Making the Case for Private Clouds
— Brought to you by 2X Cloud Computing guest blogger Brien M. Posey —
The benefits of cloud computing are undeniable, but should your organization use public cloud services or should you opt to build a private cloud instead? Although there is no simple answer to this question, it is an important question that every organization that is considering making use of cloud services should ask. There are a number of considerations that should be taken into account as a part of the decision making process.
The number one benefit that is typically cited as rationale for moving to the cloud is cost. Public clouds almost always use a subscription based pricing model. This type of pricing is often attractive to cost conscious organizations because it means that the organization does not have to invest in capital expenditures such as server hardware or software licenses.
Although the subscription based pricing model might initially be attractive, it may ultimately prove to be less expensive to create a private cloud instead. Building a private cloud does require an up front investment, but this investment is typically a one time expense. In contrast, public cloud subscription fees are typically charged on a monthly or annual basis and continue for as long as you need the service. The long term cost of the subscription can easily exceed the cost of deploying a private cloud.
The cost of a public cloud subscription can also be somewhat unpredictable. Every cloud provider sets their own pricing guidelines, but the service fee is almost always based on the number of users or the number of devices used to access the service (or some combination of the two). This pricing structure means that the cost will fluctuate with your user or device count.
In addition to the basic subscription fee, some cloud providers assess a bandwidth surcharge or charge a fee for storage consumption. These types of fees can lead to wildly unpredictable service costs.
Although most reputable cloud service providers take security very serious, some organizations have cited security as the number one reason why they have chosen to build a private cloud rather than making use of a public cloud.
In a private cloud the organization is able to secure their own servers as they see fit, and all data remains on premise. Organizations that subscribe to a public cloud are at the cloud provider’s mercy when it comes to security. Furthermore, administrators must consider what would happen to their data if the cloud provider were to get hacked, suffer a major storage failure, or go out of business.
Manageability must also be taken into account when deciding whether to use a public or a private cloud. Some organizations cite manageability as a major benefit to using a public cloud because the cloud provider typically handles management functions such as software upgrades and patch management.
As enticing as the idea of handing off mundane management tasks might seem however, some cloud service providers handicap their customers by limiting the applications that they are allowed to run. Furthermore, commercial cloud service providers often deny customers the ability to operate management software of their own choosing. As such, organizations might have to use one management product for on premise servers and a different tool for managing hosted servers.
As you can see, there are a number of considerations that should be taken into account when choosing between a public and a private cloud. Although there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution, those organizations that have the capital and the expertise to deploy a private cloud may be better off doing so rather than subscribing to a public cloud.
About Brien M. Posey
Brien Posey is a ten time Microsoft MVP with two decades of IT experience. Prior to becoming a freelance technical writer, Brien served as CIO for a national chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities. He has also worked as a network administrator for some of the nation’s largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox.
Since going freelance in 2001, Brien has become a prolific technical author. He has published many thousands of articles and numerous books on a wide variety of topics (primarily focusing on enterprise networking). In addition to his writing, Brien has provided consulting services to clients and speaks at IT events all over the world.
About 2X Software
2X Software is a global leader in virtual desktop and application delivery, remote access and cloud computing solutions. Thousands of enterprises worldwide trust in the reliability and scalability of 2X products. 2X offers a range of solutions to make every company’s shift to cloud computing simple and affordable.