private cloud (internal cloud or corporate cloud)

Private cloud is a type of cloud computing that delivers similar advantages to public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture. Unlike public clouds, which deliver services to multiple organizations, a private cloud is dedicated to the needs and goals of a single organization.

How private clouds work

A private cloud is a single-tenant environment, meaning the organization using it (the tenant) does not share resources with other users. Those resources can be hosted and managed in a variety of ways. The private cloud might be based on resources and infrastructure already present in an organization's on-premises data center or on new, separate infrastructure, which is provided by a third-party organization. In some cases, the single-tenant environment is enabled solely using virtualization software. In any case, the private cloud and its resources are dedicated to a single user or tenant.

The private cloud is one of three general models for cloud deployment in an organization: public, private and hybrid (there is also multi-cloud, which is any combination of the three). All three models share common basic elements of cloud infrastructure. For example, all clouds need an operating system to function. However, the various types of software -- including virtualization and container software -- stacked on top of the operating system is what determines how the cloud will function, and distinguishes the three main models.

cloud deployment models
The four main cloud deployment models

Private cloud vs. public cloud

A public cloud is where an independent, third-party provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, owns and maintains compute resources that customers can access over the internet. Public cloud users share these resources, a model known as a multi-tenant environment.

Private clouds are often deployed when public clouds are deemed inappropriate or inadequate for the needs of a business. For example, a public cloud might not provide the level of service availability or uptime that an organization needs. In other cases, the risk of hosting a mission-critical workload in the public cloud might exceed an organization's risk tolerance, or there might be security or regulatory concerns related to the use of a multi-tenant environment. In these cases, an enterprise might opt to invest in a private cloud to realize the benefits of cloud computing, while maintaining total control and ownership of its environment.

However, public clouds do have advantages. A public cloud offers an opportunity for cost savings through the use of computing as a "utility" -- customers only pay for the resources they use. It can also be a simpler model to implement because the provider handles a portion of the infrastructure responsibilities.

Private cloud vs. hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud is a model in which a private cloud connects with public cloud infrastructure, allowing an organization to orchestrate workloads across the two environments. In this model, the public cloud effectively becomes an extension of the private cloud to form a single, uniform cloud. A hybrid cloud deployment requires a high level of compatibility between the underlying software and services used by both the public and private clouds.

This model can provide a business with greater flexibility than a private or public cloud because it allows workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change.

A hybrid cloud is suitable for businesses with highly dynamic workloads, as well as businesses that deal in big data processing. In each scenario, the business can split the workloads between the clouds for efficiency, dedicating host sensitive workloads to the private cloud, and more demanding, less specific distributed computing tasks to the public cloud.

In return for its flexibility, the hybrid model sacrifices some of the total control of the private cloud and some of the simplicity and convenience of the public cloud.

Advantages of a private cloud

The main advantage of a private cloud is that users don't share resources. Because of its proprietary nature, a private cloud computing model is best for businesses with dynamic or unpredictable computing needs that require direct control over their environments, typically to meet security, business governance or regulatory compliance requirements.

When an organization properly architects and implements a private cloud, it can provide most of the same benefits found in public clouds, such as user self-service and scalability, as well as the ability to provision and configure virtual machines (VMs) and change or optimize computing resources on demand. An organization can also implement chargeback tools to track computing usage and ensure business units pay only for the resources or services they use.

In addition to those core benefits inherent to both cloud deployment models, private clouds also offer:

  • Increased security of an isolated network.
  • Increased performance due to resources being solely dedicated to one organization.
  • Increased capability for customization.

Disadvantages of a private cloud

Private clouds also have some disadvantages. First, private cloud technologies, such as increased automation and user self-service, can bring some complexity to an enterprise. These technologies typically require an IT team to rearchitect some of its data center infrastructure, as well as adopt additional management tools. As a result, an organization might have to adjust or even increase its IT staff to successfully implement a private cloud. They can also be expensive; often, when a business owns its private cloud, it bears all the acquisition, deployment, support and maintenance costs involved.

Hosted private clouds, while not outright owned by the user, can also be costly. The service provider takes care of basic network maintenance and configuration in a hosted deployment, which means the user needs to subscribe and pay regularly for that offered service. This can end up being more expensive than the upfront cost of complete ownership in the long run, and sacrifices some of the control over maintenance that complete ownership guarantees. Although users will still be operating in a single-tenant environment, providers are likely serving multiple clients, and promising each of them a catered, custom environment. If an incident occurs on the provider's end -- an improperly maintained or overburdened server for example -- users may find themselves facing the same problems the public cloud presents: unreliability and lack of control.

Types of private clouds

Private clouds can differ in the way that they are hosted and managed, providing different functions depending on the needs of the enterprise:

  • Virtual -- a virtual private cloud is a walled-off environment within a public cloud that allows an organization to run their workloads in isolation from every other user of the public cloud. Even though the server is shared by other organizations, the virtual logic ensures that a user's computing resources are private. Organizations can use a VPC to enable hybrid cloud deployment.
  • Hosted -- in a hosted private cloud environment, the servers are not shared with other organizations. The service provider configures the network, maintains the hardware and updates the software, but the server is occupied by a single organization
  • Managed -- this environment is simply a hosted environment in which the provider manages every aspect of the cloud for the organization, including deploying additional services such as identity management and storage. This option is appropriate for organizations that do not have the staff that is equipped to manage private cloud environments alone.
VPCs vs. private clouds
The difference between a virtual private cloud and an on-premises private cloud

The above list categorizes private clouds by the way they are hosted and to what extent they are managed by the provider. They can also be categorized by the types of infrastructure they provide. For example:

  • Software-only -- provides only the software necessary for running the private cloud environment, which runs on an organization's pre-existing hardware. A software-only option is often utilized in highly virtualized environments.
  • Software and hardware -- some vendors sell private clouds as an all-in-one bundle of hardware and software. It is generally a simple platform that exists on the user's premises and may or may not be provider-managed environments.

Major private cloud vendors

A private cloud is commonly deployed on premises in much the same way a business would build and operate its own traditional data center. However, an increasing number of vendors offer private cloud services that can bolster or even replace on-premises systems.

Some of the largest players in the private cloud market include:

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) -- offers the Helion Cloud Suite software, Helion CloudSystem hardware, Helion Managed Private Cloud and Managed Virtual Private Cloud services.
  • VMware -- enables virtualization with its vSphere product, and offers its vRealize Suite cloud management platform and Cloud Foundation Software-Defined Data Center platform for private clouds.
  • Dell EMC-- offers virtual private cloud services, as well as cloud management and cloud security software.
  • Oracle -- offers its Private Cloud Appliance X8, which enables compute and storage capabilities optimized for private cloud deployment.
  • IBM -- offers private cloud hardware, along with IBM Cloud Managed Services, cloud security tools and cloud management and orchestration tools.
  • Red Hat -- offers private cloud deployment and management with a range of platforms, including OpenStackand Gluster Storage, as well as Red Hat Cloud Suite for management and development.

Managed private cloud pricing

As mentioned, operating a private cloud on premises is generally more expensive upfront than using a public cloud for computing as a utility. This is due to back-end maintenance expenses that come with owning a private infrastructure and the capital expense of implementing one. However, a managed private cloud can mitigate those costs and, in some cases, even be cheaper than a standard public cloud implementation.

Vendors offer a few different models for pricing the managed private cloud. The pricing model and price itself can vary depending on the hardware and software offered and the level of management provided by the vendor. Often the pricing is based on packages of hardware, software and services that can be utilized in private cloud deployments. For example, VMware prices its virtualization platform vSphere using a yearly subscription and support model, with one yearly price for a basic subscription or a slightly higher price for a production-level subscription, and a flat license fee. Rackspace, in partnership with Hewlett Packard, offers a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model for the private cloud, charging the end user on a service-to-service basis. The popularity of this pricing model is growing due to rapid growth in the cloud-based infrastructure market, fostering the need for a more flexible and efficient pricing model.

Understanding pricing models for managed private cloud deployments can get complicated. Many vendor websites do not offer a straight-ahead "private cloud" package. Instead, they sell a spectrum of different hardware, software and services that a company can leverage to deploy a private cloud. Often, the pricing for these products is not made explicitly clear on vendor websites, and buyers will be prompted to speak with a salesperson once they've reached the part of the website that focuses on purchase intent. This is likely because private clouds, and managed clouds especially, need to be specifically tailored to a business's needs. Buyers should understand which business processes specifically require the cloud, and why they need flexible and scalable cloud infrastructure, so that they can make an informed choice with the vendor on the proper cloud deployment and the products that comprise it most efficiently.

This was last updated in December 2019

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I think of a Private Cloud as a 'Fully-Meshed, Secure Network that results in Anytime, Anywhere Access with Built-in Redundancies to Provide Ultimate Availability'.

In 2012, the new technology landscape is agile and this mobility demands that one should be able to access the entire corporate network from anywhere (Internet Connection Required) even in the event of a power outage or other disaster at the main data center.

Public Clouds provide this access as well as the advantage of not maintainig or owning hardware, but let's face it, there is just some data that companies do not want in the Public Cloud.

Most companies fall into the 'Hybrid Cloud' category. A Hybrid Cloud is a complimentary relationship between Public Cloud assets and Private Cloud assets on a single, fully-meshed network.

By complimenting their Private Cloud a Public Cloud Computing strategy for non-sensitive data, companies can maintain some hardware in multiple locations for highly-sensitive data. These clusters can constantly replicate and provide a self-healing environment for the remote sites providing many of the same advantages of cloud computing, but without the risk of moving sensitive data into the hands of another company.

Just my $.02.
Would you prefer a private cloud to public or hybrid clouds? Why or why not?
I prefer a hybrid cloud because of its big data processing functionality. Using it is a valuable approach as we can move workloads. It acknowledges that not all IT resources should exist in public clouds. Agility with a hybrid system is more flexible. By using hybrid cloud fast deployments can be made. Perhaps the most important reason to use a hybrid cloud is to maintain security by keeping sensitive data in-house and rest on public cloud. 
Personally, I prefer a hybrid cloud for many of the same reasons listed by shery089. But, as with most things, it depends. Each solution has it’s own benefits and challenges, and outshines the others for particular applications. Another factor that drives a lot of preferences is cost.We had Amazon come work with us to perform a TCO assessment for public, private and hybrid solutions. The analysis showed that, again, there were scenarios in which each implementation was more cost effective than the others.
Most companies still haven't figured out private or public cloud, although public clouds are much better understood because businesses don't have to build one, they just consume it. Most companies need some mix of off-prem and on-prem resources, whether or not they are linking together applications in a "hybrid" model. 
I am solution provider, and about to provide a solution to bid an enterprise project. Think of scalability and cost-effectiveness private cloud is not suitable to our client who want cloud service while worrying data secure and budget.
I prefer public cloud as it is relatively cheap and also because my organisation size is not that large. In a public cloud you don't need to worry about server management and its security. 
My host does that for me. A firewall along with backup solution for my files. This is enough for our business.

Private cloud on the other hand is costlier and requires additional work power to handle it.
Our product use public cloud for our individual client for its availability,  flexibility and maintainability.   Hybrid Cloud to conform some legal requirement in government segment and/or enterprise constraint not allow there data to be stored elsewhere except its own organization.
Given the pace of innovation in the public cloud, as well as the move to digitize business (which is data-centric and will want to leverage those data-services in the public cloud), it's hard to imagine a successful business being only private cloud in the next 5-10 years. 

We talked with Microsoft a couple weeks ago about their upcoming Azure Stack (cloud on-premises), , and even they said that some public cloud services just don't make sense on-premises. 
IBM view is hybrid where you choose the right platform for the data and the workload.  Core analytics (think financial reporting) in an on-premises appliance. Private cloud analytics where there are data handling mandates that preclude public cloud or even branch offices.  Then public cloud for data born on the cloud, non-sensitive data and personal preference.  You have to consider management across all of this, also ability to query across many data sources and skills efficiency (learn once, do many).
Why did you choose a private cloud vs. other cloud computing models?
A private cloud is a scalable hosting solution that provides agility and redundancy of IT infrastructure for your enterprise. Private cloud hosting solutions are suitable for large enterprises and SMBswho have large compute and storage requirements, need to promptly respond to innovation, or have requirements related to control, security and compliance.
This is s a pretty limited definition. Too many people want to call their virtualized servers "private cloud", but there should be a focus on:

- highly automated
- self-service access to resources
- on-demand services (IaaS, DBaaS, etc.)
- programmatic access to resources (via APIs) 
- focused on enabling developers to build new or modified applications

Our Wikibon research is only seeing about 5-10% of what people call "Private Cloud" are actually functioning like a Public Cloud. We plan to release more research on it this month -
If you have enough infrastructure and not being utilized, I would recommend to go for a private cloud. Of course, you should as well have the resources to maintain them as well. In case of scaling up required and don't intent to purchase new infrastructure, choose hybrid cloud as the option.
As per above statement..private cloud incure more cost than traditional data center then why do we need to use private cloud.

One more thing how private cloud is different from data center concept then if we putting infrastructure into premises.
Yes I preferred private cloud to public cloud because some information most not leave the company premises for prey eyes to see such as workers or customer Identification....also company privacy policy management.
"buy the base, rent the spike", a phrased coined by a Zynga IT executive still holds true today. If your workload requirements are fairly static, a private cloud will be less expensive than public (why would you rent a car for 3 years?) and public is best for dynamic workloads.  

Our Cloud Architects are Information Technology (IT) experts responsible for the supervision of a company’s cloud computing system. This involves working on cloud application designs, cloud approval plans, and systems required to manage cloud storage. Also known as a Cloud Developer or Cloud Systems Administrator.