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Grow Your Business Technology

What is a Private Cloud?

What is a Private Cloud? Private clouds are often built behind a company's firewall. / Credit: Quackdesigns | Shutterstock

Cloud computing continues to prove its immense worth by allowing the storage of images, videos and files in a remote hosting location for easy access when needed. But generally, most devices use public clouds to accomplish this. Many organizations seek to create their own cloud for either internal or limited client use, in what essentially is a private cloud.

Also known as an “internal cloud” or “corporate cloud,” private clouds are made up of the same computing architecture as public clouds, but provide hosting services to a restricted number of individuals behind a firewall. This architectural framework is commonly used among IT professionals in extending the capability of corporate networks and better meeting the needs of employees.

Private clouds utilize a variety of technical mechanisms to provide a range of services that ultimately constitute a “private” cloud versus a public. For example, private clouds utilize a ring or fencing around the cloud to designate specific resources (i.e., servers) for a single organization’s use. In contrast, public clouds allow multiple clients to access the same virtualized services and utilize the same pool of servers across a public network.

Also, a hybrid cloud combines the security benefits of a private cloud and the scalable capabilities of a public cloud. Businesses commonly use hybrid clouds to provide onsite resources that work in tandem with a server-based cloud infrastructure.

The benefits of this fenced-in cloud computing model appeal largely to many enterprise-level organizations. Not only can an organization find higher security and privacy through private clouds, but they can also find additional control over how the cloud works into the company’s overall network, offering these key benefits:

Security and privacy. Public cloud services already utilize a series of security measures, but private clouds offer an even stronger security by designating specific resources with access-restricted connections. What this means is that only individuals located behind the organization’s firewall can access the resources made available on the private cloud.

Increased reliability. Creating a virtualized operating environment effectively protects against individual failures of personal computers and storage devices. Virtual storage is backed up in redundant fashions, drawing data from unaffected resources in the event one server or storage point fails.

Cloud bursting. Sometimes an organization experiences spikes in demand for private cloud usage. Many third-party private cloud vendors offer cloud bursting, switching non-sensitive functions to public cloud servers to not only free up more space in the private cloud, but also increase traffic capabilities.

While a corporation can invest the monetary funds to purchase its own hardware for a private cloud, many IT professionals recommend the use of third-party hosted cloud services as this proves much cheaper over the long run. Services like Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud or Simple Storage Service provide private cloud solutions with storage space that can grow with a company.