The Pros and Cons of the Private Cloud
By now, we have all heard the praises and benefits of cloud computing. Indeed, the advantages are multi-faceted in several ways: information is more secure when it is stored both locally on a hard drive and in a decentralised location on a secure server; it is a cost effective storage solution with an often elastic, pay-as-you-go model; it is easy to use, access, and mostly pretty speedy; cloud computing can overcome the limits of slower software with fast enough internet connections to take advantage of high-performance, remote computer servers; and it is flexible for various platforms and devices, allowing easy drag-and-drop usability. These are all true, but commonly apply to advantages as they pertain to the public cloud, which is mostly what the general public has been hearing about all this time.
The private cloud is a more specialised business solution. That is, it exists for those companies desiring more control of their data and who has access to it. Instead of being operated by a hodgepodge of servers owned by various third-party providers, the private cloud is just what it sounds like – more private and exclusive for more sensitive or prioritised data.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages to private cloud computing to see if this solution is the right one for your business.
- Built specifically for your needs, the private cloud is not about what other companies want, with shared preferences among many users, but about what one organisation has specified it needs for its own high-priority data. Companies that offer private cloud services like Dell offer a variety of applications that will fit your needs, from VMware, to Microsoft or Openstack cloud solutions. And with management software like Dell Cloud Manager, you can integrate different clouds to your companies’ own specifications.
- This kind of customisation means that, by virtue of being hosted in a private environment like a third-party data centre, you know exactly where and when and how data is deployed whilst maintaining strong service level agreements. This all equates to greater peace of mind and better reliability than the public cloud.
- For servers of public cloud companies based geographically in certain countries, that data can be potentially exposed to government oversight and inspection thanks to privacy laws that do not protect data stored in this way. It is also protected with a lower level of security than the private cloud, and is thus more susceptible to hacking. Private cloud solutions are for this reason more secure and reliably stored.
- The privilege of maintaining a more secure, reliable cloud server with more control over the information comes at a cost, namely that it is unsurprisingly more expensive than the public cloud. With an increase in management responsibilities and also with smaller economies of scale, this one factors heavily into the cost/risk analysis, especially for smaller companies.
- IT know-how is something that is generally required to manage the data stored on the private cloud. Again, depending on the size of a firm, some companies may not have the requisite resources to build and manage a private cloud with what is available in their IT department, not to mention the upkeep. A private managed by a third party might be a more feasible option, but comes with greater expense.
A hybrid solution, which combines some aspects of private and public cloud storage, is another possible alternative to consider. Ultimately, each company will have to make a storage decision based on its own overall needs.