Public cloud services are good for many use cases. Consumer services use them all the time with success. But when it comes to the business world, regulatory, privacy, compliance, and security considerations can cause companies to steer away from public clouds.
Instead, they are setting up private clouds where there is no sharing of infrastructure with other users. Private clouds utilize private infrastructure that is not accessible by other companies. It is up to the company or a managed service provider (MSP) to support, manage, maintain, secure, and upgrade the related software and hardware.
Private cloud market
For a while, it appeared that everything was heading to the public cloud. But of late, there are private clouds on the horizon.
“If the past decade marked the rise of the public cloud, this decade is about the rise of private clouds, whether managed by internal resources or increasingly MSPs,” said Chris Cummings, VP of marketing at FalconStor.
“Private cloud operators are still evolving into the ‘as-a-service’ mindset that the public clouds embody, but inevitably, they will get there.”
He added that it is ludicrous to think that it is a competition between private and public clouds where only one will win at the expense of the other. Both have their place.
FalconStor data reveals that the lion’s share of enterprise data remains in on-premises data centers, but new apps are moving to the cloud aggressively. Cloud migration remains the number-two topic on CIO agendas behind cybersecurity.
Private Cloud Benefits
Why set up a private cloud rather than utilize a traditional in-house data center model? Cummings said it comes down to several key benefits:
- Efficiency: the as-a-service approach enables core IT to serve an expanding pool of apps, divisions, and needs without a commensurate expansion in people, gear, and floor tile
- Expertise: by focusing on delivering a slate of SLAs from a common infrastructure and approach, IT organizations can become more expert in their choices, outsource specialized infrastructure to MSPs that specialize in it (like mainframe development and support) and leave some headroom to acquire new expertise in growing areas, like containers.
- Security: more businesses are mandating that data cannot be moved to the public cloud. This is in part due to data breaches, data corruption, and vendor lock-in.
- Cost: although public clouds have a more varied set of services, egress charges and other costs are driving the industry to find alternative solutions.
- Performance: public cloud routinely has more up-to-date service platforms, but in many cases, they are shared between customers resulting in varying degrees of performance throughout the day and between regions.
See more: Cloud Migration Market 2021
Private cloud use cases
What are the main use cases for private clouds versus public and hybrid clouds?
“Private clouds are increasingly about core apps and core data that cannot suffer latency,” Cummings said.
That said, it is incorrect to pit a private cloud against a public cloud or hybrid cloud approach as it is clear that organizations cannot support the same number of “owned” data centers they have in the past — and keep up with the demands of new application development, new technology adoption, and the ongoing data onslaught. Those apps and data sets requiring the least latency are well suited to private clouds.
Another reason why businesses are moving workloads away from public cloud into private clouds is the availability of more tailored services. They can build the cloud they want rather than the generic services offered by major providers.
Further, organizations focused on security and control see the private cloud as a better solution. It allows for more flexibility, less chance of vendor lock-in, and a business model more customized to individual requirements.
Private clouds are good for storage too. But there are limitations. The amount of storage available in public clouds is much greater than private clouds. There is a tradeoff that needs to be understood between quantity and quality/performance. Thus, a use case for private clouds emerging is for them to be used to store frequently accessed or high-value data. And offload everything else to cheaper public cloud services.
Private cloud providers
There are many different private cloud providers out there. And there is a lot of interaction between some of them.
Some, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, can either provide private cloud services, or they can be used by other providers that offer value-added services to manage private clouds for others. In other cases, vendors provide all the underlying hardware and software infrastructure for the cloud. HPE, Red Hat, and Dell are examples of this kind of private cloud.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the private cloud. Among the many options available, here are some of the best ones:
- Red Hat
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud
See more: Top Cloud Security Companies & Solutions