The cloud is a proven delivery model for 2022 and beyond. In summary, cloud computing has completely changed the way organizations conduct business and interact with their customers and potential customers. Since early 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud computing adoption has rapidly gained traction, including infrastructure spending and development. Thus, it is safe to state that the cloud is now a vital global online technology.
Reported statistics indicate the following:
- In 2020, the value of the cloud computing market was $371.4 billion in 2020. This figure is forecast to increase to $832.1 billion by 2025
- 94% of all enterprises across the globe use cloud services
- 46% of all businesses store classified and critical data in the cloud
- By 2025, there will be 100 Zettabytes of data stored in the cloud
Therefore, the question that should be asked and answered is not whether you should move your organization’s data to the cloud. Rather it is how to migrate to a private cloud infrastructure as a service offering?
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following points.
What is a cloud service?
A cloud service or cloud computing is defined by Steve Ranger as the “delivery of on-demand computing services – from applications to storage and processing power – typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.”
The cloud computing architecture model can be subdivided into three models: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service describes the basic building blocks that make up a cloud service:
- Physical servers
Additional technologies include virtualization or the ability to abstract resources from the underlying physical hardware, management software giving system administrators centralized control over the infrastructure, as well as the automation of many manual tasks such as server provisioning and server integrations.
Secondly, Platform-as-a-Service builds on top of IaaS and includes the tools and software (such as middleware, database management systems, operating systems, and software development tools) that organizations need to develop their software applications.
Lastly, SaaS is the cloud computing service that most people use every day. Briefly stated, it delivers website applications to end-users to perform a specific function, including online shopping or eCommerce software, enterprise resource planning software, customer relationship management software, project management software, and accounting software.
What is a private cloud (or private cloud architecture)?
According to our private cloud infrastructure and services experts, a private cloud is simply a single-tenant cloud computing service, combining many of the benefits of cloud computing, including elasticity, with the security and control of an on-premises IT infrastructure.
In other words, a private cloud is a cloud computing architecture where all the hardware and software resources are exclusive to and accessible by a single customer. Juxtapositionally, a public cloud such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or GCP is a multi-tenant model, with multiple clients sharing the same server.
There are essentially four types of private cloud models available to organizations:
- Organizations can house their private clouds in an on-premises data center. This model is either managed by external contractors or by in-house system administrators.
- A hosted private cloud is where the private cloud infrastructure is in a third-party data center, but a single organization’s infrastructure is not shared with anyone else. The service provider manages the server, upgrades the software, and configures the network.
- A managed private cloud is where the third-party service provider handles everything involved with utilizing a private cloud architecture. The client does not have the skills to manage private cloud environments.
- A virtual private cloud is a separate environment located within a public cloud but is not accessible by anyone other than the client. The virtual logic ensures that the client’s cloud computing resources are private.
Private cloud versus public cloud
This discussion would not be complete without discussing the benefits of a private cloud compared to the public cloud.
The most significant benefit and the reason why most organizations choose a private cloud architecture over a public cloud is that the private cloud model is the only (or easiest) way to meet their regulatory compliance requirements, especially if their data workloads include confidential documents, intellectual property, medical records, financial data, PII (Personally Identifiable Information), or other sensitive data.
Regulatory requirements are sometimes difficult to fulfill because the public cloud service provider hosts many different clients on a single physical server. Therefore, it must be noted that, depending on the use case, a private cloud service is often preferable to a public cloud service.
Other benefits of the private cloud architecture include:
- Full control over hardware and software requirements
- Freedom to customize hardware and software in greater depth than public cloud environments
- Greater visibility into security and access control
The most significant disadvantage of adopting a private cloud model is that the average cost is higher than a public cloud model. However, organizations can balance the higher pricing structure against the benefits of the private cloud.
Hybrid cloud: The best of both private and public cloud architectures
A third cloud storage option combines the best of both private and public cloud architectures: The hybrid cloud service.
A hybrid cloud integrates public and private cloud architectures into a single, flexible infrastructure, solving the challenges faced by adopting either one or the other and allowing the organization to choose the optimal environment for each workload or application. In other words, organizations can run workloads containing sensitive data in the private cloud. In contrast, the public cloud can host and run SaaS applications and provide any extra storage and compute capacity the organization might need.
In summary, a private cloud or private cloud infrastructure is a cloud service. There is no doubt about the affirmative answer to the question raised in this article’s topic.
Succinctly stated, a private cloud comprises the same elements found in the description of what a typical cloud infrastructure looks like, namely, physical and virtual servers, networking, management software, automation, and storage.
However, the most significant difference between the public and private cloud infrastructure is that the public cloud is a multi-tenant model. In contrast, the private cloud is a single-tenant model.