The term – Private Cloud – is generally used to describe a cloud IT infrastructure that is built for the sole use of a single organisation, and which resides securely behind their corporate firewall.
A private cloud is therefore capable of delivering an organisation’s in-house cloud computing services remotely. A user who is using the services of private cloud can avail themselves of all the benefits of cloud computing without many of the pitfalls or security challenges involved. In other words, this solution can be defined as the provision of certain services as a part of the controlled access service – where access is limited to a certain group of authorised users. Sometimes private cloud is also known as the internal cloud or the corporate cloud.
How it works
The private cloud works in the same manner as any other cloud-based network of servers and infrastructure. However unlike other public cloud services, the private cloud resides behind the corporate firewall. This gives it the same level of security as the organisation’s internal Local Area Network (LAN) and subsequently ensures that only permitted people can access the resources.
The access network can be best understood with the help of the following example:-
“Suppose there ten computers on a single floor of an office that are connected to a server. These servers are then managed or consolidated onto a cloud platform. Each floor then accesses the system over a private network as if browsing the internet, but unlike public cloud services the infrastructure and storage elements are located within the organisation. The user is then granted access to the system based on security roles.”
Some researchers believe that the private cloud is more beneficial than the public cloud. This is because there are many advantages that are attached to using private cloud technologies. First of all it offers access to only a limited set of people which ensures that there are fewer external security concerns. The resources, in the form of applications and storage, can be shared in a limited environment which aids regulated companies to whom public services are not suitable. It offers privatisation of confidential data so that it is not hosted outside of the corporate network. Thus there are many benefits attached to the private cloud such as:-
It is faster than other forms of cloud in terms of the transfer of data and other information (if used internally on a high speed local area network).
It offers high levels of security for the data because it has limited access
Because it is behind the corporate firewall, the data is only accessible by the organisation
Thus it can be said the private cloud is more beneficial than the public cloud in highly regulated industries because it has very limited access and it offers stricter controls in terms of data storage.
The most important challenge that the users of private cloud have to face is that initial set-up and the higher costs associated with a dedicated private cloud infrastructure. Provision of dedicated hardware, assigning security permissions and firewall policies, and other security access rules must be determined in order to permit user access remotely.
Compare the Cloud would always recommend the use of a Cloud Consultant to aid any company implementing a private cloud solution. Many vendors today offer hybrid cloud services that take advantage of public cloud services whilst ensuring that granular controls are in place to ensure system access.
How to move forward
At Compare the Cloud we would recommend speaking to a consultant to benchmark your needs. The following checklist may be useful as a rough guide to selecting a private cloud vendor;
Complete an all-encompassing project plan ensuring that your organisation is able to ‘roll-back’ the system during any migration.
This particular service is suitable only for those companies that require the exchange of confidential data or have to adhere to strict regulation. It is important to set up the system under professional guidance, or a loss of data may result or unscheduled downtime.
There are many factors that make a private cloud beneficial. To find an organisation or consultant to assist with your implementation try our free Cloud Computing tool.