Cloud Computing


Cloud computing offers benefits that more and more companies are moving to take advantage of. These include lower costs, greater flexibility, and enhanced ease of use. But in many instances, corporations also have compelling reasons for keeping at least part of their IT infrastructure in house and behind their own firewalls. For some, it’s a need to ensure maximum security for their sensitive data or to meet regulatory compliance requirements. Others choose to stay at home because of performance constraints that require their data storage and compute resources to be in close physical proximity to each other.

Although these organizations might want to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, it may seem that running a private cloud operation under their own roofs is a bigger task than they are prepared to take on. For many, the best option may well be a managed private cloud.

What Is a Managed Private Cloud?

A “cloud,” whether public or private, is really nothing more than a set of services that can be easily accessed by users. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing this way:

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

A key element of this definition is that it applies to any kind of cloud. It may be a multi-tenant public cloud run by one of the behemoths of the cloud computing world, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). It could be an in-house private cloud operated by a single company exclusively for its own use. Or, as is becoming more and more common today, it could be a private cloud managed by a third-party provider who specializes in offering individual customers a complete suite of cloud services on a single-tenancy basis. This latter model is what’s called a managed private cloud.