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5 Questions to Ask Before You Build a Private Cloud

For many companies that hesitate to put their critical data and applications into the public cloud, building a private cloud seems like a viable alternative. Certainly, it's possible to use hyperconverged infrastructure to support an easily extensible environment on your own premises. Before beginning to implement a private cloud, however, you should take a step back and consider whether private cloud really offers the solution you need.

  1. Is private cloud really more secure than public cloud? One of the key drivers towards private cloud is the understandable reluctance to put key, confidential data into the shared public cloud environment. However, the reality is that public cloud is generally as secure as corporate data centers, if not more so. Public cloud often offers environments certified to meet industry compliance standards, and the environments are supported by teams that ensure critical security patches are updated. Using encryption to protect data at rest and in motion is pretty straightforward in most public cloud offerings. Private cloud doesn't offer any additional protection against the phishing methods that successfully trick employees into revealing the account information needed to access sensitive systems or misconfigurations that allow intruders access to private data. 
  1. Will your cloud truly be private or will it be hybrid? If you are considering private cloud as part of an overall hybrid architecture, this introduces a number of complexities due to the need to share data between the two environments. Besides issues of security and synchronization, there can be long latencies that impact the effectiveness of the hybrid solution.
  1. Will you get the benefits of a cloud if you keep your cloud private? There are benefits of public cloud that are lost or hard to duplicate in a private cloud. Because you will be managing and supporting your private cloud, you don't reduce your support time and cost or gain the expertise of a vendor's support team. Your private cloud can be scalable, but you continue to have to purchase spare capacity in advance of its actual need.
  1. Do you have the technical knowledge to build and support a private cloud? Teams experienced in managing traditional data centers need to learn an entirely new skill set to manage a private cloud. This introduces both risk and extra expenses, as you need to either train your existing operations personnel or hire new staff with a background in cloud technology. 
  1. Can a private cloud provide all the services your developers and business need? Public cloud isn't just about hardware. Cloud providers support a vast array of specialized cloud services all available on demand, making it easier to work with databases, build analytics and machine learning applications, develop mobile applications, build internet of things devices, and perform many other functions. Besides the products supported by the cloud providers, there's a large amount of third-party software certified to work in the public cloud environments. You likely won't have access to all of these resources if you choose to build your own private cloud.

 Certainly there are scenarios where a private cloud is the right solution, but you should think through your requirements carefully before committing to implementing and supporting one. The expert team at dcVAST can assist you with your analysis and build and support either a private cloud or public cloud once you've decided on the appropriate direction. Contact us to learn more about whether private cloud is the right solution for you or whether leveraging public cloud would be more advantageous.