT departments worry about losing control of their data, cloud security and sharing data space with other companies. An alternative to the public cloud platform model is private cloud.
Difference between Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud
Many business professionals and IT admins are still confused about the difference between hybrid cloud and private cloud. A hybrid cloud solution involves both the public and private cloud. Basically, these deployments use a combination public cloud and private or dedicated infrastructure.
A private cloud platform is a private network that typically sits behind a company’s firewall and within the company’s own data center. Private cloud is usually multi-tenant like your typical public cloud, meaning that you can share cloud infrastructure across the organization and projects.
Hosted Private Cloud
Certain private cloud platforms give you the flexibility of having dedicated hardware (not shared with anyone else, secured by the company’s own firewall), but that still allow end users to take advantage of the benefits and cost savings of a leased infrastructure. These types of platforms are most commonly referred to as Hosted Private Cloud. A Hosted Private Cloud platform still provides you with the security benefits of a private cloud platform, but then incorporate the cost savings of the public cloud.
While similar to a hybrid cloud, Hosted Private Cloud is not a true hybrid cloud platform. Instead, it’s a dedicated private cloud that gives you the flexibility of being able to provision it via the Internet like you would public cloud. It’s still, however, secured either via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a dedicated private network circuit.
Migrating to a Private Cloud Solution
Before deciding that private cloud or a Hosted Private Cloud solution is the best option for your business, you need to perform an inventory of your overall business needs and requirements. Then, you must compare the results of this inventory to the offerings of different cloud service providers (CSP) to determine which CSP best fits the needs of your organizatoin. Use the below questions as a guide:
- What are the strategic objectives for your cloud program?
- How will a private cloud platform be used within your organization?
- Who are the users? What do they expect? What do they need?
- What services will be exposed to the users?
- What are the workloads expected in the cloud, and what are their run requirements?
- What data center workflows, policies and processes will need to change?
- What process flows can be automated and driven by policy and not individual users?
- How much visibility and control do users need over usage, costs and possible chargebacks?
- How much visibility and control do users need into operational issues, such as server/zone/regional availability and performance?
- What level of security will need to be enforced around identity, access control and user permissions?
- What are the operational tools that are needed for event/performance management, configuration, change management, monitoring, logging, etc.?
- Consider your business’ needs for elasticity, workload placement, data placement and QoS management across all stack layers.
- What issues need to be addressed around hardware, networking, structured and object storage, virtualization, security, automation, self-service, lifecycle management and databases?
While you may not be able to answer every question yourself, this list will help you start thinking about your business’ unique needs. Your private cloud platform must be customizable enough to meet your individual business requirements. If you can start by summarizing your requirements, goals, and IT challenges into a succinct report, then you’ll have a better chance at getting exactly what you need from potential cloud service providers.
Andy Maier is Senior Product Manager, savvisdirect, for Savvis, a CenturyLink company.