What is a Private Cloud & How Can It Work for You

Kenny Kleinerman
Cloud ComputingCloud Native
22 May 2022

Cloud computing has become an essential technology for businesses because of the speed, scalability, flexibility, and other benefits that it offers. When organizations plan to move to the cloud, they need to decide which cloud computing environment they should choose. When it comes to the cloud, organizations typically have three options – public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud

Each cloud computing environment has its own advantages and disadvantages; businesses that want more control over servers and resources and increased security usually select a private cloud.

But what is a private cloud? In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of private cloud platforms, private cloud services, private cloud solutions, private cloud software, private cloud hosting, and other related concepts. We’ll also provide examples of private cloud and discuss private cloud vs. managed hosting, private vs. public cloud, and private vs. public vs. hybrid cloud.

 

What Is A Private Cloud?

Private cloud definition: Private cloud is a cloud computing model or environment where all the computing resources, hardware, and software, are dedicated to a single organization or customer. This means only one organization can access computing resources in a private cloud. An enterprise private cloud is also referred to as a corporate cloud or internal cloud.

A private cloud platform offers many of the benefits of the public cloud, such as scalability, elasticity, and self-service while giving you access to control and security similar to an on-premises infrastructure. Additionally, when you’re using a private cloud service, you also have the option of resource customization. Private cloud software provides organizations with an easy way to meet their regulatory compliance requirements. 

How Private Cloud Works

In private cloud computing, the organization using the resources doesn’t share them with any other organization. There are several ways in which you can host these resources:

  1. Private cloud servers and resources can be hosted on-premise, that is, in the organization’s data center.
  2. A private cloud solution can be based on an independent infrastructure of a third-party cloud provider. The organization can access the cloud and its resources over the internet.
  3. You can also choose to rent infrastructure located in an offsite data center and host the private cloud on it.

When it comes to the management of the private cloud, you can choose to manage everything by yourself or outsource it to a private cloud provider. Companies sometimes outsource full management to private cloud providers, while some companies only outsource partial management.

Private Cloud Architecture

Private cloud infrastructure uses similar technologies as other cloud computing models, such as virtualization, automation, and management software. These technologies enable the configuration of virtual servers and help deliver on-demand computing resources to the users to allow them to scale as per their requirements. 

For example, virtualization enables a cloud provider to virtualize storage, hardware, servers, and other data center resources, whereas management software provides centralized control to the administrators over the apps and infrastructure.

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud

 Public Cloud Vs. Private Cloud Vs. Hybrid Cloud

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Hybrid cloud, public cloud, and private cloud are typically the three cloud computing environments available to businesses – multi-cloud is also an option, but it isn’t that popular yet. In this section, we’ll discuss public vs. private cloud as well as hybrid cloud.

Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud

The major difference between public and private cloud is that the private cloud is a single-tenant cloud environment, whereas the public cloud is multi-tenant. In a private cloud, only one organization can access the computing resources and servers, whereas multiple organizations can use a public cloud simultaneously. However, the data and information of each organization are still isolated and secure in a public cloud.

Also, in a public cloud, a third-party cloud public cloud provider hosts and manages everything. Security and maintenance of servers are also the responsibility of the cloud provider. On the other hand, in an on-premise private cloud or internal private cloud, the organization hosts the servers in its own data centers and is responsible for their security and maintenance.

Another important question that comes up when comparing public and private clouds is, “Is a private cloud more secure than a public cloud?” Definitely! In a private cloud, you store all your sensitive data on your own servers, and you have complete control over who can access them. 

Private clouds and public clouds also have some similarities. For example, both use similar technologies, like virtualization, and offer scalability and flexibility.

Hybrid Cloud

How a hybrid cloud works

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Hybrid cloud refers to the combination of on-premise infrastructure, public cloud, and private cloud environments. Many organizations choose a hybrid cloud to reap the benefits of private cloud and public cloud environments, such as reduced costs, additional resources, increased security, and more control.

Organizations using the hybrid cloud can choose to store their confidential data in the private cloud and less important data in the public cloud.

 

Types of Private Clouds

A private cloud can be divided into four types, depending on where the cloud is hosted and how it is managed:

Virtual Private Clouds

How a virtual private cloud works

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When it comes to the types of private clouds, a common question many people ask is, “what is a virtual private cloud?” A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a cloud that gives you the advantages of a private cloud model, such as an isolated environment and better control, but it is hosted within a public cloud. This means a VPC delivers the benefits of a private cloud using the public cloud’s resources. In a virtual private cloud, a third-party public cloud provider hosts the private cloud.

Hosted Private Cloud

In this type of private cloud, a third-party private cloud provider provides servers in their own data centers. The managed cloud service provider is also responsible for the management of security. With a hosted private cloud, organizations get additional resources and great scalability options.

On-Premise Private Cloud

People usually confuse on-premise private cloud with private cloud vs. on-prem. However, there is a difference between these concepts.

On-premise private cloud is the cloud model where users can host a cloud environment in their own on-premise data centers. On-premise private cloud is highly secure because you host it internally, and your own internal IT team manages it. This means you get full control over the data privacy, security, and scalability of the servers.

When it comes to private cloud vs. on-premise, the key difference is that the servers in a private cloud run on virtual machines in the cloud environment as opposed to traditional on-premise data centers that are not connected to the cloud. For extremely sensitive data, an on-premise cloud is the best private cloud.

Managed Private Cloud

A managed private cloud’s resources, servers, and other hardware, etc., are located on the premises of the organization, but a third-party cloud provider manages it. A managed private cloud offers a single-tenant environment – only one organization can use and access the cloud computing environment. 

Private Cloud Storage

Private cloud storage is the cloud storage where only one tenant or organization can store its data rather than the general public. Users can access the storage through a private connection. 

Depending on the type of private cloud, the organization can store its data on either in-house storage servers or off-premises servers located in the data centers of the private cloud providers. Organizations using externally hosted private cloud storage should ensure reliable private cloud backup solutions and private cloud storage solutions.

If you want to learn about cloud storage in detail, check out our article answering the question What is cloud storage.

Ridge + Public Clouds

Through a single API, Ridge Cloud is able to integrate with a private cloud while being wholly agnostic to underlying infrastructure. Unlike the large public cloud providers, organizations can keep their customized architectures while connecting to a hybrid cloud. Ridge can connect any private cloud to data centers around the world, allowing organizations to keep the security of their private clouds, while also having the flexibility to deploy their applications anywhere in the world. With Ridge, organizations can transform their private cloud into a unified distributed cloud.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Clouds

Advantages of Private Clouds

Here are some key private cloud benefits:

Improved Private Cloud Security and Privacy

One of the biggest benefits of the private cloud is the increased security and privacy it offers compared to the public cloud. In a private cloud, all your sensitive and confidential data is stored on servers that only you can access – no other organization has any access to your private cloud. 

Additionally, you get even more data privacy and security if your private cloud is based on your on-premises data centers and servers because everything runs behind your own firewall. With an on-premise private cloud, you also get better physical security of servers and other hardware.

Better Control

A private cloud offers better control over data and hardware – you have full control over physical servers and who can access them. If you have an on-premise private cloud, you can choose to buy the software and hardware you prefer instead of the software and hardware owned by a third-party cloud provider.

Customization

Every company has its own requirements in terms of resources, storage, the type of networking characteristics, etc. which is why many organizations that want customization choose private clouds. With a private cloud, you have the freedom to customize the software to your exact needs and requirements. For example, you can customize the software through custom private cloud software development. You can also customize the servers the way you want.

Disadvantages of Private Clouds

A few disadvantages of a private cloud include:

  • Maintenance and setup costs are higher with an internal private cloud.
  • Private clouds offer limited remote access, especially if hosted and managed in on-premises data centers.
  • You are responsible for the security of your data and servers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the advantages of the private cloud model?

Private cloud advantages include increased security, better regulatory compliance, and better control over your data. With a private cloud, you can control who can access your data. Another benefit of a private cloud is that you can customize the servers and software per your requirements.

Is private cloud the same as on-premise?

A key difference between private cloud and traditional on-premise data centers is that the private cloud uses virtualization technology and cloud-based virtual servers, whereas traditional on-premise data centers rely on physical servers. However, there is an on-premise private cloud as well where the user hosts the cloud in its own on-premise data centers.

Is a public cloud cheaper than a private cloud?

When it comes to public and private cloud pricing, the general perception is that a public cloud is cheaper. However, for some organizations, a private cloud actually costs less than the total costs of the public cloud. Many companies adopt a public-private-hybrid cloud architecture to store different data in each type of cloud to save on costs and reap the benefits of all types of cloud computing.

What are some uses of private clouds?

You can use private clouds to run different apps or services, such as virtual desktop infrastructure, databases, and machine learning apps.

Is a private cloud more secure than a public cloud?

Yes, one of the advantages of private cloud computing is tighter security than the public cloud. The difference between private and public clouds is that only one company uses a private cloud environment to store data or applications, whereas multiple companies share cloud storage space in a public cloud. 

Although third-party cloud providers keep each company’s data separate in a public cloud, the risk of cross-contamination or data breaches is smaller when one organization alone controls the entire private cloud environment. 

 


Author:
Linkedin Kenny Kleinerman, Head of Content | Ridge
As the Head of Content at Ridge, Kenny is in charge of navigating the tough subjects and bringing the Cloud down to Earth.