3 Reasons Why the Private Cloud is Here to Stay
MSPs know that customers expect both scale and economics when it comes to the cloud.
For most, this means public cloud options like AWS, Google and Azure.
The subtitle for RightScale’s “2017 State of the Cloud Report” says it all: “Public cloud adoption grows as private cloud wanes.”
Public cloud services dominate news cycles for enterprise IT, and on the surface, the numbers seem to align with this narrative: organizations are increasingly leveraging public and hybrid cloud, while private cloud use feels like part of a forgotten era.
However, in talking to CIOs and IT professionals, I tend to hear a different side of this story.
Private clouds – specifically, object storage clouds – are alive, well, and becoming more popular.
Between expenses associated with data access, security and privacy concerns, and features added to cloud services, it’s clear why organizations reap success from private cloud models.
Below are three reasons why MSPs shouldn’t expect the private cloud model to go anywhere, anytime soon.
1. Public clouds are expensive – though at first glance, the opposite seems true.
Public cloud services’ main selling point is their low associated costs, which particularly come from organizations not needing to maintain IT infrastructure.
However, low baseline fees don’t take into account data migration expenses, egress fees and a general discontent that comes with not being able to predict IT costs beyond your organization’s control.
Although object storage clouds require infrastructure maintenance, they also cost less than a cent per gigabyte per month for data storage, compared to the public cloud’s two to three cents per gigabyte.
In addition, while private cloud services offer opportunities for cost negotiation with MSPs and service providers, public cloud models are usually uncompromising.
After calculating public cloud costs for your particular system up front, you may decide it’s not worth the price tag.
2. Object storage clouds bring innovation to the private cloud space.
Historically, the private cloud represented technologies such as OpenStack and CloudStack – complex, open source architectures favored by organizations without public cloud services on their roadmaps.
For MSP customers, object storage clouds make private cloud a strong alternative to the public cloud; they’re scalable, inexpensive and powered by commodity hardware.
The technology is more than a decade old, but issues with the growing public cloud model has increased focus on object storage.
An organization can use object storage as a private cloud building block that simplifies data storage while driving down pricing, maintaining cost predictability and guaranteeing a secure environment.
3. Private clouds create new opportunities for MSPs.
Roadblocks for public cloud services can become milestones for MSPs.
For organizations looking for the public cloud’s flexibility, economics and scale with the security and ease of use traditionally found on-premises, MSPs can use private clouds to deliver an ideal compromise.
By combining block storage and object storage in one environment without leveraging the public cloud, MSPs can offer a private cloud environment, expanded and enriched by personalized services, that delivers a managed hosting experience with better capabilities and lower costs than are often realized with public clouds.
Such services can also move organizations down the path toward their IT goals.
For example, private object storage is generally compatible with Amazon S3, leaving the door open for an extended hybrid cloud future.
As an MSP, it’s always interesting to see how certain trends and technologies come and go in waves.
Although object storage isn’t breaking news, if you look closely at the way organizations are using public and private cloud services, it’s clear that private object storage clouds are bringing innovation to an area often assumed to be going away.
As private cloud and public cloud infrastructures continue to evolve, it’ll be interesting to see how they both power the fully hybrid, multicloud IT future.
Ellen Rubin is CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, whose global storage network simplifies the entire data lifecycle and delivers enterprise storage as a fully managed service. Most recently, Rubin was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud-enablement software company that was acquired by Verizon in 2011.