Perception vs. reality: Ten reasons why today’s cloud conversations don’t tell the whole story
Over the years, I have listened to panel discussions about cloud more times than I would like to admit — but I find it interesting that more often than not, these discussions are associated with the public cloud service providers (CSPs).
I get it: It makes sense because of the early development, deployment and heavy marketing by these CSPs. They have successfully created the perception that they are “the Cloud" and as we know, perception is often viewed as reality.
With that said, a complete cloud conversation can and should include the private cloud scenario. There are several arguments for why a private cloud (one that meets the requirements and definitions established by NIST) can be just as capable as public CSPs in certain scenarios — especially with the new technology and managed services available today.
Cloud discussions are almost always associated with the public cloud service providers (CSPs). However, that shouldn’t always be the case.
Here are ten reasons why the private cloud absolutely needs to be included in any enterprise’s overall cloud strategy:
1. Greater customization and control
With a private cloud, organizations have complete control over the infrastructure, allowing them to customize it to their specific needs. Standard public CSP service offerings may or may not fit all use cases — such as non-cloud-native, mission-critical legacy applications.
2. Improved security and compliance
Private clouds can provide a higher level of security and control over your sensitive data, making them suitable for organizations with strict compliance requirements like IRS Pub 1075, CJIS, PCI, and other local, state and federal regulations. While secure, public CSPs may not offer the same level of granular control. If they do, it’s a customized offering that is almost always more expensive.
3. Predictable costs
Private clouds often have a more predictable cost structure, making it easier for organizations to budget and manage expenses compared to the variable and sometimes unpredictable costs of public cloud usage.
4. Low latency
In scenarios where low latency is critical (like front-end systems for legacy mainframe applications), a private cloud can outperform public CSP solutions. Whether hosted in your data center or co-located close to your legacy applications, the data doesn't have to traverse long distances to data centers across the country or globe.
5. Easy resource allocation
Private clouds allow for dedicated resource allocation, which can be advantageous for applications with consistently high workloads. In contrast, public CSP users may have to contend for resources with many other users or customers. Buying the same level of dedicated resource allocation as private cloud can become very expensive over the long run.
6. Data disposition
From a legal perspective and to address citizen data concerns, private clouds enable government entities to keep their data within their borders, which can be crucial for legal compliance with state and local laws and regulations.
7. Powerful hybrid and multi-cloud strategies
Many organizations adopt a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy, where they combine a private and multiple public CSP resources for flexibility and redundancy. Private clouds play a vital role in these strategies, ensuring redundancy and flexibility between all cloud providers.
8. Performance optimization
Private clouds can be fine-tuned for specific workloads, resulting in optimized performance for critical applications. Public CSP environments might not offer the same level of customization as a standard package, and non-standard configurations are expensive to manage and maintain over the long term.
9. Long-term cost efficiency
While public CSPs can be cost-effective for short-term, low-access storage or variable workloads, private clouds are more cost-efficient over the long term — especially for stable, heavy transactional and steady-state workloads and operations.
10. Robust disaster recovery
Private clouds can be designed with robust disaster recovery and backup solutions, ensuring business continuity even in the face of major disruptions.
Long story short, it’s critical for private cloud to be part of any organization’s overall cloud strategy and deployment discussions. The choice between a private and public cloud (and the precise mixture thereof) depends on your organization's specific requirements. More often than not, a hybrid or multi-cloud approach can and will provide the best of both worlds. Ultimately, the suitability of private cloud versus public cloud depends on factors such as workload, budget, compliance needs and the level of control required.
The bottom line is that when the topic of cloud is discussed in panels, sidebars or over lunch, the conversation must include all options — private, public, hybrid and multi-cloud — to be considered complete. Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised to hear this topic addressed fully when I listen to the next cloud discussion panel!
I encourage you to read about Atos’s experience working with private cloud, and learn more about how we can help.