Today, the popularity of public clouds is growing. But there are always customers for whose business requirements only private cloud installations are suitable. A lot has been said about when the use of the Private Cloud is really justified, but it is time to draw attention to this topic.
Despite the growth in the number of cloud providers, private clouds will still be in demand for a long time. According to LogicMonitor, before the pandemic, 23% of workloads were hosted in public clouds, and 25% in private ones. Until 2025, the gap will remain, but the total share of clouds on the background of in-house will grow: 28% of workloads will be placed in the public cloud, and 30% – in the private cloud.
What Is A Private Cloud?
A private cloud is a virtualized solution built on an organization’s own hardware for internal use. The cloud is a logical continuation and development of the concept of virtualization. Cloud solutions use virtualization to manage server resources and consolidate workloads.
If there are a lot of tasks with a large number of virtual servers or the number of users, data and clients grow significantly, and also if it is necessary to frequently change the configuration of resources, create or delete virtual servers, then it becomes more convenient to use cloud technologies built on virtualization technologies.
Private Cloud Implementation
More and more enterprises around the world are choosing cloud architecture. It makes business more dynamic, enables new business models to be implemented quickly, promotes the efficient use of IT resources, and simplifies the operation of the IT infrastructure.
However, the transition to the cloud requires an analysis of the relationship between IT and business strategy and involves not only technological but also organizational changes, along with changes in business processes.
Implementing a private cloud is not an easy task. This requires a rethinking of the work of the IT department, as well as a reorganization of the process of providing IT and business services. The following steps usually need to be followed:
- create a catalog of services provided – first, you need to decide what services users should receive through the cloud;
- detail each service in the required IT resources;
- determine the process of providing services (coordination, billing, etc.);
- choose a solution and design method;
- implement and test.
During operation, it may turn out that resource requirements change significantly during operation. Then it makes sense to move on to the next stage – creating a hybrid cloud. To do this, the existing private cloud is integrated with the public cloud of a provider, and part of the load during such “peak” periods can be transferred to the provider’s site.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure As The Future Of Private Clouds
Let us dwell in more detail on the technologies for building a private cloud. Namely, on the hardware configuration of systems.
When building your own systems, the classic scheme has traditionally been used for many years:
- a server;
- an external storage system;
- a switch for storage;
- and a network switch.
The solution is understandable to everyone, but quite difficult to configure and maintain.
As the performance of network equipment grew, converged solutions began to appear. They use software-defined data stores, in which not disk elements, but entire servers are combined into a fault-tolerant array. In this case, specialized software has been used that forms such a solution and presents ready-made resources to the consumer through a local network.
The downside of this solution is the need to use excess computing power on storage systems. Therefore, the natural evolution of converged solutions has become hyperconvergence, in which there has been a complete merger of servers and storage systems.
In this embodiment, the server with the processor, memory, and a set of disks acts as a single element of the infrastructure. And the further increase in capacity goes by adding just such complex units. This whole complex is controlled, of course, by specialized software.
As a result, we get the following benefits:
- Significant simplification of the configuration.
- The ability to use relatively inexpensive server blocks instead of expensive storage systems.
- Simplifies system deployment and maintenance.
Thus, hyperconverged solutions are great for Private Cloud applications that don’t require a disproportionate amount of resources. In general, a typical organization with a domain, mail, portal, and network storage fits this profile and can use hyperconverged solutions. Today, even such heavyweight systems as SAP are successfully used on hyperconverged platforms.
Examples Of Migrating To The Private Cloud
Here are some interesting examples of how well-known brands from around the world are benefiting from migrating to the private cloud.
The Villeroy & Boch brand, which has been known for its porcelain products for many decades, decided to update its approach to communication with customers and transferred the IT infrastructure to a private cloud. Now Villeroy & Boch can flexibly expand its business applications to new stores, increase the stability of service operations, protect confidential customer data at a qualitatively new level, and increase the share of online sales.
One of the largest North American banks, Regions Bank, which has more than 1,300 branches across the country, chose the Private Cloud to get an isolated environment for business workloads and in the future to move to a hybrid infrastructure. Just one year after switching to the Private Cloud model, the bank saved 10% of IT infrastructure maintenance costs, reduced the number of fraud alerts from customers by almost a third, and halved the average daily loss.
One of the largest financial organizations in Australia, Suncorp Group, chose a private cloud to host its mission-critical applications and test new products. The use of storage with specific characteristics allowed the company to make its resources more accessible to customers and the virtual power of the hyperscaler – to accelerate the deployment of new applications.
Any of the listed items can be a direct “indication” to choose in favor of a private cloud.
A private cloud has several specific features that set it apart from other products. An important difference between Private Cloud is that the client can fully control his data and IT infrastructure in general, and the physical and virtual resources available to him, which he uses exclusively, are reliably isolated from the resources of other clients. This approach allows for more flexible management of workloads placed in the private cloud.
Is hyperconverged solutions really the future of Private Clouds? It looks like yes. The market for such solutions is constantly growing. So, consumers are already voting with their wallets, evaluating the benefits of such systems. From a technical point of view, when building a new data center for an ordinary enterprise, it is worth stopping at a hyperconverged solution.