A closer look at why Private Cloud makes a lot of sense as an entry to Cloud
In recent weeks we’ve looked at Public Cloud as a means for organisation to migrate to the cloud, but what about the other half of the equation: Private Cloud?
There’s a series of reasons that organisations look to Private Cloud including retaining control, while still being able to leverage a degree of flexibility as their organisation evolves. In this week’s entry in our Migrating to the Cloud blog series, let’s explore what Private Cloud means when we talk about it at Bulletproof, which verticals are prime candidates and where it can take organisations on their digital transformation journey.
What do we mean by Private Cloud?
Firstly, it’s helpful to explain what I mean when I say Private Cloud. It might be best to start with what a ‘Public Cloud’ means and then articulate how Private differs. Public Clouds such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) involve using cloud infrastructure that is shared and leveraged by thousands or millions of clients. The flipside to this is that Public Cloud offers organisations a range of flexibility, agility and, financial benefits and a level of underlying platform and technology transparency. However, not all organisations are able to use a Public Cloud platform. Let’s now look at why that’s the case.
Regulatory and compliance requirements
The most common reason organisations would opt for Private Cloud is because of regulatory and compliance requirements. The industries affected by these requirements usually include banking and finance, legal, healthcare, and government. Organisations in these industries typically require the security, peace of mind, and regulatory compliance offered by Private Cloud. The good news is that Private Cloud also enables innovation, digital transformation and high performance while maintaining resilience and high availability.
5 points defining Private Cloud
I think it’s worthwhile digging a bit deeper into what we mean when we say Private Cloud.
There’s a few core characteristics or capabilities to highlight:
- Connectivity i.e. Internet, WAN, VPN to unlock access to the cloud
- Built with security and compliance in mind i.e. APRA, ISO, HIPPA certifications
- Elasticity with resource pool management
- Enables scalability and future growth
- Houses sensitive intelligence and data
Migrating legacy applications
With all that said, let’s look at some typical situations that would motivate organisations to adopt Private Cloud. A good example is if you are an organisation with legacy applications or low maturity applications. By this I mean applications that are designed for highly available, single presence data centres. These applications are often not designed for geo-redundancy and therefore require high availability and resiliency within the data centre. These applications also potentially leverage a traditional disaster recovery (DR) capability providing a level of recovery across data centres. However, the key point here would be if your application isn’t native to the cloud.
Minimising risk can also be a factor when considering migrating legacy or low maturity applications to Private Cloud. Organisations can do a lift and shift into Private Cloud, leveraging familiar migration paths and technologies. You can migrate to Private Cloud without the need to rearchitect your application, you don’t need to have a detailed understanding of applications and you also don’t need to recreate servers in Private Cloud. This low risk and potentially fast migration path can be a compelling reason to migrate, particularly when coupled with the cost of managing on-premise or co-located infrastructure. This ties well into the next point as well.
Navigating internal business pressure
Another typical scenario that leads to Private Cloud migration is when key C-level executives such as CIOs and CFOs are under business pressure to migrate. This is a fairly common occurrence, where organisational circumstances are behind the move including cost considerations, as well as stringent security or compliance obligations. It’s worth noting that once this migration driver becomes apparent, although not necessarily for the reason of innovation, it does still represent a promising harbinger of innovation to come and exposes the flexibility, agility, capabilities and potential cost efficiencies offered by the cloud.
A start on the journey to Hybrid Cloud
When people typically think cloud technology and innovation, they’re examining options similar to what Steve and Ross have explored in previous blogs in the series. However, innovation and Private Cloud aren’t mutually exclusive. While a migration might be to overcome a business constraint, it still marks your business moving to cloud, thereby introducing the flexibility and scalability that cloud offers. And where that’s instructive is that it means a stepping stone to a hybrid cloud environment. There’s a range of benefits to a hybrid approach including leveraging the security, control and risk management of Private Cloud, with the innovation, transformation and speed to market of Public Cloud. Another aspect worth highlighting is that hybrid cloud can minimise connectivity issues, even in instances of outages. A well architected and supported hybrid cloud solution can yield a range of benefits for businesses who are transitioning from legacy and low maturity application dependencies.
Hopefully that gives you an insight into what Private Cloud means, why organisations look to take advantage of it, and the path to innovation. I think there’s a few different scenarios or use cases that suit Private Cloud, including looking at a data centre migration, searching for a more robust and long-term solution, or looking down the track towards kickstarting innovation and hybrid cloud capabilities. It’s worthwhile thinking of Private Cloud as an entry point and an enabler for innovation to come.