What Is a Private Cloud?
A private cloud is an environment that pools and shares IT resources over a local private network or the Internet. The cloud environment has a data center, servers, applications, and software that simulate more processing and storage power than physically exists.
The result is virtual and scalable processing designated to one user rather than shared with many organizations, as in a public cloud. A private cloud is sometimes on-site and usually within the user’s firewall.
What Are the Most Common Types of Private Clouds?
There are four major types of private clouds: hosted, virtual, managed, and local or on-site. Each one is classified by who handles the environment and the hosting.
Hosted Private Cloud
A hosted private cloud is a remote server held in a third-party data center instead of your physical location. The vendor offers you space within its architecture to store data or host websites and usually manages security.
A hosted private cloud gives you speed and performance without the headache of security management. Hosting providers have support teams and offer a central dashboard where you can manage your server.
Virtual Private Cloud
A virtual private cloud is a designated section of a public cloud. You can run applications, host sites, and store or share data as usual, but a public cloud provider hosts the cloud.
Simply, a private cloud is the VIP room of a busy nightclub. Many customers use or visit the club or cloud, but the manager reserves a section just for you. With this type, you gain access to the speed and flexibility of the cloud without all the expenses of hosting or running the cloud infrastructure yourself.
Managed Private Cloud
A third-party vendor maintains a managed private cloud. The vendor provides the hardware and software and runs upkeep, including regular updates, maintenance, IT support, and remote management of the cloud. A managed private cloud is usually unshared and may also be hosted by the vendor.
Local Private Cloud
A local private cloud is an on-premises solution physically within your offices or headquarters. With these clouds, you have a data center that holds your cloud servers from which you run your applications. All of it is protected by a firewall and controlled by your internal IT department.
What Does a Private Cloud Architecture Look Like?
A data center is a building that holds the computers, applications, databases, and other hardware needed to process and store data. Depending on the private cloud you use, you may need to build one in your office or pay to use an off-site center from a vendor.
A server is a device that serves another computer and is part of your cloud hardware. In a data center, the server is usually the physical or virtual computer that runs the program or accepts and responds to requests over a network. A private cloud can span many servers and network systems, which allows you to combine your resources.
Once your data center and server are in place, virtualization machines or software split the system workload. The process takes one computer and creates the illusion of many, allowing you to share resources and process or store more data as needed.
Some private clouds use containers, which isolate applications at the operating system level, giving the illusion to the application that it is the only application running on that machine and restricting it to the resources it has had configured for it. This prevents applications running in containers from using more than their allowance of both CPU cores and memory, protecting other applications. Some experts feel a container is more lightweight than virtual machines or software because it virtualizes the system at the operating system level instead of the hardware level of virtual machines.
The firewall is a virtual fence that keeps unauthorized users out of your private cloud. The firewall filters and blocks traffic and potentially malicious threats based on a set of rules. Back in the day, a firewall used to be a physical device. Now, you can use a cloud firewall, which shares resources to scale up protection with traffic increases.
What Are the Benefits of Private Cloud Solutions?
There are pros and cons of both when it comes to private cloud vs. public cloud, but a private cloud offers specific benefits. Most importantly: better performance and higher security.
The beauty of cloud computing is the ability to maintain unused compute power and provisioning it as needed. Systems become flexible and adapt much faster to high demands.
Organizations also don’t have to worry about other teams overloading bandwidth or infrastructure. The private cloud is designated just for certain organizations rather than split among several other organizations, leading to more stable workload performance.
A private cloud offers an extra layer of security on top of your encryption protocols and firewall. The isolated environment limits traffic and access, giving you greater control over data and who uses the cloud. This is the best or only way for some organizations to comply with tight security regulations.
Building a private cloud can be expensive, especially for an on-site cloud with internal systems and your own IT department. Cloud technology is considerably more complicated, so hiring experts is essential.
Despite the high upfront costs, a private cloud can save you money in the long run, especially if you already have the components and the team available. Third-party vendors are expensive over time, with changing fees for usage and storage based on workload. Running the cloud in-house may make more sense.
When Should Enterprises Use a Private Cloud?
Choosing between a private and public cloud depends on what your organization needs. However, a private cloud may be best for certain enterprises, especially those that handle sensitive information or don’t have the time or resources to manage the cloud.
You Handle Sensitive Information
A private cloud is a good solution for healthcare, financial, government, or other agencies that access and handle confidential or sensitive data. The private cloud helps limit access and locks up data from unauthorized use, helping you manage strict data security and storage requirements.
Some regulations also dictate where you can store and sell your data. For example, the GDPR privacy laws of the European Union state that all data on EU citizens must be held in the EU. Using an on-site private cloud means data stays in your office, eliminating risk.
You Need to Scale Data Storage
A private cloud is also helpful when you need to scale storage or memory up or down on demand. The shared resources of a private cloud allow you to pull more as needed without being affected by other organizations that also need more.
You Need to Free Up IT Resources
A hosted, managed, or virtual private cloud is an excellent option if you want a designated cloud but don’t have IT resources. You don’t have to pay the upfront costs of building an on-site cloud, and staff can focus on other tasks.
How Does Azul Help with Private Cloud Solutions?
Azul has the largest engineering team outside of Oracle. Our Azul Intelligence Cloud is a family of products that optimize your Java-based cloud resources. Built on OpenJDK, Azul’s applications lower infrastructure costs, create predictable performance, and help you stay lean and fast at scale.