The concept of the cloud means something different to different firms. The public cloud is what seems to get the most coverage from the media, but the private cloud is a growing technology that benefits many larger firms — especially those that already have existing IT teams. Discover a bit more about what private cloud hosting entails, which companies benefit most from the technology and how to get started, then decide if this is the right solution for your business.
What is the Private Cloud?
The private cloud offers companies all the benefits of cloud computing (scalability, metering, savings and automation) without having to give up security and control to a cloud host. Today, there is more middle ground than ever before. It is not the black and white of “cloud or no cloud” like it was a few years ago. It is possible to work with a hosting firm to boost your on-site servers without integrating your data with that from other firms. However, it is vital that you have an IT team that is knowledgeable and on board with your plans. While it has many great benefits, operating a private cloud is a bit more complex than operating a standard server or working with a public cloud.
Who benefits from a Private Cloud?
Cloud computing expert Rick Blaisdell has done a lot of research into the topic of the private cloud. In a post on his webpage, he mentions a few key things firms should ask themselves if they are considering the private cloud. Some of these include:
- What would your company gain from moving to a private cloud?
- Would this be an efficient solution?
- Do you already have the infrastructure in place or the funds to develop it?
- Does your IT staff understand how to maintain a private cloud?
- Do you have the level of security necessary to manage a private cloud?
In general, medium to large firms that already have a skilled IT team in place are the ones that benefit most from a private cloud. Since there is normally a larger upfront cost when moving to a private cloud — as opposed to using a hosted cloud solution, it is a better option for those companies that have adequate funding. A blog by IBM offers several scenarios where moving to a private cloud makes the most sense. Generally, these scenarios all involve a company that is growing and has an eye on the future.
How does a Firm get started?
Just because you are choosing to use the private cloud does not mean you are hosting everything in-house. A managed private cloud will keep your data safe and give you dedicated service, but not force you to hire a huge IT team and build servers on site. However, if you already have this infrastructure in place, keeping things in-house will save money over time. If you decide to go with a hosted private server, research the third-party hosts available and choose one that gives you the amount of flexibility and involvement you desire.
As you can see, you do not have to give up control to take advantage of the cloud. If your company is considering a change, spend some time looking over the options and find a solution that will serve you well today and help you grow in the future.
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