A Private Cloud offers businesses a flexible, secure and a cost effective environment to carry out I.T operations proficiently. For a more private version of cloud computing for enterprises, mid-sized businesses, and even SMBs, building a Private Cloud may be the safest option.
Although, a Private Cloud is considered safer than a Public Cloud model, building one does involve certain risks; and the only practical way to have a streamlined I.T infrastructure over the Cloud is if you carefully analyze the challenges your business currently has, the costs associated with migrating to the Cloud, and application performance.
Once you manage that, you can then plan ahead to overcome them systematically. This approach can help you meet those challenges head-on, and will prepare you for a smooth Cloud migration.
How to build a Private Cloud – Some pointers from Industry Experts
Here are a few expert pointers that are certainly going to bring up a few red flags, and, hopefully, guide you to a safe harbor with relevant recommendations.
Analyze Your Business
One of the first things you may want to look at when you are thinking to build a Private Cloud, is to analyze your business. You should look at various factors like time and resource requirements, and if the proposition is feasible.
With that knowledge, you are better equipped to make an educated decision about migrating to the Cloud. Trust me, you would want to do this if you really need to sustain your Cloud endeavors in the long run.
Determine Your Requirements
Now, that you have looked at your business and have finally decided to make the move to the Cloud, you will need to research, read, and understand exactly what cloud computing model works best for you.
You have a choice of three deployment models -
1- Public Cloud
3- Hybrid Cloud
(This article deals with the Private Cloud deployment model.)
Standardize Your Environment
Next comes standardization. Consider this one a necessary step. It is necessary because without any standardization, no system can function properly. How you establish and meet benchmarks through this process is entirely up to you.
However, there are many processes that have helped businesses move to the Cloud in a very short time by following popular Cloud migration processes. Again, following this will help you build a sustainable and a scalable Private Cloud environment.
Limit Your Manageable Equipment
After standardization you need to limit the amount of manageable equipment i.e. your storage and computing infrastructure. This consolidation phase is not new as many other companies have been doing this with their storage and servers.
You will need to replace your old or low performing equipment with efficient systems that you can scale as per your needs. For example, if any one of your projects requires multiple storage and functionality protocols, look for systems that can meet your needs through a single device. Though it can be another investment at your part, but in the long run enables you to run your processes smoothly.
Virtualize Your Resources
Virtualization depends upon your intended delivery model and design, but not all models will require it. For example, a PaaS model handles the allocation of underlying resources.
However, you can incorporate network Virtualization techniques such as SDN to allow additional flexibility for your network resources.
Automate Your I.T Processes
Automation is the next step ahead of Virtualization. In this step, the goal is clear – just automate your common and repetitive manual tasks which otherwise would keep your I.T staff busy.
The Automation tool you choose depends upon the earlier decisions you made regarding standardization and manageable equipment. As Automation tools may not work well with some of the hardware so the more standardized your environment is, lesser will be the integration points for Automation tools.
Create a Scope For Resources
Creating a scope for the resources you want to share and make accessible to end users lets you build an efficient Cloud infrastructure. Moreover, orchestrating your resources, provides the self service functionality to your Private Cloud architecture.
The latest orchestration tools come with a suite, but the two main components that you will want are: a service catalog and a self-service portal. Although integrating orchestration tools can be a pain but once done, it would increase the efficiency of your work culture.
Determine Your ROI
This is the last step not only for building up a Private Cloud but for pursuing any of such potential prospects. Determining your ROI depends upon your success. Surely with such beneficial pointers implemented into your methodology, you ought to get a positive increase in your revenue charts. [Read: How to Calculate Cloud ROI for Success]
What’s the Use of building a Private Cloud?
Instead of debating the benefits of Cloud Computing, many organizations are now focusing on choosing the best approach of Cloud Computing to incorporate into their systems. Whether its Public, Private or a Hybrid Cloud, there is mounting pressure on organizations to meet their goals through Cloud Computing.
However, the inherent issue of security, compliance and security have made Public Cloud a less attractive approach to businesses. Hence, for many companies building a Private Cloud is the best bargain to improve their organizational performance.
It is essential to think that Cloud Computing is not all about nuts and bolts. Experts agree to think of Cloud Computing with a more value-driven approach – “Cloud is not a destination or singular path, but a transformation that places IT squarely at the center of the enterprise as both a leader and enabler of value creation” – Michael Dell, Chief Executive and Chairman of Dell Inc. @MicaelDell
In-short, Cloud Computing strengthens businesses. The real-world value that Cloud Computing delivers is evident. IT professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders must look at the solutions of a Private Cloud as an extension to their existing I.T infrastructure that brings in improved ROI, and yet does not break the bank!