Businesses in search of new cloud services have a lot of options to choose from when comparing various cloud hosting solutions. There are not only various cloud platforms to consider, there are also various cloud service providers to work with. As you compare cloud vendors, keep in mind that security, cloud storage, infrastructure, and data center features are all vital components of your decision and can vary from one type of cloud to the next. Many businesses might lean toward private clouds, so what are the pros and cons of a private cloud?
What are the Different Types of Cloud Computing?
There are various types of cloud computing out there for businesses to choose from when shifting workloads from onsite infrastructure to a cloud deployment. First and foremost, cloud computing takes three primary forms:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Internet-based access to data centers, cloud storage, and computing power. Essentially, your brand rents IT infrastructure including servers, data center storage, networks, virtual machines, and operating systems.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Designed to give developers the tools needed to build and host web applications. This builds on IaaS to give developers the infrastructure and applications required to build, deploy, and manage programs.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): The overarching type of cloud computing, SaaS delivers software applications over the Internet with cloud providers hosting and managing the software.
These varying types of cloud offerings can be deployed on public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds. Public cloud computing solutions are entirely managed by a third-party cloud vendor. You pay less money each month because computing resources, data center access, and servers for data storage are shared by all users taking advantage of a public cloud services.
On the other side of the coin, you will find a private cloud environment. Instead of relying on a third-party vendor to manage data, computing resources, and infrastructure, companies provide these services only to select users on an internal network. Your company has greater control over not just access in a private cloud, but the actual structure of that network and the services it offers. Computing resources are still delivered over the internet, but instead of allowing general public access, private clouds and their resources are limited to your business.
In between, hybrid clouds offer a mixture of services that some might find suitable for their brand and their budget. For example, in a hybrid cloud environment, you don’t have to bring all of the network infrastructure, maintenance, and management onsite in your business, but you can pay to have computing resources, cloud-based storage, and other cloud services devoted only to your business.
How Does Private Cloud Work?
A Private cloud solution can be thought of as single-tenant environments. This means that only one organization has access to the resources and computing power in a private cloud. This contrasts with a multi-tenant environment in which resources and computing power are shared by all users with access, both inside and outside of your company. How you choose to host and manage the resources in a private cloud environment is up to you and the needs of your business.
A private cloud model can be built and deployed on site with infrastructure your company already has in place. Alternatively, it can be built on a new, separate infrastructure hosted by a third-party organization. All cloud solutions require an operating system to function, regardless of public, private, or hybrid deployment. Virtualization and container software solutions are stacked on that operating system and determine how your private cloud will function.
What is a Private Cloud Example?
Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are examples of third-party cloud vendors who offer a range of cloud computing solutions your company can leverage to your benefit. In the case of these providers, and others such as Google Cloud, you can deploy a private cloud in three different ways:
- Virtual: in this case, a virtual private cloud is built within a public cloud system and is walled-off, so to speak, from other organizations in the cloud. You still share servers with other organizations, but your workloads operate in isolation from other users on the same cloud network.
- Hosted: a hosted cloud environment ensures that servers are not shared with other organizations. A service provider will configure the network for your company to use, maintain the hardware and update software, and do so all on one server or set of servers only accessible by your company.
- Managed: a managed private cloud is a hosted private cloud in which the provider manages all aspects of the cloud for the organization. This includes deploying any additional services required, including storage. This is ideal for companies that don’t have the staff needed to manage a private cloud environment on their own.
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What are the Benefits of a Private Cloud?
As you compare the services, options, and structure of a private cloud from various vendors, remember to keep the benefits of a private cloud in mind. A private cloud environment delivers different benefits based on the industry your company works within, but keep the following three major benefits in mind:
- More flexibility: one of the primary benefits of all types of cloud environments, flexibility is often the first reason companies cite when migrating to the cloud. Flexibility is a benefit of public, private, and hybrid clouds, but in a private cloud environment, it is even better. There are no compatibility issues or limitations on applications in a private platform. In essence, a private cloud can be molded to be whatever you want or need it to be.
- Guaranteed compatibility: public cloud environments can limit the number and/or type of programs, data, and options that users deploy in their public cloud. Generally speaking, private clouds are customizable and come with more options than public clouds. This means you can do what you need with your private cloud to ensure it meets your computing and data storage needs.
- Better security: arguably the most important benefit of a private cloud is security. This is often the most cited reason for companies with private data concerns to switch from a public cloud environment or in-house network to a private cloud. In a private cloud, the user has greater control over the security software in use and has control over access to their data.
- Low cost: a recent study showed that private cloud environments can actually be less expensive for businesses. The problem is that public clouds can come with hidden charges and premiums for enhanced bandwidth. If your company requires access to more bandwidth do get work done, that performance could come at a cost and it is one that you won’t discover until the bill arrives for your public cloud service.
Is Private Cloud More Secure than Public Cloud?
The particular cloud environment that your company considers is bound to feature robust anti-virus and firewall security layers, private clouds come with a layer of security that you won’t necessarily find in a public cloud environment. First and foremost, the physical security of the servers, data center, and network infrastructure are in your control and not that of a third-party. It is up to your business and IT professionals to ensure the physical security of the data center and servers.
There is also virtual security to be concerned about, and here again, private clouds tend to shine through with better security than a public setting. A private cloud environment allows your company to establish strict access parameters because connectivity to the computing resources is controlled by secure network links. This means that there aren’t random users accessing from a public internet connection at home, in a coffee shop, or from some other insecure network. You can use two-factor authenticity and security keys to ensure that only your employees can connect to the network, ensuring greater virtual security.
What are the Downsides to Private Cloud?
The difference between the pros and cons of a private cloud environment comes down to measurable, data-backed pros and subjective cons. For example, not all of the potential downsides of a private cloud will apply evenly to all companies using a private cloud environment. The following are some of the possible downsides to a private cloud:
- Cost: now, cost was listed above in the pros because it can be a pro to using a private cloud. However, a private cloud can come with higher costs, it all comes down to how you deploy that private cloud environment. A complete, onsite managed private cloud could come with costs to invest in servers, data centers, network infrastructure, and software licenses. However, hosted private clouds can negate costs by reducing the need for onsite IT staff to deploy and manage your private cloud.
- Maintenance: in both hosted and managed private cloud environments, you can find yourself paying greater maintenance costs for your cloud infrastructure and other services. For example, a hosted private cloud requires capital investments in servers, networking equipment, and data centers. Again, this can be avoided with a virtual or managed private cloud environment that lowers the cost of maintaining and deploying the cloud.
- Too many options: finally, certain companies may feel overwhelmed by the number of options available when building a private cloud. Not every company needs unlimited storage for high volumes of data. Those same companies may even need just one or two different types of software, rather than an array of different software, application, and service options.
As you compare and contrast the pros and cons of a private cloud, you may find that the cloud solutions from Avatara meet the needs of your company. You can build a private cloud computing solution that delivers security, connectivity, reliability, and computing power. You may find that our CompleteCloud solution is the perfect private environment to meet the operational needs of your company.