Evaluating cloud solutions: 3 reasons to consider an on-premises private cloud
Approximately 66 percent of organizations were using or planned to use on-premises private cloud in 2017, according to a recent IDC study. With an expected compounded annual growth rate of 13.1 percent, investments in private cloud lag only slightly behind their public cloud counterparts.
Two distinct private cloud options are available, including on-premises private clouds and hosted private clouds. In this post, we hope to help you evaluate whether an on-premises private cloud is the right fit for your organization.
Before talking about the best ways to use private cloud, it’s important to acknowledge the upfront cost. Adopters of an on-premises private cloud must purchase the necessary equipment required to run it, resulting in large up-front capital investments. Operating expenses such as staff salaries, upgrades, management, and maintenance add to the ongoing costs. You’ll want to study these fees to determine if an on-premises private cloud will be cost effective for your business.
However, it’s also important to remember that these upfront costs lead to predictable monthly cloud costs. Because you’re the one responsible for acquiring the hardware and software for the private cloud, you know exactly what the costs will be. You don’t have to worry about increasing costs or surprise bills that result from greater usage, as is common with public cloud.
Other considerations for on-premises private cloud include agility, scalability, and availability. If your organization can’t readily acquire and add resources for every new project, your agility and scalability can be compromised. Availability can similarly suffer if a company’s infrastructure management, business continuity, and disaster recovery efforts are poor.
Once you understand the cost and resource implications of a private, on-premises cloud network, there are three reasons you may want to use one.
1. Intellectual property concerns
As organizations look to the cloud for things like DevOps, ownership becomes questionable for applications that originate or are sponsored in it. For example, full ownership of any software developed while using an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering from a public cloud vendor will be granted only if there is a strict separation of duties and resources. Any software developed while using a Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering may have limited ownership rights. By using an on-premises private cloud, you will ensure that your software remains proprietary.
2. Regulatory compliance requirements
Businesses that store specific types of data may have to comply with certain laws and regulations. For example, U.S. health care companies have strict security requirements for customer data as outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In some locations, organizations are required to keep an individual’s application data in the same country in which they reside.
Cloud data is accessible from anywhere on the internet and can be compromised if there is a breach, meaning public clouds might not meet some strict compliance guidelines. With an on-premises private cloud, larger businesses with highly skilled professionals can deploy security measures that are appropriate for their organization because they retain complete control over the environment. Smaller companies with limited cloud security expertise may not realize this benefit.
3. Application-specific requirements
Private clouds are built within the data centers of a specific organization. Because they aren’t shared among many users, an on-premises private cloud provides you with granular control over the data, infrastructure, and management. You can tailor each component to fit your business’s needs and preferences.
This can be helpful, since applications sometimes have certain location, hardware, configuration, and/or bandwidth requirements. Public cloud providers often limit you to a fixed set of options, which may not meet your business needs. An on-premises private cloud can help guarantee that your application requirements are met because it enables you to right-size the components and control them as you see fit.
Of course, this freedom of control also comes with its downsides. Every organization that operates an on-premises private cloud is responsible for handling all the services that would normally be delivered by a public cloud vendor. This includes the provisioning, deployment, monitoring, maintenance, and security. If your business lacks the appropriate IT expertise or resources, an on-premises private cloud may not be manageable.
Private cloud is here to stay
Although the number of workloads being placed in the public cloud is steadily increasing, the private cloud will remain necessary for many businesses for years to come. Contact your SHI account executive to learn more about how you can reap the benefits of an on-premises private cloud.