Monday, February 25, 2013

Private Cloud In a Kit

The benefits of cloud computing are being widely touted as the next generation of Information Technology. You’ve read a lot about this, but are still somewhat apprehensive about moving your valuable proprietary applications into a public multi-tenant cloud. With security somewhat unproven, you’d really like to keep everything privately under your control. Does this mean abandoning the competitive advantages offered by the cloud?

Is the private cloud right for your company?Not at all. Remember that there are actually 3 types of clouds readily available. The public cloud is the most talked about and the pioneer in popularizing cloud computing. The other clouds are the private cloud and the hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private, with some applications running in a private cloud and other, less sensitive, applications running in the public cloud.

Even if you are cloud savvy, there is still the question of cost. Public cloud cost savings are well documented and promoted. They’re based on premise that a large special purpose data center operator serving thousands of simultaneous clients can offer IT services at lower cost that each of those clients running their own data centers. But what about the private clouds? Can they really save you anything?

You can build your own private cloud right in your data center. It’s a matter of virtualizing all those servers and disk drives so that act as a pooled resource. This prevents the utilization problems of many low demand applications owning expensive hardware resources while high demand applications run out of capacity under peak loads.

Now you can also rent private clouds offered by major cloud service providers. These providers have acknowledged that the public cloud isn’t for everyone and that it makes sense to include private clouds within their data centers. The private cloud consists of a set of servers, disks, racks and so on for the exclusive use of a single client. Whatever capacity you aren’t using at the moment idles. In a way, this is very similar to using dedicated private lines for communication instead of shared bandwidth consumer-oriented connections.

What’s the advantage of renting private cloud services over building and running your own facilities? It comes down to capital and operating expenses. Renting instead of buying lets you avoid the capital investment needed to acquire expensive servers and peripherals. Operational costs may also be lower because the technical staff at the cloud provider can support your equipment as well as many others. Small companies might not even be able to justify 24/7 technical staffing for their data centers. The cloud service provider has multiple experts on duty at all times.

Another advantage common to all cloud services is that you pay as you go for only the resources you actually use. The size of the cloud data center guarantees that there are more resources than you can possibly use yourself. Contrast this to running out of processing power and having to wait for more equipment to be delivered or over-provisioning and paying way too much for the capacity that is in daily use.

CenturyLink, a major telecom and cloud services provider, has created an affordable and easy to use private cloud environment that is suitable for small as well as large businesses. Smaller companies may have avoided the migration to the cloud simply because they lack the understanding and expertise to make it all run effectively. Century’s savvisdirect AppGrid is the answer to this dilemma. It lets you get up and running in less than two business days, select the CPU, RAM , storage space, management & reporting tools, firewalls, load balancers, switches and databases you need. You configure all of this with an online graphical interface to make cloud setup almost trivially easy.

AppGrid is Platform as a Service (PaaS) that lets you develop your cloud applications and then put them into production without having to move to a different infrastructure. If your needs change, you can easily reconfigure your private cloud to meet those new requirements.

Are you interested in learning more about the merits of cloud services and the tradeoffs among the various types of clouds? Get free consultation, features and pricing for cloud services that meet your business needs.

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