There’s a lot of information on the benefits of private cloud here on our website but, for an independent view, we’ve polled three industry gurus to compile the top ten reasons why this should be on your IT agenda in 2015.
The experts in question? The authors of three of the most qualified and significant ‘why private cloud?’ articles that we’ve seen in the last couple of months: Alan Ho, Director of Program Marketing, APAC for Red Hat; Ram Lakshminarayanan, Intel’s Business Manager for Enterprise Solution Sales (Asia Pacific/Japan) and Nicole Miskelly, one of the lead Journalists at the ever-reliable bobsguide.com.
“If well designed, cloud solutions enable firms to meet user demands and scale quickly,” explains Nicole Miskelly. “Dynamic provisioning of computing resources, whether it is CPUs, memory or IP addresses, will save business users and IT professionals from engineering the systems for peak loads.” An example of a key driver for this? “To stay compliant with today’s regulations around risk management processes, financial services firms need multiple times the computing power for risk modelling than they did before the financial crisis of 2008-09.”
Benefit #2: Cost Efficiency…
…or rather cost savings. “The hybrid cloud could be a way of achieving (cost savings) this on the computing front,” comments Alan Ho. “By having a portion of your cloud deployment on the public platform, you can enjoy the economies of scale it offers while still maintaining an element of independence and detachment. You’re only paying for what you use, enabling you to keep accurate track of your cloud operating costs.”
Benefit #3: Reducing License Fees
“Public cloud providers generally do not directly charge software licensing fees,” points out Ram Lakshminarayanan, though he’s quick to explain that costs vary depending on who and what you are using. “However, it is important to note that the per-hour compute instance charges are generally higher when using proprietary operating systems such as Microsoft Windows than for open-source operating systems such as Linux. Open-source private cloud software such as OpenStack is also free of licensing fees; however, proprietary cloud computing vendors such as VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft will charge a licence fee for their virtualisation software based on the number of CPUs or CPU cores used.”
Benefit #4: Time to Market
How is this achieved via private cloud? To quote Miskelly, in three main ways:
- Eliminating procurement delays for computing hardware and software
- Expediting computing power for when existing applications need to handle peak loads
- Eliminating the upfront capital and time investment for procuring hardware for proof of concept work or rapid application development
Benefit #5: Security
Security problems and the lack of restrictive access to sensitive data has been a major hurdle in the adoption of public cloud systems. “The hybrid route resolves this problem to a degree,” comments Ho, “as you can enjoy the convenience of operating on the public cloud while still keeping your sensitive operations internal, away from prying eyes. You have the ability to tweak restrictions…”
Benefit #6: Infrastructure
Lakshminarayanan lists various hardware and infrastructure costs that come with private cloud implementations, that are covered off in a single, per-hour basis with public cloud. These include “compute, networking, and storage hardware resources” and “datacentre rent, power, and cooling costs.” The one point Datanet would add to that, though, is that these costs can be minimised, controlled and tailored specifically to an customer’s needs, unlike with a per-hour, public cloud-based system.
Benefit #7: Mobility
Remote, anytime-, anywhere-access is an immediate benefit of a private cloud infrastructure. To summarise Miskelly: “Many of today’s business users want to access reports, metrics and summaries on the move. They see the advantages of accessing their emails on their smart phones and tablets, anywhere and anytime. Likewise, they want similar interfaces for (business)-specific applications. And (a cloud) enables users to access systems and infrastructure using a web browser or customized clients regardless of location and time..
Benefit #8: Training
With any new technology, training is and should be paramount. It’s also a cost to bear in mind. But, as Lakshminarayanan points out: “A plethora of information, tutorials, and documentation for both private and public cloud platforms can be accessed for free online, and specialised training and certification offered by companies such as Red Hat, VMware, and IBM ensure that IT staff members have the proper knowledge and skills to support the enterprise.”
Benefit #9: Support
A follow-on from training, any new technology needs routine and ongoing supoprt. As Ram Lakshminarayanan explains, support costs vary depending on if you’re working direct with a software vendor, talking with SIs or support firms, or going down the open source route, which – between the latter two – is where you’ll find Datanet:
“Support programs for public cloud service and proprietary private cloud software providers are primarily offered at a premium by the vendor. Service-level agreements can also be sourced more competitively from third-party systems integrators and support firms. Open-source cloud computing software such as OpenStack offers the most flexibility and cost-effective options when selecting a support partner.”
Benefit #10: Flexibility
“The flexibility of the hybrid cloud makes logistical sense,” explains Alan Ho. “Most organizations want the benefits that private and public clouds offer, yet are hesitant about making the leap to a joint infrastructure. Hybrid cloud is an obvious solution, as it grafts the scalability and cost efficiency of public clouds with the security and control of private servers.”