On a recent consultancy assignment I was advising an organisation on their cloud computing strategy. The team were convinced that they required a private cloud and rightly so – their deployment scenario demands a private cloud for security reasons. A key question to be decided was should the cloud be on or off-premise. When deciding on a private cloud, this is not the only question to be considered – especially if an off-premise private cloud is required. The reason being is the term ‘private cloud’ can mean different things depending on the cloud provider being used.
Consider the following scenario – you provision an off-premise private cloud from a provider. Most providers will host your resources on a separate virtual LAN configuration – the key here being virtual LAN. Your resources will still be on machines that are potentially shared by others. An interesting offering that is different to this is from Stratogen. Amongst their cloud range they offer a dedicated private cloud as well as a private cloud. How does the dedicated private cloud differ from their private cloud ? The key word here is dedicated. Your cloud is hosted on a custom built infrastructure, with fully dedicated resources – you and you only. Of course there are cost implications, but the security is stronger as well as performance less affected by the activity of others. To further add to the options, it is possible to have a hybrid private cloud – a mixture of on-premise and off-premise private clouds, which could be dedicated or VLAN based.
So what started off as looking like a simple decision for my consulting client, i.e private cloud or not, actually required a lot more consideration based on how dedicated the private cloud should be, as well as hybrid or not. Gaining the knowledge of this vital area of cloud computing is not easy. Most vendors use the general term ‘private cloud’ without fully explaining the details. This makes it difficult for organisations to fully appreciate what they are actually buying into and what are the consequences. It is this kind of knowledge that you gain on Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course. I am next teaching this course in London – October 27-29. If you are thinking of coming along, register quickly its almost full! Hopefully I will see you there.