Part 2: What is Private Cloud?

To read Part 1 of this series, “What is the Cloud? Defining Cloud and Virtualization”, click here.

In part 2, we’ll focus on the private cloud model.

There are two main models for Cloud, private and public.   If you want:

  • A definition of private cloud
  • A few methods for implementing your own private cloud, and
  • Some of the benefits you will realize…

… then read on!

As we learned in part 1, cloud is a way to virtualize your solution. This enables you to scale the resources, processor, memory and storage, of that solution to match near real-time demand.   The cloud itself is a collection of physical servers, which we will call nodes, connected together to form a cluster.  The cluster is the source of the resources that are assigned to each virtual machine in your cloud.  When additional resources are needed, a new node is built and added to the cluster.

In a private cloud model, the cluster is assigned to a single person, department or organization that has control over how the resources for their virtual machines are assigned.  This model can also be referred to as a single-tenant cloud.  In a public cloud model, the cluster is shared by a large number of different users and organizations that have less control over the resources in the cluster.  This model can also be referred to as a multi-tenant cloud.

Private clouds are typically housed inside a datacenter within an organization.  This enables the organization to have complete control over the environment.  One downside to this method is that it requires a large capital investment for both the facility and the cluster.  Additionally, an IT staff is required to run the private installation.  These added costs have the potential to reduce any cost savings that a cloud solution would provide.

For organizations that do not have the capital or technical staff to support their own internal private cloud solution, they have the option to reach out to cloud service providers that offer a private cloud model.  This method enables the organization to create a private cloud solution but relieves them of some of the capital and resource constraints.  The biggest benefit, arguably, is that they are still given their own private cluster, but are able to change their costs from capital to operational (as the predominant pricing model for cloud service providers is monthly fee based).

A private cloud offers a number of benefits to an organization:

  • You are able to virtualize the environment, so you can grow and scale quickly and easily
  • Private cloud offers enhanced levels of security and performance, as it removes the risk of other users being able to negatively affect the cluster, which can be a concern in a public, multi-tenant cloud
  • A private cloud also provides you with the levels of isolation that are needed to meet certain industry-imposed compliance requirements such as PCI and HIPAA.

Private cloud, however, is not always the right solution for an organization or individual user.  In part 3, I will take further about public cloud – and how users can leverage that model of the Cloud.

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