Public clouds are the unofficial face of the broader cloud industry today – they’re well recognised and relied on by many. For a while, organisations seemed to be migrating en masse to public cloud services like AWS. But, as some have begun to realise, there is a distinct business scenario that justifies relying on the private cloud.
Unlike public clouds catering to the needs of a variety of users and customers, private clouds are designed to deliver services to a single organisation, customised to its needs. A private cloud is ideal for enterprises and organisations desiring a larger degree of control over their environments, often due to security reasons.
However, maintaining a private cloud does involve additional costs. It requires a dedicated team to manage and maintain cloud infrastructure, and this can drive some organisations to public clouds instead. Despite this, the private cloud industry’s growth continues on an upward trajectory. According to Allied Market Research, the private cloud services market is “estimated to reach $14,111 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 21.1% from 2017 to 2023”. Another 2018 report estimates private cloud providers seeing adoption increase by as much as 50%.
What’s fuelling this growth?
Why move to private cloud?
The public cloud certainly has some key advantages – it’s rapidly scalable, it’s easy to set up, with lower costs. These are amongst the many reasons behind the large adoption it enjoys today. But unless an enterprise has a need the public cloud serves well, over-reliance could result in undesirable business outcomes. While private clouds can involve higher costs initially, the option can make sense in multiple scenarios, such as:
1. If you’re looking for increased QoS (Quality of Service)
Public clouds prioritise automated deployments in order to serve a large number of users. This makes them a winner from a scalability perspective, but they may not deliver as efficiently if the organisation is looking to run tight applications quicker and more reliably. A private cloud on the other hand, is more precisely tuneable to comply with an organisation’s specific requirements – via more efficient resource allocation, storage allocation and more, resulting in improved QoS.
2. When workload is consistently large
Domains that transfer voluminous data and work with heavy datasets for extended periods are ideal for private clouds. Finance, banking and healthcare usually fall under this bracket. Even e-commerce sites log a large amount of data onto their systems everyday. A public cloud can involve higher risks, including loss of data or intrusions on an enterprise’s virtual space. A private cloud improves the performance of the system, eliminating most such risks.
3. When security and governance is a concern (a.k.a you need more control)
Organisations come with their fair share of security peeves. In general, enterprises, given the chance and feasibility window, are likely to prefer customising its platform over generalising it. While IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) teams can set up virtual servers and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) developers can indeed test and deploy applications on the public cloud, it is ultimately the service provider that exerts maximum control over the underlying infrastructure behind the servers. On the private cloud however, companies can tailor the setup according to their requirements and security measures. They can add or remove virtual machines to address any new additions to products, and closely customise the performance and security of their infrastructure.
4. If business demand is predictable
Public cloud options are generally more elastic. So while enterprises can scale better with a private cloud over time, dealing with unexpected demands is something the public cloud will deliver better on. However, if a business is one with predictable demand, the private cloud works out to be the smarter option.
In large enterprises, when a private cloud starts making sense, the benefits quickly begin to outweigh the additional costs over public cloud options. With smart use, a private cloud can save greater costs in the long run. End-users can operate and use their apps much more quickly due to the very nature of private clouds. While a private cloud does have its benefits, the truth is – most business models are not built for a single platform, and will likely require a mix of both private and public clouds (hybrid cloud – which we’ve previously discussed here) for their needs. For example, an integrated enterprise cloud solution like rack.