What is a private cloud?

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular and commonplace, but it can sometimes be tricky to navigate the virtual IT landscape. To help you figure out if cloud is right for your business, we’ve created the complete guide to one of the more popular solutions – private cloud; a cloud computing environment dedicated to one organisation. 

Reading on, discover how private cloud works, how it compares to alternative cloud solutions, and the benefits of private cloud!

How does private cloud work?

Private cloud is a single-tenant cloud environment where all resources are dedicated to a specific organisation. Your organisation has sole access to all computing features, such as servers, networks, and data storage – unlike a public cloud environment (where resources are shared among multiple users). 

What are the types of private cloud?

There are four key types of private cloud computing, with each working slightly differently to offer varying cloud experiences – so, make sure to choose the right setup for your circumstances! Reading on, explore the available private cloud solutions, from on-premises to virtually-hosted.  

On-premises private cloud

On-premises cloud is cloud computing in the traditional sense, where you own and manage all cloud infrastructure (i.e. hardware, software, and storage) within your internal data centre. 

This gives you complete control and security over your data; and, since resources are located in-house, you can quickly and efficiently deploy what you need when you need it. However, it’s worth noting that on-premises private cloud requires significant investment in infrastructure, as well as ongoing cloud expertise to manage maintenance and optimisation.

Virtual private cloud

Rather than hosting all cloud hardware and software on-premises (as above), a virtual private cloud is instead a private cloud solution hosted within a public cloud. 

In simple terms, virtual private cloud computing is like to owning a private floor within a large, public skyscraper – you don’t own the full physical architecture, but the space you do operate in is secure and isolated, and you have virtual resources that only your organisation can access. This offers the scalability and cost-efficiency of public cloud, while allowing you to still manage software and applications within your private environment. 

Hosted private cloud

Hosted private cloud offers the security of private cloud architecture, without having to physically manage the infrastructure yourself. Essentially, all resources are located offsite, at a third-party provider’s data centre, eliminating the need for on-premises hardware. The difference between hosted and virtual private cloud being that the former isn’t part of hosted within a public infrastructure. 

In simple terms, you typically manage the software, but a cloud provider, such as Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft Azure, takes care of all hardware, freeing up your IT team to focus on core tasks. 

Managed private cloud

Similar to hosted solutions but taking things one step further: managed private cloud architecture is completely maintained by a third-party provider, including all software, hardware, security, and storage. This provides a wholly hands-off experience, and eliminates the need for any internal infrastructure – but the full-service solution can come at a higher cost. 

What are the benefits of private cloud?

The key benefits of private cloud computing include:

Control 

A private cloud offers complete control over your IT infrastructure, including who can access applications, how resources are allocated, and the architectural structure. This allows you to tailor your cloud environment entirely around your business needs. 

Security

Private cloud solutions typically offer a higher level of security than public cloud alternatives, because your infrastructure is exclusive to your business. You’re free to implement strict security measures and safely manage data flow within a bespoke environment. 

Customisation

Because it’s a single-tenant environment, private clouds can be freely optimised to maximise performance of your specific tasks and workloads. You’re able to tweak and customise hardware and software configurations, to meet unique requirements. 

Consistent cost

While private cloud computing comes with initial up-front costs, ongoing costs are typically more consistent and less variable than if you opted for an equivalent public cloud solution. You have control over resource allocation and aren’t at the whim of providers’ pricing models. 

Visibility 

With total control over all elements of your private cloud environment, you can enjoy full visibility over resource utilisation, monitor application performance, and review any issues that may arise – in contrast, public cloud doesn’t necessarily offer the same level of visibility. 

Reliability 

Private cloud environments don’t experience the same level of variability or fluctuation as shared infrastructures – which ensures a consistent and reliable user experience. 

Is private cloud the right solution?

Of course, while there are several benefits of private cloud architecture, it might not be the perfect fit for your organisation. Here are some alternative cloud models to consider:

Public cloud offers access to a shared pool of cloud resources (such as servers and storage), hosted by a provider and accessible over the internet. With public cloud, you don’t need to invest in on-premises hardware.  

Hybrid cloud blends elements of public and private cloud; typically, you’ll use your own on-premises hardware, while benefitting from the scalability of public cloud resources. Of course, it’s important to be aware that blending multiple environments does comes with its complexities, so it’s advised you work alongside an experienced cloud expert. 

  • Multi-cloud

Multi-cloud takes things a step further and allows you to leverage multiple public cloud providers, picking and choosing the services you want from each. This lets you maximise performance (and can be cost-effective). 

If you’re still unsure which cloud option to pick, get in touch with our team of cloud consultants, who’ll provide bespoke advice – including the benefits and drawbacks of public vs private cloud services. 

How to migrate to a private cloud

If you’re interested in migrating to private cloud, there are a few key steps to follow to make sure you’re choosing the best possible solutions: 

  1. Assess your existing IT infrastructure and evaluate your needs and goals.  
  2. Identify potential challenges – such as resource compatibility, downtime management, and data security – you might face during the migration.
  3. Choose a migration strategy that suits your business, whether it’s a phased approach or immediate transition. 
  4. Test and validate your data and environment to make sure everything runs smoothly post-migration.
  5. As part of ongoing cloud maintenance, regularly monitor performance and processes, to optimise and improve efficiency. 

To avoid complexities and complications during the private cloud migration process, it’s typically advised to work alongside an experienced cloud professional. For more information, explore how a cloud consultant can help, or discover even more advice from our experts over on our blog – including our complete guide to cloud computing.


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