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The Challenges of a Private Cloud (and How to Overcome Them)

The Challenges of a Private Cloud (and How to Overcome Them)

The private cloud market is booming and is set to grow at a CAGR of 26.71% up until 2028 with an estimated growth of USD 619.08 billion. At Storm the uptick in private cloud requests has us running around, and for good reason: Storm’s managed hosting negates many of the challenges associated with private cloud.

In this post we’ll look at the major drawbacks of a private cloud, and how Storm’s managed hosting overcomes them.

If you don’t know what the cloud or a private cloud is, here’s a quick recap:

Imagine being able to pool the resources of all computing devices in your house. This includes everything that has a CPU, memory, and storage space. Instead of those individual devices, you now have one big unit with the combined resources of those individual devices. The cloud is created in the same way: the physical resources of several, tens, hundreds, or even thousands of physical servers are pooled together to create one big resource-rich unit. Software called a hypervisor can be used to create virtual devices such as servers and networking equipment using those pooled physical resources.

So what then is a private cloud? The best way to explain it is alongside the public cloud hosting model:

Public cloud: A public cloud follows a multi-tenant hosting model: just as with shared hosting, all tenants on a public cloud make use of the same processing, memory, and storage resources. Unlike shared hosting, however, these resources are dedicated to the public cloud account (when we’re talking about virtual servers) and can be scaled as needed. Despite this, peak times can introduce higher latency and reduced speeds. Given the public nature of a public cloud, privacy can be an issue when compliance with data protection regulations is paramount.

Private cloud: A private cloud is cloud infrastructure built on hardware dedicated to your account. As such, the cloud infrastructure itself is also completely private, which means you get all the resources and don’t have to deal with noisy neighbours. Among its many advantages, private clouds also deliver increased privacy which in itself boosts security.

Dealing With Private Cloud Challenges

High initial costs and setup

Private clouds can come with high startup costs to build, operate, and manage the hardware infrastructure. Very often organisations have to hire and / or train staff to deliver the required expertise. To be fair, however, that only relates to on-premise installations. Private cloud setups through a cloud service provider (CSP) negate much of the hardware costs since it’s the CSP that owns and maintains the hardware. A bonus is that the CSP provides all the expertise needed to manage the physical infrastructure as well as the cloud infrastructure.

Complex, ongoing maintenance

Despite the potential for automation, cloud monitoring and maintenance still require experienced staff. This can be challenging for organisations given the ongoing skills shortage as well as the high cost associated with training or upskilling staff.

CSPs are uniquely positioned to apply internal skill sets to DevOps tasks for a more holistic integration with cloud maintenance, including monitoring and performance management, scalability and elasticity management, disaster recovery and backups, and security.

For example, CSPs can be tasked with the implementation and management of advanced monitoring tools like AWS CloudWatch or Azure Monitor. The CSP configures custom dashboards and alerts to monitor application performance and system health, helping the organisation maintain optimal performance and quickly address potential issues before they affect operations.

In instances where organisations experience significant variability in workload due to seasonal events (such as eCommerce companies), a CSP can help implement autoscaling solutions that adjust resources automatically, ensuring responsiveness under heavy loads without overspending on idle resources during off-peak periods.

Lower scalability

Private clouds have the benefit of hardware resources entirely dedicated to them. But that can also be a disadvantage since it means they’re less scalable than public clouds with seemingly ‘limitless’ resources.

Given that CSPs own and maintain the hardware of a private cloud, the obvious solution would be to request more physical servers to increase the potential for scaling; the onus (and cost) is on the CSP to acquire the hardware and add it to the cloud infrastructure. Scaling can also be overcome by employing a hybrid cloud model where workloads are run in highly scalable public cloud environments when private cloud resources reach peak capacity.

When adding more hardware is not an option for whatever reason, containerisation and virtualisation can be used; they encapsulate applications in a way that consumes fewer resources than traditional virtual machines and allow for more granular scaling, and can improve the utilisation efficiency of the underlying physical resources.

Efficient resource utilisation

Because private clouds tend to have lower overall scalability compared to the public cloud, and where a hybrid model isn’t feasible, organisations that add more resources to their private cloud instances to deal with spikes in demand struggle to make efficient use of their resources outside of those peak times.

Cloud service providers can employ various tactics that can help organisations make more efficient use of their resources without resorting to a hybrid cloud model (which could, for example, complicate already fickle compliance issues). Some of these include:

  • autoscaling solutions that automatically adjust the amount of resources based on the workload needs
  • resource optimisation tools that identify idle or underused resources and suggest adjustments

Ultimately, the challenges of managing a private cloud can vary significantly based on the specific infrastructure and its usage. However, skill shortages or limited budgets should not deter organisations from leveraging the cloud in a way that best suits their needs.

At Storm Internet, we are committed to a partnership model that goes beyond mere service provision. We integrate closely with our customers’ businesses, offering tailored solutions that enhance growth and simplify operational complexities. Our goal is not just to provide technology, but to enable real business transformation by making cloud technology accessible and aligned with your strategic objectives. This close-knit integration ensures that every organisation can achieve its potential, regardless of its size or sector.

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