Corporate IT

When and in what context one can make use of Private Cloud

Despite public clouds being popular, there are always customers whose business requirements make only private clouds suitable for usage. In this article, we would like to elaborate on situations when using Private Cloud is really justified and how its deployment might look like.

Two scenarios for deploying IT infrastructure in Private Cloud

Private clouds share several common characteristics that distinguish them from other cloud products. In Private Cloud, the client fully controls IT infrastructure; both physical and virtual resources are isolated from other clients’ resources, which enables flexible management of the loads in the entire private cloud.

According to LogicMonitor, before the pandemic, public clouds hosted 23% of workloads, while private clouds hosted 25%. By 2025, the gap will remain, yet the total share of clouds compared to in-house will increase: 28% of workloads will be hosted in public cloud, with 30% in private cloud.

There are two models for providing private cloud as a service: 

First: all  private cloud components are leased to the client: servers, required types of ports having respective capacity, IP addresses, data storage and license leases. At the same time, the provider is still responsible for ensuring that each infrastructure component is functional, replacing components within the timeframes specified in the SLA, purchasing and expanding resources at the request of the customer, be it component-by-component or server-based. The client is responsible for managing virtualization system and its components, configuring all cloud services, updating and monitoring them. In addition, the client manages the virtual machines themselves, controls how resources are allocated and administers operating systems.

Second: the client is provided with IT infrastructure according to the first model, but the provider undertakes to manage virtualization system, it sets up, updates and monitores all private cloud services. Thanks to this model, the client can delegate a significant share of mundane tasks to the provider compared to the first model. Thanks to round the clock monitoring and support, the service provider can respond to incidents in no time and start troubleshooting straight away. At the same time, the client only manages virtual machines’ operating systems, setting the requirement for the provider to ensure that they are available.

Scenarios for using Private Cloud

Thus, in both cases, the client chooses between deploying his/her applications in a virtualized environment or on ‘bare’ hardware, without virtualization. The provider can opt out for taking part in launching virtualized environment and applications or limit itself to providing hardware only.

In each case, an individual solution is provided in view of specific tasks set by the client and its security requirements. At the same time, opportunities open up to implement a variety of projects as the client can independently choose the acceptable scope of responsibility for the provider and delegate to the provider such a set of tasks as it considers necessary given the specifics of the load.

The first model of implementing private cloud may be of interest to local providers who want to offer their customers an extra service – hosting IT infrastructure in a data center outside the country. For example, a local provider can deploy cloud infrastructure on Colobridge leased physical capacities and sell resources thereof to its customers as a “cloud in Europe”.

The ways well-known brands use Private Cloud to solve their business tasks

You can get to know some inspiring examples of how companies around the world discover private cloud opportunities and benefits in different ways, given their specific needs.

When legendary German porcelain brand Villeroy & Boch migrated its infrastructure to a private cloud, it made it better suited to customer needs. The company made some adjustments to the lay of the land in the digital market: now its IT infrastructure can more easily adjust to expanding the store chain and boosting online sales; customers are less likely to encounter system malfunctions and their personal data is securely protected. Moreover, Private Cloud has contributed to making the processes more automated, simplifying IT infrastructure management and more efficient use of hardware.

Regions Bank, one of the largest US banks (1300+ branches and 2000+ ATMs) opted out for Private Cloud to isolate workloads and migrate to a hybrid infrastructure in the future. Hosting services in private cloud has reduced the risk of data leakage and enabled more effective fraud detection. In the first year of its use, the bank reduced IT infrastructure costs by 10%, the number of fraud alerts by 30%, and the average daily loss by 50%.

Hand in Hand India, charitable for-profit entity, was looking for a low-cost yet flexible IT infrastructure that could scale as new branches opened. With private cloud, it got the expected performance at an affordable price and also secured the personal data of people who contacted Hand in Hand India for help.

One of Australia’s largest financial institutions, Suncorp Group, opted out for a private cloud to host its mission-critical applications and test new products. Using storage having specific characteristics enabled the company to make its resources more accessible to customers, and hyperscaler virtual capacity accelerated the deployment of new applications.

Form I-9 Compliance processes Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Check) and is used by thousands of employers and consulting companies. Before that, customers’ personal data used to be stored in a local data center which provided the required security level. But when the business was going through a period of rapid growth, it turned out that it would be economically feasible to migrate to Private Cloud – this was to help Form I-9 Compliance reduce CapEx/OpEx while ensuring high-level security for its services. The company moved data to a self-managed private cloud platform and enabled Data Protection as a Service to better ensure the integrity of the data warehouse. Private cloud has reduced infrastructure costs and made it easier not only to scale, but also to go through SOC 2 audits required for service IT companies (in fact, this is the international reporting standard for a cybersecurity risk management system).

OMEGA FUNDS INVESTMENT (an investment company), a Colobridge client makes successful use of private cloud infrastructure. Previously, it used to place its infrastructure in public cloud, but was not entirely satisfied with transparent data processing and storage. Private Cloud, together with other products available on the Colobridge platform, enabled the fintech company to significantly minimize the risks associated with physical damage and loss of critical data, successfully pass regular IT infrastructure audits and optimize its ownership costs. 

Ukraine’s largest Multiplex cinema chain has also transferred part of its IT infrastructure to Colobridge technology platform, where it uses private cloud capabilities in combination with several other products. Multiplex now has an online ticketing system deployed in a private cloud. Favorable conditions have been created to digitalize services and to extend them to new cinemas. Now a cinema chain can scale quickly and efficiently without investing in extra hardware resources “just in case”. At the same time, centralized IT infrastructure management at Colobridge facilities makes it possible to get important metrics and predict high seasons. Multiplex started responding effectively not only to seasonal trends, but also to blockbuster releases, due to which the box office load increased manyfold.

Private Cloud: when and for whom

Any of the points listed can be a direct “indication” that it is a good idea to choose private cloud.

Hardware with specific component requirements is required for applications 

Private cloud enables implementing projects with hardware of any configuration produced by any manufacturer. This is usually due to peculiarities of its business applications: they may require a certain processor frequency or number of cores per virtual machine, GPU or SAN. Also, a company can, in its requirements, focus on the hardware from a particular vendor – for example, if it is completely satisfied with its product quality and the warranty service.

The peculiarities of the load and/or the internal security rules set high security requirements

If a company is going to manage the host on its own or restrict access to hypervisors to third parties, the public cloud will not work for it: in theory, provider employees can get it under such modalities. In some cases,  internal security staff initiate choosing a more secure environment for deploying IT infrastructure.

The client needs to optimize IT infrastructure costs

When a client reaches a certain amount of resources, it can help save a significant amount of resources if it opts out for the modality of a private cloud deployed on dedicated servers. In addition, it can flexibly vary the price charged for services – whether to employ full-time system administrators as staff members or, conversely, engage provider’s system administrators. Compared to the closest alternative, public cloud, over a two- or three-year period with the same workload, private cloud can turn out to be more cost-effective. This is important for companies that are used to planning and predicting their expenses – Private Cloud will help them get maximum performance at minimum cost. 

The client wants maximum control over hardware, software and data

With private cloud, the client will have at his/her disposal tools to administer things at hardware level and at hypervisor level. This is a huge benefit for controlling and managing IT infrastructure: one can quickly respond to a problem in the application, use analytics to predict downtime and opt out for the most preferable policies for access control.

The client sets specific cloud requirements

For example, the client has certain expectations as to servers or storage systems performance, and at the same time it is vital to minimize even a slight influence by “neighbors”.

The client plans to buy the hardware in the future

Since private cloud implies individual approach only, the hardware for deploying IT infrastructure will be supplied with due regard to client’s requirements and real needs. If the client wants to buy back the hardware that used to be rented in installments after some time, this will not be a problem under private cloud modality.

You can discuss whether it is possible to migrate your IT infrastructure to cloud with Colobridge team. We will offer the best individual solution with due regard to your business needs, fault tolerance and security requirements, and we will help you migrate your data within the timeframe planned.

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