Most people these days, even outside of the IT world, are familiar with the concept of cloud computing and what it can offer. Most internet users now use some form of cloud service, whether it is cloud based data storage, email, web hosting, backup or cloud SaaS products. Using third party clouds to hold important data is a great idea, because it means you have access to highly scalable server resources, and that everything is held in a redundant off site environment – perfect for business continuity and disaster recovery.
However, a concept fewer people are familiar with is a private cloud. Here, we look at what private clouds are, and when they can be the best solution:
How Do Private Clouds Work?
A private cloud is really the same basic idea as ‘the cloud’ in general. It is a number of servers, which can be physical or virtual, sharing resources and behaving as one entity. When all of the servers belong to and are used by a business, person or organization within their firewall, a private cloud exists that offers many of the same benefits as using third party clouds but with ownership of the entire infrastructure. Any collection of virtual or non-virtual servers can be turned into an openstack private cloud fairly quickly and easily, and there are cloud architects and service providers who specialize in designing and taking care of these environments for businesses who want to use them.
Where Are Private Clouds Most Beneficial?
Private clouds are useful in a lot of situations, and can be used by organizations of all sizes when multiple servers are owned or used. Even small development teams can benefit from using private cloud technology for some of their environments, but larger organizations can experience even bigger benefits by switching from sprawling groups of individual servers with little redundancy and high complexity, to a private cloud where the entire server infrastructure can be utilized efficiently and managed as an entity. Essentially, if you or your department has multiple servers – including virtualized ones – creating a private cloud using them will give you an easier to manage solution that gets the most out of the resources.
While a private cloud does give you most of the benefits of the wider cloud, it is worth mentioning that you should still back up important data to another cloud, especially if all of the physical hardware hosting your cloud is in the same location. A private cloud has redundancy between machines, however if there was an incident that took out all of your hardware, for example a fire, flood or explosion at your site, then you would still want off site back ups to prevent losing your data.
If you currently have an overly complex situation with your servers, then a managed private cloud could make things far more efficient and manageable. Why not look into changing from isolated servers to a private cloud, and see what advantages this solution could bring?