Creating a private cloud to manage your Microsoft application workloads can be quite compelling. Yes, it may even be more compelling than a comparable public cloud solution provided by Microsoft Office 365 or Azure. Organizations are using Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server to help them generate revenue and/or reduce costs faster. At the same time, IT is being asked to provide those systems faster, more efficiently, and at lower costs. Moving to either cloud option can help IT achieve those goals. The choice between public versus private cloud usually comes down to IT’s capabilities to deliver and whether public cloud providers can offer the service cheaper. If an organization has the IT prowess to do it, creating one’s own private cloud can be equally beneficial for an organization. In fact, by implementing one’s own private cloud, a recent Wikibon study indicates that a 10,000 person $2.5B organization with a $40M IT budget can save $27M over 5 years. Pretty impressive, let’s discuss the benefits in more detail and clear the skies a bit. (If you missed part 1, click here.)
First, let’s start by defining a private cloud. A private cloud is similar to a public cloud in that it virtualizes the computing environment and automates the provisioning of the computing resources based on organizational demand. The major difference is that it is a single tenant environment owned, deployed and managed by an organization’s own IT department not the public cloud provider. Implementing a private cloud can allow IT to meet the organization’s system requirement when needed…not before and not after. More importantly, IT will be able to align the system costs to the actual usage of the system.
When an organization implements its own private cloud, it can reap all of the cloud benefits while still maintaining control of Microsoft application workload data and providing high quality of service in supporting the business’ data demand. This data control and high quality of service is extremely powerful. When an organization’s Microsoft data is in the hands of a public cloud provider it creates several potential issues: 1) The security of the data is no longer within their control; 2) Having someone else manage the data may actually violate local governmental regulations; 3) Finally, relinquishing control of the data may eliminate any proprietary benefits derived from the data by granting the cloud provider access to it (the provider will know all of the organization’s secrets!) Quality of service is often overlooked when considering cloud options, let’s face it…a public cloud provider has standard service levels (SLAs) that all of its customers receive and those SLAs may not meet the needs of the organization. How long are you willing to wait while your SQL Server data is unavailable to support your organization’s order processing system? The longer you wait, the longer your customers wait…you may lose millions as your public provider’s cloud gets darker and darker.
Just remember what is most important to you for your Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server application workloads. If it is critical to maintain control of your data and provide the right quality of service to meet your organization's requirements, then implementing your own private cloud will best meet your needs. In part three of this blog series, we will clear the skies at last as I discuss how you can utilize the best features of both public and private clouds by creating one seamless cloud fabric for Microsoft application workloads!