What is a private cloud?

Private Cloud refers to a cloud computing platform deployed behind a corporate, business or personal firewall. Private cloud offers similar features of public cloud computing models, however, it alleviates some of the worries and concerns companies bring up concerning security, control over ownership and regulatory compliance.

A large problem with using the private cloud over public cloud computing methods is that a company’s ROI (return on investment) concerning maintenance of the physical architecture and software that would normally be passed onto vendors of public cloud solutions. Private cloud services usually mean a larger IT department to deal with these added issues.

Rackspace has a great example of the private cloud for business and personal use versus current dedicated hosting methods.

Private Cloud for business

One of the largest reasons corporations shy away from storing and processing sensitive data is due to security and those methods meeting compliance standards. Using a private cloud changes those worries, and creates the opportunity for organizations to have fuller control over the methods and architecture used in the cloud to meet those business rules, security needs and compliance standards.

In-house IT, hardware costs and more

However, as organizations move to the private cloud for their needs, while security and compliance needs drop, other operational costs increase like IT support, hardware costs and increased physical security and utility needs. This balance of return on investments should be a consideration for organizations and home use as well.

The birth of the hybrid cloud

These issues have led many organizations to consider using a version of a private cloud service, called hybrid cloud computing services. This platform uses areas of the public cloud, along with security and compliance needs of the private cloud, to leverage out some of those additional costs and IT-hire issues. We’ll look at the hybrid cloud and some examples later in this article.

Private Cloud for your home

The private cloud model can be employed in your home, even without you needing the computing power as well as web hosting abilities that are associated to most cloud computing service vendors. What most people mean by private cloud for home, or personal cloud, concerns cloud storage. Home cloud servers store media and data in one central hub, as a method to share and use those media types and data from one location.

Personal Cloud - Private Cloud Example

Why a personal cloud?

Most devices are moving towards ‘terminal-size’ volume. This means that hard drive space, storage space to make it simpler, is being eliminated in place of better resource management when it comes to processing power and visual display; don’t forget size!). Since CPU usage, memory and networking (internet and cell-network speeds) are all becoming more advanced, quicker and ‘lighter’, it leaves long-term storage as something a consumer can leverage if they use a cloud based solution.

What is the hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a cross between private cloud and public cloud that keeps system-sensitive data and hardware locally maintained, but utilizing other cloud services at a public level for other resources. Brian Gracely (from The Cloudcast) does a great job at giving an introduction to hybrid clouds, and how you can employ them.

Hybrid Cloud – An Example

You should now have knowledge of what a private cloud is, both for business as well as personal home networks. You should also have a beginning knowledge of a hybrid cloud. But, what is the best method of deciding between a public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud?

The best business example I can give, is a healthcare facility, or financial facility. Sensitive data, both as far as storage and database resources, make better use for security and for fine-tuning, on a managed, private cloud or network. You can then use a method to allow information, as a temporary action, to be provided on the public cloud. Now you have a clear method of secure storage, an interaction between only two points, and the serving ability of a public cloud.

Another use case involves global companies, that house data at one point, but want to eliminate bandwidth bottlenecks in their serving data to any user, anywhere. But centralizing information in a private manor, not only is this data secure, but we can use VPN or even regional instances that can connect to a central point, and serve information.

One more example involves legacy system transitioning to the cloud. Not all private clouds or dedicated servers are ‘in-house’. Some, because of certain requirements and overhead, simply want to make use of the resources used and tuned on those servers already in existence. What does change is the housing and serving of public data and media that may make for more cost-efficient storage. So, services like Amazon’s S3 or Glacier, could be a more available public cloud service option.