What is a Private Cloud?
Learn about the benefits and characteristics of private cloud environments.
The public cloud has enabled the creation, evolution, and growth of a vast range of companies. But as enterprises grow larger, they often discover that public cloud alone is too inflexible for their needs.
When enterprises rely wholly on public cloud, they often struggle with access to some of their data. Additionally, moving data out of the cloud can be difficult and costly because of egress fees. These challenges can hobble efforts to derive value from enterprise data. As a result, businesses are increasingly choosing to reorganize how and where they keep data, shifting to a multicloud ecosystem instead.
At the same time, traditional on-premises enterprise data center architectures don’t scale easily or efficiently to meet the need for growth and agility among multiple organizations within an enterprise.
Today, a multicloud strategy—orchestrating data across multiple cloud architectures in a unified way—typically includes a private cloud component. In other words, an enterprise houses some data in public cloud services and some on premises or in a private cloud. Repatriating some of that data to a private cloud delivers a mix of benefits from private cloud and the multicloud ecosystem.
Private cloud—often referred to as corporate or internal cloud—is an on-demand cloud deployment dedicated to serving multiple organizations within a single business entity. In contrast, public cloud services are provided by a third party using data center infrastructure that’s shared by many separate business entities.
A private cloud is structured on cloud-native principles. This means it provides extended, virtualized data storage and computing power that various internal organizations and users can draw from as needed. It also offers the flexibility to easily move workloads between private and public cloud—and even to parse and share data and workloads simultaneously among private and public cloud in a multicloud strategy.
According to research from IDC, as reported in Seagate’s recent Rethink Data report, 51% of enterprises deploy on-premises private cloud as part of their IT infrastructure—even higher than the 50% who report using public cloud. Hosted private cloud is also used by 36% of enterprises.
A private cloud is exclusively used by one large entity such as a company. But within that entity, there will be multiple users, including various departments, organizations, or individual consumers. The entity can own the private cloud’s physical infrastructure and be responsible for its management, use a third party to host its private cloud infrastructure, or a combination of the two. A private cloud can reside either on premises or offsite.
A private cloud can provide the benefits of cloud computing while enabling greater control over and customization of components, systems, and other architectural choices. It also provides full control over data security, which can ease processes and concerns surrounding sensitive data such as intellectual property, financial data, confidential documents, and personally identifiable data.
When operating in a private cloud environment, there is also less chance of compute and storage resources being underutilized than in a traditional enterprise data center. An enterprise can choose to partition each resource in the private cloud to correlate to the specific needs of different departments within the enterprise and can change the allocation of resources to meet real-time needs. Other benefits include:
By deploying private cloud rather than a traditional data-center architecture, enterprises gain many of the benefits of cloud, including:
If an enterprise cannot rely solely on public cloud services but still wants benefits such as on-demand resources, private cloud is the ideal solution.
In addition to the flexibility and economic advantages, a private cloud offers data access and management protocols that can be closely controlled by an enterprise. This ensures full compliance with government regulations surrounding data privacy and protection, making it especially appealing for businesses in the financial and healthcare industries.
By addressing the need to manage data in motion by using both private and public cloud infrastructure—including moving some frequently accessed applications and associated data back into private cloud for greater control—enterprises can manage growth and control costs in today’s hybrid cloud world.