Spending on the public cloud is rising across the enterprise, but private cloud storage systems are not going away. Many organizations are working out technical issues in their private implementations so that they can handle data securely while scaling well to address Web-scale requirements. Accordingly, some are augmenting internal systems with public resources to create hybrid infrastructure optimized for occasional and/or seasonal peaks in usage.
Although some vendors may cite deep technical differences between public and private cloud platforms, the actual distinction isn’t always so cut and dry. Writing for TechTarget, application developer Mark Eisenberg argued that the main difference is simply the respective degrees of infrastructure sharing that private and public clouds permit. A private cloud ideally can solve many of the same problems as a public one while still remaining under the IT department’s control.
However, some companies are labeling lightly modified, or “cloud washed,” implementations of their internal systems as private clouds. Eisenberg stated it requires more effort to build truly effective private cloud infrastructure, citing the following requirements:
- Elasticity – organizations have to invest in enough capacity, which may requirement additional capex
- Pooling of resources – a homogenous environment could be more effective if the IT department is following a self-service model
- Broad network access – this is especially important for meeting cloud storage requirements
- Self-service and measured service – operators have to be careful to avoid underutilizing allocated resources or overlooking proper accounting of usage
Moreover, dealing with complexity and on-demand self-service are the key challenges of building and managing a private cloud. For example, effective workload scheduling allows companies to get more out of a limited set of resources.
Implementing a private cloud isn’t always easy. Enterprises that take the time and effort to do so can realize many benefits, however, such as more granular control of data and the ability to host custom software-as-a-service offerings.