Typical IT environment consists of compute, storage, and network resources duplicated across many business units in same organization. Resources are under-utilized and wasted due to over provisioning or Application performance suffers due to under provisioning of resources.
Cloud computing includes a spectrum of many deployment models. Some thought leaders call Private Cloud a marketing phrase for a proprietary computing architecture to work with their existing data center resources for better utilization and agility while others have realized the importance of Private Cloud or Internal Cloud.
Private Cloud offers several benefits such as automation, self service, agility, efficiency, security, better resource utilization, and faster time to market. A combination of Public, and Private or Virtual Private Cloud models can be used to address different requirements. This position paper presents our position on why Private Cloud is really a Cloud and how the future scenario in Cloud space will depend on the growth of Private Cloud adoption.
Highly reliable and fault tolerant infrastructure is the solid base of a Private Cloud. Private Cloud deployment captures essential characteristics of Public and partner hosted Clouds; Private Cloud allows organizations to maintain total control over their infrastructure, applications, and data. Private Cloud aims to deliver many benefits of Public Cloud such as agility, faster time to market, automation, elasticity, higher levels of overall application availability, reliability, self-service, scalability at limited scale, and pooling of shared infrastructure.
Question, one should ask is, “If Public Cloud Service Providers can deliver services efficiently and realize all benefits then why organizations cannot do it with existing expertise, investment in resources, and availability of Private Cloud products which help organizations to build Cloud environment behind the firewall with complete control?”
Private Cloud provides cloud infrastructure in house, control of resources, more security and privacy, and compliance to regulatory requirements. It also needs capital investment and expertise to build and maintain infrastructure.
- Let’s take the standard definition of Cloud computing provided by NIST as a base and verify Private Cloud’s validity against Five Essential Characteristics suggested by NIST:
- On-demand Self-Service: A consumer can provision computing capabilities such as compute, network, and storage as needed without human interaction in Private Cloud environment as well.
- Broad network access: Resources are accessible over the organization network, behind firewall, and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations.
- Resource pooling: In Private Clouds, computing resources are pooled to serve multiple business units of a same organization.
- Rapid elasticity: Resource capabilities can be elastically provisioned and de- provisioned, in some cases automatically, to scale up and scale down proportionate to demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time. Though, in case of Private Clouds capabilities available for provisioning may not appear to be unlimited considering the huge investment is required in resources by single organization.
- Measured service: Compute, storage, and network resource usage can be monitored extensively, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the organizations and business units of the same organization for the utilized service.
Private Cloud platform vendors coming from virtualization, grid, and infrastructure solutions backgrounds have focused on adding features required for ‘Cloud’ such as multi-tenancy, self-service and chargeback. We see these capabilities enabling organizations to go well beyond consolidation and virtualization projects to set up their Clouds.
“The growth of Private Cloud is being driven by pressure to deliver IT faster and cheaper, the quick penetration of virtualization and virtualization management, and the growth of Cloud computing offerings” said Tom Bittman, Vice President & Analyst at Gartner. Server and infrastructure virtualization are important basics for Private Cloud. Virtualization makes it easier to dynamically and granularly pool, share, and reallocate infrastructure resources such as servers, desktop, storage, networking, middleware, etc. Hence, virtualization is the major entry point to Private Cloud. However, the trap that executives often fall into is when they believe virtualization as Cloud environment. It is not, by itself, Private Cloud.
Private Cloud is the blend of automation, virtualization, and distributed computing to provide on-demand computing capacity to organization’s internal users or customers. In Cloud environment, security is fundamental and NOT the optional element. Dynamic Provisioning, Confidentiality, Governance, Risk management, and Compliance are the key driving factors for the Private Cloud. Private Cloud are slowly moving from technology- to user centric service delivery; Most Private Cloud initiatives have so far been technology centric, focused on automation, virtualization, and service oriented architecture (SOA) enablement but now the focus has been on standardization, automation, and to make financially aware data-centers.
Application and Data that are migrated to a Private Cloud would deliver the similar kind of flexible computing as from any other Cloud Service Provider, but behind a firewall and without the security concerns that come with sending data outside organization’s boundary. This scenario appeals to organizations that desire more control over their infrastructure.