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When Is Private Cloud Truly Private?

Tina Liu
Director, Product Marketing

Let's start with this question:

What is “true” private cloud?

Late last year, Brian Gracely at Wikibon predicted that 2016 will be the year when the “true” private cloud will be realized. So what is a “true” private cloud, exactly? How does it benefit enterprise organizations? And is it already here? Let’s look at each of these questions.
It’s helpful to begin with a simple definition of what we today call private cloud. TechTarget defines a private cloud as an internal or corporate cloud that is much like a public cloud in terms of its ability to scale and be self-service. It differs from a public cloud in that it uses a proprietary architecture and is “dedicated to a single organization.”

According to Gracely, this definition falls short of what a “true” private cloud is. Gracely argues that a “true” private cloud has certain architectural characteristics:

  • Built on pre-tested converged or hyperconverged infrastructure.
  • Software and hardware maintenance of all the technology stack layers are managed by a single vendor (at least up to the virtualization layer, but, in some cases, including the database, middleware and application layers as well).
  • Offers a single point of purchase, support, maintenance and upgrade.
  • Allows self-service access for end users.
  • Optimized with automation to keep operating costs down.
  • Can reside on-premises, be outsourced to a cloud-adjacent mega-data center or be delivered by a dedicated cloud provider
  • Can accommodate hybrid cloud use cases.

The benefits of the cloud combined with enterprise control of data

This “true” private cloud offers tremendous advantages. First and foremost, it simplifies the deployment, management, and maintenance of enterprise IT infrastructure. Complete integration and single-vendor management allow enterprises to optimize performance for their specific environments while ensuring data security.

From a financial perspective, moving to a private cloud allows enterprises to shift from a capital-intensive model to a lower-cost subscription model, moving costs from CAPEX to OPEX. Now organizations can pay only for the capacity they need without having to invest in unnecessary equipment or support staff. As needs grow, the private cloud can be scaled to meet those needs easily and quickly. With third-party management and maintenance, organizations need less IT staff and the staff it has can focus on critical, innovative business projects that give the business a competitive advantage.

Another key advantage is the flexibility of a true private cloud. Organizations generally require both on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure. For certain workloads, they may have data sovereignty and low latency needs, while for other workloads they have rapid scalability needs. A true private cloud can accommodate the above, or make it simple to migrate from on-premises to the cloud seamlessly.

One of our Oracle Platinum Partners, Secure-24, is already delivering on the promises of “true” private cloud. Secure-24 delivers managed cloud services, managed IT operations, and hosted applications to enterprises worldwide from its Southfield, Michigan, headquarters. Like many of its IT customers, Secure-24 found itself in a situation where growth had led to ad hoc legacy IT systems that were becoming too complex and costly to manage. 

To overcome its challenges, Secure-24 deployed the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance that is fully integrated into the IT infrastructure. It installed the appliances at each of its data centers, allowing the company to deliver private cloud services with full control over provisioning and management. The Private Cloud Appliance gives Secure-24 the ability to add, remove and reconfigure compute nodes automatically — with no downtime. 

With a totally integrated system stack, Secure-24 now has a converged IT infrastructure that automates the hardware and software deployment process and simplifies cloud management — a true private cloud.

The result is faster deployment, improved performance, reduced costs, and easier system management. With its true private cloud solution, Secure-24 has been able to:

  • Cut deployment time from one month to as fast as two hours and reduce costs by 90% at the same time.
  • Set up Oracle Database with all its functionality on virtual machines in as little as 10 minutes using pre-built templates.
  • Improve overall performance 30% compared with its legacy infrastructure.
  • Optimized IT staff and create a single integrated engineering and support team that can manage and maintain the entire environment.
  • Restart or migrate applications servers with highly available virtual servers while customer operations run uninterrupted on alternate virtual servers.
  • Offer customers the ability to pay only for what they use, reducing their licensing costs. One of its customers was able to save $150,000 a year just on licensing costs.
  • Simplify support for customers by giving them a single point of contact rather than having to deal with multiple vendors. This also benefits Secure-24 since it can improve the customer experience.
  • Achieve record 2015 fourth-quarter sales and continue 14 years of consecutive double-digit growth.

While Wikibon is predicting the arrival of true private cloud this year, Secure-24 demonstrates that it has already arrived.

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