Private Cloud: Types, Features, and Examples


To understand private cloud better, lets first understand  what is a cloud. 

The cloud is a combination of commodity hardware and system software that enables provisioning of virtual resources on-demand, scaling up or down to meet the most current client demand. All hardware infrastructure including hardware servers, switches, and routers along with software assets that include operating systems, web server software, security software, and web pages installed on the server hardware is now software components running on commodity hardware spread across multiple devices in different locations either on-premise or off it. 

Let’s define Private Cloud now. The private cloud is defined as a scalable, reliable, and elastic infrastructure of computing services offered either over the Internet or a private internal network and only to select users instead of the general public. Another simpler definition that comes to mind is, a private cloud is a server, data center, or distributed network wholly dedicated to one organization.

  1. Some notable characteristics of Private Cloud
  2. Benefits of private cloud
  3. Disadvantages of private cloud
  4. What does not constitute a private cloud?
  5. Types of private cloud
  6. Virtual Private Cloud
  7. Market offerings in the private cloud

1. Some notable characteristics of Private Cloud

One of the most conspicuous characteristics of a private cloud is driven by the need for security which is, that the private cloud is hosted on its own infrastructure with no other clients leasing this space, unlike the public cloud. In a public cloud, multi-tenancy brings in a very small amount of risk. Although this risk is negligible, some businesses cannot entertain such risks under any condition.

Another characteristic is that the private cloud is hosted on either owned or leased data centers, so the locations where your cloud is located is transparent to you.

2. Benefits of private cloud

Private clouds primarily provide security benefits over public clouds. Medium and large businesses typically chose a private cloud due to its protection, compliance, and scalability options. Other benefits include

  • Fine-grained control over your infrastructure. Since the data center is fully owned by the business, the control over the cloud infrastructure is total.
  • Adapt better to the usage of resources as per demand. Prediction of issues like downtime and bottlenecks becomes easier.
  • If your business has to comply with bespoke industry standard compliance, the private cloud allows you to easily ensure your systems are totally compliant.
  • While you can scale to demand in a public cloud, the granularity of scale that the private cloud offers is of a significant benefit for some businesses.
  • Large to very large businesses might want to maintain a private cloud then use a public infrastructure especially with a competitor on it or the infrastructure itself owned by a competitor.    

Private clouds are is popular with highly regulated industries such as banking, finance and government institutions.

3. Disadvantages of private cloud

Private clouds have their limited benefits for some unique business requirements, beyond which there are a few major disadvantages of having a private cloud than go public.

  • One major detractor for private clouds is the associated cost. In general private clouds are more expensive than public because they require real estate space, hardware, and maintenance, not to mention a specialist IT workforce to design, build and maintain.
  • Operational efficiency in a private cloud is difficult to achieve as against its public cousin. Underutilization is a major grouse in private clouds.
  • Scaling up on hardware and real estate space would be a challenge in private clouds. While public clouds are well prepared for such upcoming future requirements.

4. What does not constitute a private cloud

Virtualization is just a part of private cloud, not the cloud itself

While virtualization is a key component of cloud computing, it is by no means the cloud itself. Virtualization technology allows organizations to pool and allocate resources, but other qualities around self-service and the ability to scale those resources are needed for it to be technically be considered a private cloud.

File hosting apps with syncing options does not constituted private cloud

There are tools that are available that claim to help you create a private cloud but all these are essentially file-hosting apps with syncing options. Yes, you get storage on the cloud, but that it, nothing more. Creating a private cloud is an involved process and might take from days to weeks.

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are all not private clouds by themselves

In general, they all belong to the public cloud domain more often than not, typically offered as services to multiple clients over the internet. Although vendors can provide all of these to the customer on a dedicated setup making it a private offering, it would not make economic sense for the vendor to do so, unless the client is willing to bear the huge costs of such a setup.

5. Types of private cloud

Private clouds can be categorized on the basis of how they are provisioned to the end-user or are managed whether on-premises or off it.

There are many possible private cloud scales and configurations. 

On-premise private cloud, where the data center is owned or leased by the business and then allows this infrastructure to be used to create, manage, and maintain an internal cloud environment.

Software Solutions only private cloud sits on top of the customer’s existing hardware. This is typically done by organizations that have most of their hardware virtualized. 

There are private clouds that are offered as a package of hardware and software. Hardware encompasses computing, storage, and network resources and software that helps in the provisioning of the resources along with automation capabilities.

There is a motley group of private clouds that although sitting on the organization’s premises but are vendor-managed. This is typical of organizations who want to keep their focus on their core business than be worried about the infrastructure and the super technical manpower it requires. Conversely, there are private clouds that are offsite and managed entirely by vendors who specialize in such offerings. Such setups are categorized as Managed Private Clouds.

6. Virtual Private Cloud

A virtual private cloud is a type of cloud model that offers the benefits of a private cloud with the help of public cloud resources. Not a pure form of private cloud, where the public cloud service provider is the custodian of the infrastructure while offering more control in an isolated environment.

7. Market offerings in the private cloud

You will be surprised to know that Amazon isn’t a big player when it comes to private clouds. There are other traditional players in this market, 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) offering flexible and configurable private cloud software and infrastructure is the pack leader in private computing. HPE offers the below products as its solutions in the private cloud space.

Helion Cloud Suite software, Hardware Helion Managed Private Cloud, Helion CloudSystem, and Managed Virtual Private Cloud services, among others.

VMWare an old player in the virtualization market, offers, a complete private solution, and a hybrid solution. VMWare’s vRealize Suite Cloud Management Platform offers private as well as hybrid cloud management. 

Dell with its acquisition of EMC2, Dell EMC features two private cloud products. The first is an  MS Azure Stack-based setup, the other is a fully ready developer platform.

Other players in the private cloud market are Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp, RedHat, and AWS.


If you are looking for an extensive course in Cloud Computing, then the 5.5-month online Postgraduate Certificate Program In Cloud Computing offered by Jigsaw Academy can be of help. This program helps interested learners become complete Cloud professionals.

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