Private Cloud - A Good Choice for Regulated Industries

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I recently posted about a bunch of different cloud topics: benefits, modernization, IaaS, preparing for cloud migration, and others.  I promised that I would write about the different cloud deployment models next. For most businesses, organizations, or governmental agencies, there are four relevant types of clouds: private (internal or provider-hosted), public (external), virtual private (provider-hosted), and hybrid.

According to a recent Gartner survey, the private cloud is the most popular cloud deployment model with 36% of respondents saying it is their primary cloud model.  In three years, 49% of enterprises will choose private cloud or hosted private cloud as their primary cloud choice.  So nearly half of all cloud adopters will prefer this deployment model over public and virtual private clouds.  Let's take a look at the private cloud model....

So what is it, and when should it be used?

A private cloud is a single-tenant platform that allows an enterprise to implement cloud technologies behind a firewall on-premise or off-premise at a provider’s data center or both.  Gartner defines private cloud as “a form of cloud computing that is used by only one organization, or that ensures that an organization is completely isolated from others.”

With a private cloud, data residency – or where the data and infrastructure physically resides – is determined by the enterprise, and therefore private clouds are common with government agencies and regulated private sector companies, like financial institutions, that have a requirement to guarantee data residency. It’s also commonly used to support high performance applications in the cloud.

A private cloud includes virtualization technology to enhance scalability, resource management, and hardware utilization. In addition, it incorporates data center automation for resource provisioning and consumption metering technologies for chargeback and services-based billing. It also includes a standardized service catalog for administrators to deploy new resources through an administrator GUI or through a command-line interface (CLI). Identity-based security protocols ensure that only authorized personnel have access to appropriate applications and infrastructure.

A ‘provider-hosted’ private cloud is when a private cloud is hosted off-premise and managed by a third-party.

What are the benefits?

A private cloud provides many of the benefits of cloud computing without the loss of control and other risks associated with alternative cloud infrastructure models.  Benefits include access to new technology, dynamic scalability, faster time-to-market, and focus.  Be sure to check out my full post on cloud benefits for a deep dive.  However, a private cloud will provide little immediate cost savings due to the high capital expenditures required.

A ‘provider-hosted’ private cloud helps organizations take advantage of cloud computing, as well as service provider tools, techniques, and experience, while limiting security risks. Furthermore, a provider-hosted private cloud frees in-house resources and can provide a reduction in IT support costs by enabling consumption-based billing. It also eliminates future infrastructure capital expenditures while freeing up internal capacity.

NTT DATA believes that we exist in a ‘world of many clouds’ where content determines placement.  Private clouds - both enterprise and hosted - are common deployment options for those looking for good choices.

In my next post, I’ll take a look at another popular cloud deployment model – virtual private cloud.  Stay tuned.

Ryan Reed, Cloud Evangelist

Post Date: 12/8/2015

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