A Practical Guide to Public & Private Cloud, Part 2
How confident would you feel if you had to get on the phone with a sales rep right now to discuss your company’s cloud options? In Part 1 of this series, we outlined everything you need to know for making an informed decision about public cloud: the advantages, the drawbacks, who benefits most, and more. Now, let’s turn to private cloud…
Private Cloud: Everything You Need to Know
What is Private Cloud?
Private cloud services are used exclusively by one organization. These services can be physically located at an on-site data center or hosted by a third-party service provider. The key difference is that in a private cloud, the services are always maintained on a private network with hardware and software being dedicated solely to the organization. No resources are shared or hosted over the public Internet.
What Are the Advantages?
Better customization/flexibility: Every organization has a set of technical and business requirements that vary according to company size, industry, objectives, etc. Because you have full visibility into and ownership of your private cloud services, you can architect them to meet these specific needs. For example, you can customize your infrastructure to have specific storage or networking characteristics.
Greater security/control: There’s nothing quite as secure as housing data on a privately owned and managed network which makes the private cloud option especially attractive to organizations dealing with sensitive data. On-site servers are managed by your internal IT team, meaning you never have to worry about the physical security of your infrastructure. Even if your servers are located in a data center, the same internal IT team will have access to the data through highly secure networks instead of using your everyday Internet connection.
Other benefits of private cloud include compliance (services can be deployed in accordance with company/industry regulations or policies); better business continuity (in today’s business climate, there’s no guarantee that your public cloud provider will remain in business); and overall better efficiency with full visibility into your solution.
What Are the Drawbacks?
Higher Costs: Hosting your own cloud environment can be expensive; you have to pay for hardware, power, cooling, facilities and engineers to maintain everything. Even if you have your private cloud hosted by a third-party provider, you’re still responsible for paying operational and capital expenses which are included in your monthly hosting charges. Conversely, research suggests that when done right, a private cloud solution can deliver cost savings of as much as 60-70% over the public clouds of AWS, Microsoft and Google. Sources are conflicting, but this boils down to being disciplined and educated in deployment options and your organizational needs.
Greater maintenance/skills gap: In a recent survey conducted by KPMG, 65% of CIOs reported a lack of talent holding their organization back. Are you prepared to either outsource the work or develop in-house expertise equal to that of leading cloud vendors? Finding system administrators, network engineers, DevOps specialists, and cloud performance experts to oversee a private cloud deployment is challenging, on top of the hiring costs to consider.
What Works Best Under a Private Cloud Model?
Data-intensive workloads, big open data projects, applications that need to be changed on the fly: anything that requires highly secure, customizable, and dedicated infrastructure.
Who Benefits Most?
Historically, private clouds have appealed to large, global enterprises. A recent survey conducted by Intel Security found that engineering and government have the highest adoption of private clouds. The data also found that private cloud-only adoption is lowest in services companies due to concerns over IT security skills. Media organizations also have low private cloud adoption due to the insufficient visibility of vulnerability.
Private Cloud: The Bottom Line
A private cloud model would work best for you if:
- You need dedicated and secure infrastructure
- You need a highly customizable solution
- You need flexibility to transform based on business needs
- Your IT team needs maximum control and visibility
- You can afford high upfront costs and high cost of ownership when utilization is low
- You’re okay with the possibility of longer deployment times
There’s no “be-all-end-all” solution to the cloud. Some workloads may require a public/private cloud hybrid. Some might not be suited for the cloud at all. At the end of the day, it’s about investing in cloud in a way that makes sense for your organization. That’s why at Avaya, we provide every option you might want to consider: public, private, hybrid, UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaS and award-winning consulting and support services to help streamline and improve your cloud migration path.