I’m starting a new post series to walk you through building a private cloud. This post is the first one in the series and will be just an introduction to private clouds. 


In the next posts I will discuss collecting the requirements, building the network and network services, building the storage, designing the server infrastructure, and putting the orchestration layer on top of that.   



Why Private Cloud?


There are number of public cloud providers out there that have good and affordable offerings. However customers sometimes prefer private cloud over public cloud for specific reasons or requirements they need to meet. Here are some the reasons that come to mind:


  • Regulatory Compliance: Some companies have have to comply with certain regulations and therefore have to keep their customer data or their own data on dedicated/isolated infrastructure behind their firewall. In this case the multi-tenant public cloud model won’t be a good fit for them.
  • Control: Some companies require more control over the cloud infrastructure than what public cloud providers usually offer or they might have a specific need to integrate a solution/product from certain vendor. Most public cloud providers offer standard services that may not be customized or tweaked easily. 
  • Avoid Lock-in: I’m sure you heard this before. People don’t like to put all of their eggs in one basket nor like to heavily rely on a specific vendor/provider. By building their own cloud in house companies can have the freedom of choosing multiple vendors and can also leverage open source technology if they wish.
  • Cost: This might be a bit of surprise to you but depending on how much the monthly bill coming from the public cloud provider is, operating a private cloud might become a cheaper option. This is especially true if you are using the cloud to run production workloads that need to be up 24/7 and cannot be turned off while not in use.  


Barriers to Private Cloud Deployments:


  • Lack of Technical Resources: Designing, implementing, and supporting a private cloud require having the right IT resources in house. Some companies just don’t have that.
  • Time to Market: Getting a private cloud up and running is at least 6-12 month long process. Some companies have to respond to market pressure quickly and simply don’t have the luxury of spending a year to build a cloud in house.
  • Cost: Building and operating a private cloud is expensive and it makes more sense in some cases to  leverage a public cloud offering than spending that CapEx up front.


You have the capital and technical talent and want to build a private cloud? Great. In the next post I will walk you through the process of collecting the requirements and making high-level design decisions before we get into building the infrastructure itself. Stay tuned.


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