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Understand major private cloud services advantages

Consider the benefits of private cloud services before jumping on the public cloud bandwagon. There's more to private clouds than control over infrastructure and better security.

Many organizations are working toward either migrating mission-critical workloads to the public cloud or perfecting their hybrid cloud environments, but there are several private cloud services advantages you should take into consideration before choosing a route.

Private cloud services offer similar capabilities to those that major public cloud providers can deliver, but they do so using resources that reside on premises and that are wholly owned by the organization.

One of most appealing private cloud services advantages is that you can use the hardware and software resources you already own. You'll probably have to add new resources to your private cloud environment as it grows, but it's relatively common for an organization to begin by creating a small private cloud using its existing hardware and software and then expanding that out over time.

Private cloud services advantages also include hardware resources remaining on premises -- or at least in the organization's data center. This means the organization has full access to the private cloud hardware and can perform upgrades or maintenance on an as-needed basis.

Because private clouds are based on an organization's hardware, you have the advantage of being able to select the hardware you use in the private cloud. If you want to base your private cloud on cutting-edge hardware, then you're free to do that. If, on the other hand, you prefer to make use of lower end commodity hardware, then that too is a viable option. In any case, you can select the hardware that best meets your needs.

Another potential benefit of building your own private cloud is that because the hardware resources reside on premises, your organization is in direct control of physical security. Major public cloud providers take the physical security of their data centers seriously, but if you would prefer to keep tour groups out of the data center, then a private cloud might be the way to go.

Control your own hardware

Public cloud providers keep their prices low by sharing hardware among multiple tenants. Although the larger public cloud providers do allow tenants to lease dedicated hardware, this hardware comes at a price that is substantially higher than shared hardware.

When you host your own private cloud in-house, you are guaranteed to get dedicated hardware. This eliminates the security risks associated with sharing hardware with other tenants -- even though private clouds are technically a form of multi-tenancy. It also eliminates the potential for noisy neighbor syndrome, which refers to an adjacent tenant running a resource-heavy workload that affects the performance of your own workload.

One of the biggest private cloud services advantages is complete control over the entire infrastructure. If you want to base your private cloud around Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center, you can do that. If you'd prefer to use a VMware-based infrastructure, that's not a problem either. You are in control.

Perhaps even more importantly, having control of a private cloud means you have access to resources that aren't exposed by public cloud providers. For example, some public cloud providers offer cloud-based directory services, but they block access to some of the group policy settings. Likewise, a public cloud provider usually can't allow tenants to access low-level hypervisor settings because doing so could interfere with the provider's security model and ability to manage the cloud infrastructure.

A private cloud environment also gives you the ability to establish granular control of the sizing of VM instances.

A private cloud environment also gives you the ability to establish granular control of the sizing of VM instances.

When you create a new VM instance in AWS, for example, you'll have to choose from several predetermined instance sizes. The instance size determines the amount of memory, CPU and storage resources that are available to the VM instance.

The problem with this is that the predefined instance sizes might not necessarily meet your exact requirements. You might have to settle for an instance that's a little bit smaller than you would prefer, which can affect performance, or one that is larger than you need, which increases costs and wastes resources. A private cloud gives you the flexibility to size instances to match your exact requirements.

Avoid fluctuating costs, outages

Of the various private cloud services advantages, my personal favorite is that you won't end up getting a bill from a public cloud provider each month. Although public clouds have a reputation for being an inexpensive platform for running workloads, costs tend to increase over time as you accumulate data or run more demanding workloads. Because public cloud providers use complex formulas to calculate costs, it can sometimes be difficult to predict how much that cloud-based workload is really going to cost.

On the other hand, workloads running in-house on your own private cloud utilize hardware you already own. No one is going to send you a bill based on how many CPU cycles your workloads consumed last month. You simply purchase the capacity and use it as you see fit.

Finally, there have been several incidents over the past several years of public cloud providers experiencing outages. Private clouds aren't immune to outages, but using a private cloud does ensure that your workload will never go offline as a result of a public cloud outage.

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