First and foremost, let me start off with a working definition of a private cloud. A private cloud (also known as an enterprise cloud) is “a cloud computing infrastructure created by an organization for its own internal use.” Organizations may develop such a private cloud instead of using other infrastructures, this is a convenient way for an organization to store sensitive data and host internal information. You can identify a private cloud verses a public cloud mainly by their use of an independent server and network infrastructure with internal data centers that are set up within a firewall.

Within the different forms of cloud computing, there are different deployment methods whether it is public, private or a hybrid, private clouds have been able to address the disadvantages of public cloud computing. It is my goal throughout this entry to give a brief overview of the strengths and weaknesses of hosting on a managed private cloud and what you need to know.

Strengths of Hosting on a Managed Private Cloud

One great thing about hosting on a private cloud is the available control. These clouds may also be called on premises clouds being that they are hosted on site rather than by a separate vendor. Organizations using a private cloud have a large amount of control of the software used to create the cloud, implementation of its security, the network set-up and the available operating systems. Organizations therefore also have full control of their data and information. Maintaining their own data gives them complete responsibility. Using someone else’s infrastructure, or public cloud, one loses that amount of control that is available when hosting from a private cloud.

Location is another strong advantage of a private cloud verse public clouds. Having direct access to the server makes it easier to move data in or out of the cloud. Locations to the server, keeps your information tangible and close at hand and reduces the need for outsourced IT support. The internal location also increases the performance and transfer rates. As the private cloud functions within a firewall, it allows for these higher transfer rates.

A third strength of hosting on a private cloud would be security. Assuming the network is closed to outside, it is a great deal easier to secure. Going back to the control issue, you are able to control the network’s security with your own judgment.

Weaknesses of Hosting on a Managed Private Cloud

The largest weakness to hosting on an enterprise cloud is the work put into creating and maintaining the cloud. As building a cloud is an intricate process, it may be easier to use a different, pre-existing, infrastructure.

Another weakness would be the shear cost of hosting on a managed private cloud. There are hidden costs involved in complying to regulations, IT support, backing up data, recovery or restoration, and troubleshooting. With the new technology, these costs may fluctuate while the practice gets perfected.

Hopefully I have addressed your issues with a private cloud and have left you with a clearer knowledge of the topic. If you are interested in private clouds but are concerned more of its weaknesses, I encourage you to look further into hybrid clouds as they have been designed to address the weaknesses of both public and private clouds.

This article was written by Sebastian Brown, a technology veteran and hosting expert. For all your hosting needs, check out Rackspace.com. Rackspace is a company that delivers enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes. Check out Rackspace by clicking here.

Cloud image by unifiedphoto