WOOF! Newsletter

May 03, 2012

Does Private Cloud Service Trump the Public Cloud?

Despite the similar names, there are big differences between public cloud computing and private cloud service. Private Clouds are better on security, you have more control over which applications to run, and son. Today's WOOF! lays out the differences.
We hear a lot about the public side of cloud computing – RackSpace, Amazon Web Services, etc. Essentially leasing space in a giant server farm . . . somewhere.

Public clouds provide IT systems at reasonable cost, with fast setup. However, they're only appropriate for companies without strict regulations. Without highly-critical applications. Without any intellectual property that must be protected.

Not the ideal choice for many of us!

The other choice is Private Cloud – virtualized IT services connected directly to your internal network.

Private clouds are isolated from the provider's other cloud accounts.
They're able to host your entire infrastructure.
You can access services anywhere in the world.

If your business is capable of – and interested in – moving to a private cloud service, you could enjoy faster operations, much lower management costs, and a more agile workforce.

The Advantages of a Private Cloud

The following are major cloud computing advantages, for both public and private clouds.

Agility & Adaptability: Launch new products and adjust IT resources to meet demand as-needed.
Speed: Cloud servers run at the same speeds as (or better than) on-site servers, but at lower cost.
Build-as-you-go: Ease into adoption one server at a time.

However, a private cloud has these additional advantages:

Better security over public cloud offerings: Private clouds don't share resources with a dozen – or a hundred – other accounts.
Someone else manages the backend for you: If you outsource your private cloud, the company running it for you handles server and software maintenance.
No need to manage a physical datacenter: Private cloud service runs on a virtual environment; it's managed via software.

A Private Cloud has all the benefits of cloud computing, but with better performance, higher security, and in many cases is even less expensive.

Would you trust public cloud servers to run these?
  • Exchange Email
  • Financial Applications
  • SharePoint Workflows
  • Windows File Server
  • Unified Communications (including telephony)
  • LOB Applications
All of them will run, securely, on a private cloud.

This is why PlanetMagpie always recommends private cloud services, instead of using the public cloud.

Factors to Consider when Moving to a Private Cloud Service

Deciding whether to use a private cloud, a public offering, or a combination of both comes down to a number of factors.
  1. How much control do you want over your infrastructure? (Public clouds don't often give you control over what software you're running. Or where you run it. Conversely, you may not be able to load applications to a private cloud environment.)

  2. Do you have the resources for an internal private cloud, or would an outsourced private cloud be more cost-effective?

  3. Would your business culture support a decision to switch to cloud computing?

  4. Is your existing software able to work with cloud-based platforms?

  5. Moving soon? Expanding? (Using Private Cloud service means you don't have to move servers or build out a new datacenter. You just relocate your personnel, power up your network switches, and plug in.)

  6. What do you use for communication? Does cost prevent an upgrade to your communications systems?

Checklist: Would Your Business Benefit from Private Cloud Service?

If your business meets (or comes close to!) the "sweet spot" described by this checklist, you're a good candidate for Private Cloud Service.
  1. Age of hardware: Desktop systems are less than 5 years old. Some servers in need of upgrades or replacement.
  2. Number of employees: Over 10, all comfortable with computer use (or fully-mobile companies with a virtual office space, regardless of employee count).
  3. Applications currently in use are compatible with virtualization (Microsoft software is a guaranteed Yes).
  4. Enough bandwidth is available for fast connections up/down from the private cloud.
  5. Internal security is a match for private cloud security requirements.
  6. Low latency designed into your network.

Are You Ready for a Private Cloud?

If you're not using cloud servers, your business is essentially bolted to your datacenter. Want to move offices? Grow? Alter your network infrastructure? It'll take money and time to effect those changes in your datacenter.

Moving your operations into private cloud service takes those bolts off. The businesses which match the checklist can revitalize everything – shorter response times, better capabilities, improved costs. And best of all, someone else is managing the datacenter FOR you.

78% of enterprises will pursue a private cloud strategy by 2014 (Gartner poll, Dec 2011). Will you?