Understanding Private Cloud to Optimize Your Benefits

Cloud is likely to become a part of your organizational structure despite its size or industry. Not upgrading your organizational environment to accept virtualization in the future may soon put you on a competitive disadvantageous position.  IT departments are urged to develop required cloud skill sets to prepare themselves to adopt cloud setup in the coming days.

As market trends are suggesting, adoption of Private Cloud Solutions would increase among enterprises. Building a private virtual environment will allow full control over the data stored in the space and let IT department to implement security measures to secure stored information. However, building a private cloud in enterprise setup is not as easy as it sounds. Although private cloud adoption is more popular with organizations many struggles with maximizing their benefits in the environment and building a customer-centric IT structure.

Functionality of a Private Cloud Services depends upon organization’s or its IT department’s ability in dealing with the risks and the hurdles presented by the situation. Many struggle with strategizing private cloud implementation policies and instilling best practices in order to optimize private cloud benefits.

There are two key aspects that need discussion – setting the level of private cloud usage based on the market trends and implementing best practices to optimize cloud advantages.

Setting the level of private cloud usage based on the market trends

Though virtualization and cloud are loosely used as synonyms but they differ by a length. Enterprises aiming at setting up private cloud in their organizational environment must understand what it takes to upgrade from virtualization to a fully functioning cloud and along with, its limitations as well as benefits.

A fully functioning private cloud is far more evasive and expansive than virtualization. Amongst the first adopters, many enterprises failed in realizing the nuances of private cloud and promoted virtualization as cloud adoption. Often what enterprises regard as private cloud is an extension of the already existing virtualization set up that lacks in basic features of a cloud. What they are actually implementing is controlled autonomy.

A standardized cloud computing set up is described as:

  • Provision based (pay-per-use model) for service, software and infrastructure

  • Self-servicing

  • Scalable

Chargeback system is an important tool in determining provisioning and resource utilization of your private cloud but not often enterprises realize the need of having a chargeback system to monitor the performance of their cloud environment.

Confusions regarding the true characteristics of private cloud are wide prevailing.  Enterprises that proclaim to have adopted private cloud even fail to realize the true advantages of it. The true advantage of cloud computing is rendered through improved agility of your IT environment and optimization of your workforce.

Why companies build private cloud?

Cost advantages: Organizations mostly get interested in setting up their internal cloud environment to receive cost advantages. But the cost benefit might not often be in actual terms.

Private cloud might not be an affordable option for all organizations. Businesses which have made significant investment towards building virtualized environment can enjoy certain cost benefits. But it can truly improve your working environment by introducing a nimble, accessible and automated IT environment.

Faster resource allocation: So far, however, the greatest advantage offered by cloud computation is improved resource allocation. A majority of companies that have implemented cloud have reported to have experienced significant improvement in terms of agility through better resource accessibility. It thus helped alleviate and optimize workforce performance.

Private cloud has further improved performances of teams involved in cloud based software development and testing through better accessibility of resources.

Application integration: Private cloud setup is preferred for application integration purpose. However, enterprises struggle with integrating their current IT setup with private cloud environment. Challenges faced in areas of:

  • Application performance

  • Infrastructure availability

  • Pricing structure

  • Governance and compliance

Private cloud best practices

Deriving optimum outcome from private cloud depends largely upon implementing the best practices, which are:

Involving teams: Till today the decision making responsibility is shouldered by the IT team but instead of just delivering a whole new set of IT abilities, enlightening the teams in using those to their benefit would yield better returns on investment. User adoption plays a crucial role in making any new IT implementation successful and if you want to leverage the true power of private cloud in your organizational setup emphasize on user acceptance.

Act like service provider: In case of enterprise private cloud the internal IT department must play the role of a service provider. Try offering the best cloud computing solutions to users by incorporating all key features of a cloud, i.e. scalability, agility, flexibility, accessibility etc.

Creating private cloud: There are more than one available ways to build a private cloud. Although in majority of enterprises private clouds are built internally a good many numbers of firms also depend upon external professional cloud computing consultation firms to achieve the purpose.

The three basic ways of implementing a private cloud are:

  • Internally built private cloud

  • Build and managed by external cloud computing service providers

  • Software and/or infrastructure purchased as pre-integrated package

There are plenty of ready-to-use resources available in the marketplace to help you build a private cloud according to your requirements. Using those resources will let you enjoy certain cost advantages as well.

Steps to follow in implementing a private cloud

Involving the business: You must involve the business from the beginning. This is important to ensure that non-IT users don’t circumvent the IT resources built for them and thus eliminate the advantages offered by cloud setup.  Involving the teams from the beginning would help you realize the user perspective and align your cloud objectives to make your business customer-centric.

Phased implementation: You need to realize that cloud can’t be implemented all at once. You need to plan phased implementation and determine a schedule for application rollout. Decide upon your priorities and implement the key functionalities that are important for the business at the start.

Ensure smooth transition: Not all applications are built to run well on a cloud environment. Making the necessary transition from existing IT setup to cloud is one of the biggest challenges that you are likely to face. Inquiring about user experience and expectations will give you an idea about what needs to be done to ensure smoother transformation. Consider integration with your existing vendors if you plan to use pre-packaged cloud setup.

Enable cloud capacities: Do not limit yourself only at extending your existing virtualization setup. Think beyond initial virtualization and implement a fully functioning cloud. If you are building a cloud structure you are then a service provider. So, think like one. Most of the enterprise private clouds today are extended version of simple virtualized climate.

Aligning metrics: How would you going to determine the success of your cloud implementation? Would you base it on cost advantages or track time-to-provision as determining metric? Identifying the true metrics to determine success rate of your cloud deployment project is of key importance to keep the cloud decision viable in the long run.

Chargeback system: While you implement cloud it is important to monitor its actual ROI. Businesses often struggle to keep their implementation project viable but only a fraction utilizes proper chargeback system to monitor resource provisioning and utilization.

About the Author:  Charles Smith is associated with the cloud computing consultation firms as Cloud consultant. Charles has vast experience in implementing cloud computing projects and offering consultation to companies in mapping their ways in cloud environment. He has worked long in designing cloud based software development.

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