Hosted Private Clouds: Extending Your Infrastructure

Why hosted private clouds are a perfect entry into cloud computing, and how to approach them.

Hosted Private Clouds

Face it: Today’s applications and data live in the cloud. After years of dragging their feet, both enterprises and end users have embraced cloud computing in a big way.

Worldwide spending on public cloud services will more than double from $70 billion in 2015, to $141 billion in 2019. That 19 percent compound annual growth rate is almost six times the rate of overall IT spending.1

But not every enterprise is ready to move all their workloads to the public cloud. For some, hosted private clouds can be a particularly attractive alternative.

Cloud of a Different Color

A hosted private cloud delivers a private cloud environment with all the services that would typically be included in a public cloud. For example, you can manage your environment through a self-service web portal, pointing and clicking to deploy a new server, just as you would in a public cloud.

Enterprise Cloud Solutions
“CompuCom’s hosted private cloud offering provides an infrastructure with all the servers, data storage and virtualization needed for a complete data-center environment,” explains Chad Atchley, CompuCom®  Cloud Technology Services product director. “We can host the private cloud in the client’s own data center or in a co-location data center. We design, install, configure, operate and manage the environment, allowing the client to focus on running their business.”

Hosted private clouds are ideal for organizations that aren’t ready to move to a public cloud, typically for one of three reasons:

  1. Application architecture — Many traditional applications depend on static locations for data and can’t be moved to the public cloud without being rebuilt.
  2. Customization — Because the public cloud relies on standardization to reduce costs, it often can’t be customized to meet unique needs.
  3. Audit controls and regulatory compliance — Few audit and compliance controls were built with the cloud in mind. As a result, there can be significant resistance to moving certain data or workloads to the public cloud.

Infographics: Cloud Computing Types
Cloud Compare and Contrast

While hosted private clouds and public clouds can support the same workloads, they often differ in terms of service level agreements (SLAs). “Where public clouds often offer 99 percent uptime, with hosted private clouds you can specify higher availability,” Atchley says. What’s more, because you’re the only tenant using the physical infrastructure, you don’t have to worry about potential performance degradation from usage by shared tenants.

You can also integrate a hosted private cloud with virtualization in your existing data center. “We can connect with your virtualized data center and manage it as an extension of your hosted private cloud,” Atchley notes. “We can also connect the environment to a public cloud such as Amazon® Web ServicesTM. So you have tremendous flexibility.”

Hosted private clouds involve more upfront capital expenditure, because you buy or lease the hardware for your exclusive usage. With public clouds, you pay only for the capacity you use, so the expenditure is purely operational. “But you can start small with a hosted private cloud and expand it quickly,” Atchley points out. “And long term, hosted private clouds can be more cost-effective, because you’re not paying for access to hardware on an ongoing basis. You buy or lease the hardware upfront and then pay only for the ongoing management.”

Choose Carefully

To determine whether a hosted private cloud is right for you, start by capturing business requirements. “When we advise clients, we apply a set of proven processes to simplify and quantify requirements by engaging stakeholders, then comparing their needs with available solutions,” Atchley says. “We then assess various cloud solutions to create a scorecard based on business value.”

Long term, hosted private clouds can be more cost-effective, because you're not paying for access to hardwar on an ongoing basis.
Some decisions will be fairly obvious. If you want low-cost data archiving, a service such as Amazon GlacierTM might be a good choice. If you need to run business-critical ERP with burstable performance, you’ll want to look for a different solution.

Of course, few companies have only a single need. You’ll probably require different solutions for different workloads. A financial services company might want to keep account and transaction data in a hosted private cloud while placing publicly facing information in a public cloud, for example.

Demand for cloud computing is clearly exploding. At the same time, “the traditional data center won’t disappear any time soon,” Atchley believes. “Enterprises will run some workloads in a traditional data center, some in the public cloud and some in a hybrid environment, which is where hosted private cloud fits in.” That will enable your organization to achieve the right cost models, the right service models and the right workload profiles to meet your unique needs.

1,2 “Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide,” IDC, January 2016
All data cited in this article is used with permission.
CompuCom® is a registered trademark of CompuCom Systems, Inc.
Amazon® is a registered trademark and Amazon GlacierTM and Amazon Web ServicesTM are trademarks of Amazon Technologies, Inc.
IDC® is a registered trademark of International Data Group, Inc.

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