In order to understand private cloud and how it differs from other delivery mechanisms for delivering cloud services, it’s helpful to understand what constitutes a “cloud” and how cloud differs from traditional LAN based data centers. The United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has put together a definition that a number of cloud architects, designers, implementers and service providers agree upon. The NIST definition of cloud computing, which applies to both public cloud and provide cloud environments, requires that a cloud solution enable or provide the following:
When you consider the requirements set forth by NIST, you can now realize that cloud computing is much more than server virtualization, server consolidation or “online services” and that the key factors of self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and metered services all work together to present a new paradigm for service delivery. When these principles are realized in the data center, they transform the traditional data center into a private cloud.
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What are the advantages of private cloud over the traditional data center model? Examples include:
These are just a few of the advantages enabled by the private cloud. The big difference between traditional data center computing, (where the focus was on infrastructure and operations and “keeping the lights on”) and private cloud is that private loud computing is all about “service delivery”. The core architecture of any private cloud environment is focused squarely on this central tenet of service delivery.
An important thing to keep in mind when thinking about private cloud is that you should think of private cloud as part of your journey to a mixed or hybrid cloud environment, where some of your service assets are hosted in the private cloud and others are located in the public cloud. To get the most out of your investment in private cloud, you should have this hybrid model in mind as we see the norm in the future to be a hybrid cloud environment. The reason for this is that the transition to a cloud-based environment should lead to the following:
As your data center transforms from a traditional LAN based model to the new private cloud model, your IT organization will learn many lessons on how to effectively and efficiently run a cloud based operating. The lessons learned during the process or architecting, designing, planning, deploying and managing the private cloud will provide insights that will benefit you when you are ready to expand your cloud infrastructure to obtain the benefits of a hybrid cloud deployment.
For most IT organizations the journey to the cloud will represent a major departure from how they currently do business. Most likely, your current data center is a mixture of what you want and what you don't want. The evolution of your environment to private cloud then presents you an opportunity to architect the service delivery environment you always wanted to have but were not able to realize in your current environment. However, to get the most out of your new private cloud infrastructure, you'll need to build on a strong architectural foundation. This is where the Reference Architecture for Private Cloud comes in. The collection of documents that comprise this reference architecture helps the IT service provider make the transformational journey to private and ultimately to hybrid cloud. The materials have a solid foundation in key business drivers. They provide a structured approach to making architectural decisions. The aim is to improve the quality of private cloud infrastructure design while realizing the efficiency gains possible with cloud computing.
Private cloud provides IT a collection of elastic, pooled resources that consumers of the cloud service can access through self-service mechanisms in an environment dedicated or your organization. A private cloud moves the focus toward providing business value through a service providers approach, provides underpinnings of a future expansion to a hybrid cloud, and enables increased scale and flexibility on dedicated resources to provide increased customization and control. The private cloud represents an opportunity to architect your service delivery infrastructure so that the focus changes from "keeping the lights on" through a emphasis on redundancy to a new emphasis on resiliency and time to service restoration. Finally, to realize maximum benefits from investment in private cloud, you'll need to build it on a strong architectural foundation, with the Reference Architecture for Private Cloud helping to provide that foundation.
REFERENCES: Private Cloud Overview
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This article is from http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/what-is-private-cloud.aspx last updated by Tom Shinder.
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