What is a private cloud?

Discover its definitions, advantages and disadvantages in this concise guide.

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Private clouds as we know them first emerged in 2010, when companies like Microsoft, AWS, and OpenStack developed properly functioning private clouds. This was also when OpenStack created an open source, do-it-yourself, and free cloud.

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What is a private cloud?

A private cloud is a single-tenant environment, which means that only one organization uses the infrastructure and directly controls it. It can be hosted and managed in a number of ways, including leveraging resources and infrastructure that are already on-premises, leveraging separate infrastructure provided by third-party organizations, or enabled using only virtualization software. Private cloud is one of three main cloud deployment models – private, public and hybrid. There is also cloudy that combines these three elements.

Benefits of Private Cloud

Private clouds offer many benefits compared to public cloud solutions. Perhaps most importantly, private clouds offer a higher level of customization and control. This is because private cloud environments are not shared with other organizations like public clouds. As a result, private cloud users are able to configure their applications and systems to meet their specific needs and requirements.

SEE: Hiring Toolkit: Cloud Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Additionally, private cloud solutions offer better security and comply with certain regulations. For organizations dealing with sensitive data, a private cloud can provide an extra layer of protection.

Finally, private clouds are often deployed when public clouds are deemed unsuitable or inadequate. For example, mission-critical workloads that exceed risk tolerance may be better suited for private clouds.

Disadvantages of private cloud

Private clouds are becoming more popular as businesses look for ways to increase efficiency and control costs. However, private clouds have many disadvantages.

increased complexity

One of the biggest challenges facing private clouds is increased complexity. Private clouds require significant investments in hardware and software, as well as careful planning and management. Therefore, they are much more expensive to set up and maintain than public clouds.

Poor scalability and flexibility

In addition, private clouds are not as scalable and flexible as public clouds, making them incapable of handling spikes in demand.

high cost

One of the main cost drawbacks of a private cloud is the initial investment required to procure, deploy, and support. For example, companies will need to purchase expensive hardware and software and hire staff with the necessary expertise to maintain the systems.

Additionally, private cloud systems are typically more complex than public clouds, which also drives up support costs, and private clouds typically require more maintenance than public clouds, further increasing expenses. As such, a private cloud can be a costly option for companies, especially compared to a pay-as-you-go public cloud model.

Managed private clouds can also be expensive

The subscription cost of a hosted private cloud can sometimes exceed the total cost of ownership. Customers can also face the same issues as public cloud customers, namely poor configuration, under-provisioning and overburdened servers.

These shortcomings have led to a gradual shift to hybrid and multi-cloud setups. According to the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud report, 89% of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy. Of these, 80% said they had adopted a hybrid cloud strategy, 7% had multiple public clouds, and 2% had multiple private cloud setups.

Types of Private Clouds

Private clouds vary in terms of hosting and management, and offer different capabilities based on an organization’s needs. There are four main types of private clouds.

On-premises private cloud

An on-premises private cloud is owned and managed by an organization, often using its own hardware and software. It offers the highest level of control and customization, but also requires a lot of resources to set up and maintain.

Managed Private Cloud

A managed private cloud, also known as private cloud hosting, is provided by a third-party vendor, where the hardware and software are owned and managed by the vendor. This option may be cheaper, but may not provide the same level of customization and control as an on-premises private cloud.

Managed Private Cloud

In a managed private cloud, the hardware and software are owned by the organization but managed by a third-party vendor. This provides a balance of customization and control with cost savings.

virtual private cloud

A virtual private cloud provides organizations with access to public cloud resources while maintaining privacy and control through virtual private network technology.

However, the above only categorizes private clouds in terms of hosting and management. Other categories of cloud infrastructure considered for use:

  • software only: This private cloud uses software to manage and deploy virtualized resources but does not use dedicated hardware, and it offers lower up-front costs but may have lower scalability due to the lack of dedicated hardware.
  • software and hardware: This private cloud is managed and deployed using both software and dedicated hardware, offering greater scalability but also higher initial costs.

Some Notable Private Cloud Providers

Some of the major private cloud providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and VMware. Each vendor offers a range of private cloud options with varying levels of customization and control.

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