Saturday, September 25, 2021

Private Cloud Computing Providers

Deciding which private cloud provider is the best cloud provider for your business can be complex.

When it comes to the public cloud, the list of industry leaders is short and simple. There’s an industry competition between AWS vs. Azure vs. Google, with other key players including IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud.

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The private cloud market is complex because the very definition of “private cloud” is diverse and, frankly, confusing. A private cloud could be a completely in-house deployment, or it could be a private cloud hosting in a remote data facility – or some combination of those two scenarios.

Additionally, it takes a lot of different types of products and services to build a private cloud. Some vendors sell cloud-ready hardware, others sell cloud software and still others sell virtual private cloud services. Moreover, at this point most all private clouds are part of hybrid cloud and multicloud deployments – indeed, multicloud has emerged as the default choice.

As the cloud computing market has matured, attitudes toward the private cloud have clearly changed. Early on, say in 2010, there was a reluctance among businesses to migrate to the public cloud, certainly some foot dragging. As companies weighed the pros and cons of cloud deployment, they were far more comfortable with private cloud; in essence it was an extension of the traditional in-house datacenter.

Now that public cloud computing is fully mainstream for businesses of all sizes, some experts forecast that private cloud will fade away. As companies offload a greater percentage of their infrastructure to the public cloud, building and maintaining private cloud is seen as less desirable. On the other hand, the private cloud sector remains strong. At the least, businesses need to hold some data in-house for compliance purposes, so it’s likely that the private cloud will always have a place. 

This article looks at some of the private cloud leaders in this rapidly growing market, detailing their product offerings and their various strengths.

private cloud

As reflected by the purple stripe in contrast to the larger red stripe, private cloud is forecast to see far less investment in public cloud in the years ahead.

Best Private Cloud Providers

HPE

By most estimates, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is a key leader in the private cloud market. The company touts its ability to offer bespoke private cloud offerings, using a mix of cloud applications and infrastructure tools to fit a client’s individual needs. Companies can then use this platform as part of a hybrid or multicloud solution.

HPE’s private cloud offerings span hardware, software and services. Many of its private cloud solutions are sold under the “Helion” brand name, and they include the Helion Cloud Suite software, Helion CloudSystem hardware, Helion Managed Private Cloud and Managed Virtual Private Cloud services, as well as many other products.

VMware

VMware, of course, did as much as any company to popularize virtualization in the data center – arguably the company is the “original” private cloud company. In the early days of cloud, many companies simply fully virtualized their data center and called it a private cloud.

Moreover, in today’s cloud world, VMware is often thought of as a “bridge” between the private and public cloud worlds. It also offers the vRealize Suite Cloud Management Platform, which can manage both private and hybrid clouds, and Cloud Foundation, a software-defined data center platform designed for private clouds.

Dell

A long term, established vendor in the private cloud market, Dell provides a turnkey developer platform that offers a broad mix of tools. Additionally, the company has an alliance with Microsoft, to offer a solution for the Azure Stack, which is a dedicated hardware solution for the private cloud. Greatly enlarging the resources it can offer the private cloud market is, of course, its merger with EMC.

In a broad sense, Dell’s private cloud offerings include virtual private cloud services, cloud management and cloud security software, and an array of cloud consulting services.

Oracle

Oracle has been investing heavily in the cloud sector, and has turned itself into a real player in the last few years. Indeed, when the company’s outspoken executive chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison, unveiled Oracle’s bold plans to challenge Amazon Web Services in cloud computing, he said, “Amazon’s lead is over. Amazon’s going to have serious competition going forward.”

The company’s Private Cloud Appliance takes a hardware-supported approach to crunching data and workloads in a mixed environment – critically important in today’s multicloud world. Oracle’s Private Cloud solutions include its Cloud Platform, applications, infrastructure, lifecycle management tools and integration services. It also offers Managed Cloud Services.

IBM / Red Hat

In a bold move to boost its cloud portfolio, IBM acquired open source pioneer Red Hat in 2019. Red Hat’s private cloud offerings include the Red Hat Cloud Suite management and development platform, Cloud Infrastructure software, CloudForms cloud and container management software, Red Hat Virtualization, and Red Hat Gluster Storage. Of particular note is Red Hat OpenShift, which is a flagship part of its offering that enables cloud deployments in many different ways. The company also offers a variety of services to help customers deploy and manage private and hybrid clouds.

Additionally, IBM’s private cloud solutions include hardware such as IBM Systems and IBM Storage, hosted private cloud services, IBM Cloud Managed Services, cloud security tools and software like Cloud Manager and Cloud Orchestrator. It also has cloud solutions and services for its System z mainframe platform.

Microsoft

While Microsoft runs a solid number two to AWS’s number in the cloud market overall, Microsoft is arguably the leader in private cloud. A large cohort of legacy, Windows-centric organizations use Microsoft components in their private cloud deployment.

Indeed, many private clouds run on Microsoft’s Windows Server operating system and its Hyper-V virtualization technology, which is integrated into Windows Server. The company is pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy, which encourages enterprises to integrate private clouds in their own data centers with the company’s Azure public cloud computing service. To that end, it offers Microsoft Azure Stack, which allows companies to replicate the Azure service in their own data centers.

Cisco

Cisco, the giant in networking, has an extensive offering of tools to increase the efficiency and capability of the private cloud. Tools, for instance, that inventory your cloud or datacenter-based applications. And tools that are geared for end-to-end security, focused on the enterprise’s inevitable development into a multicloud environment.

While best known for its networking hardware and solutions, Cisco also offers a variety of cloud software for analytics, infrastructure automation, cloud management and orchestration, development and cloud security. Those offerings include its Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite, Cisco CloudCenter and the Metapod, a production-ready cloud stack that Cisco deploys and operates in enterprise data centers.

NetApp

A strong vendor in the storage market, NetApp also touts its scalable, cloud-like deployments for private cloud, and does have a significant presence in the cloud market. Its goal is to provide a solution that enables organizations to perform at scale, efficiently and with no undue complication – “simplify and automate” is a key phrase.

NetApp’s private cloud storage offerings include NetApp Private Storage (NPS), the AltaVault Cloud-Integrated Storage backup solution that can run on public or private clouds, and StorageGRID Webscale Object Storage, which also runs in public or private clouds. It also offers NetApp Private Storage for Cloud and FlexPod converged solutions, which combine hardware from NetApp and Cisco and can be used in private cloud environments.

Amazon Web Services

The undisputed leader in public cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has warmed up to the private cloud offering as the other vendors on this list – and the market as a whole – has maintained a major on-prem deployment. AWS offers a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service that runs on its public cloud infrastructure. VPC allows organizations to isolate their cloud instances from those of other organizations in order to meet security and compliance needs. VPC also gives administrators greater control over the cloud environment, and it provides the option to create a Hardware Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect enterprise datacenters with AWS.

Private Cloud Company Comparison Table

Private Cloud Company

Top Solutions

Strengths

HPE

Helion Managed Private, Managed Virtual Private Cloud Services

Key leader in private cloud, offers hardware and services as well

VMware

vRealize Suite Cloud Management Platform, vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager

Arguably the top name in private cloud

Dell EMC

Enterprise Private Cloud Solution, Cloud Management and Security applications

Deep expertise in storage hardware and services

Oracle

Oracle Cloud Platform, Managed Cloud Services

Leader in databases and enterprise storage

IBM / Red Hat OpenShift

 

Red Hat OpenShift, Hosted Private Cloud Services

PaaS offerings, works with other cloud platforms

 

Microsoft

Azure Stack, Azure Private Cloud

Legacy expertise in enterprise data centers

Cisco

Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite, Cisco CloudCenter

The leader in networking

 

NetApp

NetApp Private Storage for Cloud, Flexpod converged solutions

Strong in storage and backup

AWS

Virtual Private Cloud

The dominant vendor in cloud computing

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