Private Cloud: not Public Cloud’s forgotten older brother

Image of Private Cloud | NTT ICT Like the older sibling forgotten when the new baby arrives, Private Cloud infrastructure solutions tend to look boring, old fashioned and obsolete. All those new Public Clouds have their flashy web-based front ends, variable billing options and multiple data centre locations – how can a simple hypervisor compete with that? Well, at face value, they can’t. However, throw in requirements such as security, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and systems management, and then things get interesting…

Take, for instance, data and network security. Some Public Clouds such as NTT ICT’s own Enterprise Cloud are as secure as a Private Cloud when it comes to data and network partitioning. However, some Public Cloud providers don’t  ensure that customer’s Virtual Machines are on different data stores, or that customers don’t share the same network segments and firewall zones. Some providers don’t provide a firewall at all!

A Private Cloud solution removes the ambiguity around security as customers have their own hypervisor hosts, their own network switches and firewalls, and, if not their own Storage Area Network (SAN), they have at the minimum their own disk partitions on a central SAN in the data centre.

The same goes for SLAs. Many Public Cloud providers offer minimal or no guarantees of performance or uptime, whereas with a Private Cloud, the hardware and infrastructure is backed with manufacturer and vendor SLAs at a minimum.

Lastly, those flashy web-based interfaces of a Public Cloud… They’re all you’re supposed to need to run your webservers or HR database without any help from the provider. But what to do if your requirements don’t have a corresponding button on their portal?

A managed Private Cloud gives you access to engineering experts that can assist you with your planned changes and guide you on your best course of action. That missing button? It may be lacking from a Public Cloud’s web portal but the button for your requirement will be available by accessing the hypervisor directly in a Private Cloud.

It’s also true that the commoditised nature of Public Clouds leads to an impersonal relationship between customer and vendor. If you’re a customer looking for an Enterprise-grade Cloud solution, the last thing you want is a vendor who doesn’t understand your business requirements.

A managed Private Cloud solution can be tailored to meet a business’s specific needs, ensure the customer has 100% access to the performance and resources paid for, and give the customer access to engineering resources when required.

What’s more, with NTT ICT the argument that Private Clouds don’t have as flexible billing options as Public Clouds is not valid, as you access pay-as-you-grow options and month-to-month billing of service items.

Yes, Private Clouds might be the boring older brother. However, age has not made them obsolete. Instead, the product has matured into a rock-solid platform for Enterprise-grade solutions, while still learning a few tricks from its younger siblings.

Added 10 June 2014

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