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Making Sense of Private Cloud Deployment Options

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Patrick Verhoeven.PNGGuest post by Patrick Verhoeven, Director Strategic Cloud Programs

 

While the cloud computing industry has largely come to terms with the basic concepts of public cloud vs. private cloud vs. hybrid cloud, what is less clear is the large number of private cloud deployment options that exist for Infrastructure as a Service. Before you engage with vendors, make sure you understand your options.

 

At a macro level, I think most industry pundits would say there are four basic types of private cloud: Internal, Outsourced, Hosted and Virtual Private Cloud. But when you start to peel away the layers of the onion, you quickly realize it’s a bit more complicated than that. By my count, for example, there are at least twelve IaaS private cloud deployment options:

 

PV Cloud.PNG

 

Most of the variables above are well understood in the industry, but I think two require further explanation as they’re not discussed as widely.

 

Standardized vs. custom private cloud design architecture

 

First is the notion of a standardized vs. custom private cloud design architecture. Historically, one of the key drivers for private cloud has been the need for IT to have tight control, particularly as it relates to security, compliance, data sovereignty, and integration with back-office systems. This, more often than not, led to private cloud solutions that were fully customized from the ground up to meet all of the diverse workload and security needs within the enterprise. By contrast, we are now seeing accelerating growth of standardized private clouds. These solutions offer a pre-defined private cloud reference architecture (typically with a limited number of configuration options to address varying security and scaling requirements) - together with fixed pricing and SLAs. These standardized, ‘out-of-the-box’ private cloud solutions meet all essential enterprise requirements, are less expensive to deploy and maintain, and can be deployed much faster than a home-grown cloud solution.

 

Managed cloud

 

The second variable that warrants further explanation is the growing need for tightly integrated managed services on top of the cloud infrastructure – what some service providers refer to as ‘managed cloud’. What this refers to is management at the operating system level and above – not just management of the underlying cloud compute, storage and network infrastructure. For example: the ability to provide system or application monitoring, backup and restore services, security patch management, systems management, and more. The need for ITIL-based cloud managed services has always been there in my opinion, as evidenced by the evolution and continued growth of more ‘traditional’ industries like IT outsourcing or managed hosting.

 

The challenge has been that tightly integrated managed service options for cloud have not kept up with the explosive emergence of cloud computing platforms. Until recently, and with a few exceptions, customers that need a ‘managed cloud’ typically would have to cobble together multiple service providers to accomplish this. Now, we’re starting to see service providers who can deliver the same set of standardized managed services on top of any cloud deployment model - public, private or hybrid – yielding a more complete cloud solution and a ‘single throat to choke’. This allows organizations to fully offload ITIL management of all cloud infrastructure and focus on developing differentiating applications and business processes.

 

Historically, most IT organizations have opted to build customized private cloud solutions on-premises (often augmented by a public cloud like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure for specific workloads, which results in a hybrid cloud solution). While the need for hybrid clouds will not change, I believe we will start to see a shift away from customized private clouds built by IT to a more standardized private cloud deployments that are fully managed by service providers – either on-premises or off-premises. These standardized private cloud solutions offer a compelling compromise between the economics and convenience of a public cloud, and the flexibility and security of a fully customized private cloud.

 

Making sense of private cloud deployment options can be a challenge and ultimately depends on many variables that are specific to a given organization. As you embark on your cloud journey, make sure you have a partner and trusted advisor who can help shape your short-term and long-term strategy for public, private and hybrid cloud.

 

To learn more about HP’s private cloud solutions and how HP can help advise you on your cloud journey, visit www.hp.com/helion.

 

Tell me what you think. Are there other private cloud deployment options for Infrastructure as a Service? How do you think private cloud will evolve? Where are you on your cloud journey? Feel free to reach out in the comments section below.

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