Does my small business need a private cloud?

Does my small business need a private cloud?

Servers are very powerful machines that can provide processing power and data storage to many users at once. These machines are what public clouds are made of. A public cloud is often compared to a condominium where tenants rent a bit of space and pay association dues to enjoy shared amenities such as elevators and services such as maintenance.

Just like condo tenants have no say in how the condo is designed, public cloud users have no say in how the cloud’s architecture is built. Users have to be the ones to adjust their processes and systems to make the public cloud work for them.

Both tenants and users alike have to vie for the availability of service providers to address their needs. For tenants, let’s say a leak in a 22nd-floor unit causes the wall paint in three units directly below to swell up. Condominium maintenance services will prioritize fixing the leak before addressing the paint blisters.

In the same manner, if multiple cloud users direct their concerns to the cloud service provider (CSP), they’ll be at the provider’s mercy. For instance, if your CSP determines that another client's issue is more urgent than yours, then you'll have no choice but to wait until the provider can accommodate you.

This isn’t necessarily the case with private clouds.

A private cloud is a cloud environment that you have all to yourself

A private cloud is essentially the same as a public cloud, except that you are the sole user of that cloud. This means that you can configure it completely to your liking, and there’s little to no waiting in line in case you need something fixed or adjusted. Using a private cloud also means having massive amounts of processing power and data storage at your disposal.

There are three types of private cloud to suit your needs:

  1. Virtual – This is a cloud environment within a public cloud, but the workloads are isolated from other tenants’. This can be compared to having exclusive use of an entire condominium floor.
  2. Hosted – Here, you’re the sole cloud user.
  3. Managed – This is a hosted cloud environment, but the cloud provider also provides ancillary services such as identity and access management.

Obviously, this means that a private cloud is considerably more expensive than a public cloud, and the private cloud types above become pricier as you go down the list.

Extra reading: Should I host my own website or use web hosting services?

When should a business use a private cloud?

Private clouds are used when public clouds can’t adequately fulfill a business’s needs, such as:

  • High computing and storage requirements
  • Customized cloud architecture that fits how a business works
  • Very high level of uptime for mission-critical workloads
  • Stringent cybersecurity standards
  • Regulatory compliance (such as for rules on where a business can store certain types of data)

What are the disadvantages of using a private cloud?

Unless you’re using a managed private cloud, you’ll need a team of your very own cloud specialists to make a private cloud work for your business. You’ll need to add staff who can redesign the data centre infrastructure and then manage the entire cloud.

Second, you’ll have to add management tools. These, together with new private cloud tech such as user self-service, can make your processes more complex.

In addition to higher rent, you’ll also have to pay for services such as basic network maintenance.

Last but not least is the fact that a CSP may be handling many clients. This means that even though services ought to be dedicated to a private cloud user, you’ll likely still end up on a waiting list.

All in all, public clouds may be right for small businesses, while private clouds may be the logical next step up from on-premise workloads. To know which cloud environment fits your business best, turn to XBASE’s Exponentially Better™ cloud services. Let’s set up a discussion today.