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Maximising the Potential of Private Cloud: Key Activities for Enterprise Organisations

In our previous article, we talked about some of the strategies and activities that can help organisations to unlock the potential of multi-cloud environments. In this piece, we're taking a similar path but shifting our focus to private cloud.

Throughout the evolution of technological trends, there have been many innovations that have allowed organisations to stretch to new boundaries, allowing them to create new value-adds for their customers – some of these technologies are longer lived than others. Private cloud, an advancement that was once upon a time at the forefront of technology innovation, can sometimes feel like it’s tarnished with the same “legacy” brush as with on-premises infrastructure – particularly amongst public cloud advocates.

But throughout the years, there have been many enterprises that embrace (some more reluctantly than others) private cloud technologies due to its ability to meet the business requirements that public clouds cannot. In an ever-evolving public cloud landscape, where new products and features are being released at an unheard of pace, the discovery of new flaws naturally follows. Security being the first and most significant that springs to mind.

Although sometimes viewed as the ugly duckling of the cloud family, private cloud does offer predictability, security, stability and control when compared to its public cloud counterpart. Because of this, a range of enterprises are leveraging, and will likely continue to leverage the use of private cloud. So, it’s key that these environments and designed, implemented, maintained and operated properly.

Let's explore some essential actions and considerations for maximising the benefits of private cloud environments to help unlock the potential:

Prioritise Security and Compliance

Although one of the key differentiators of private clouds in the sales pitch, it’s vital to have well established security controls and compliance around your private cloud environment. Implement access controls, encryption, firewalls, and establish a clear plan for applying patches to both the platform and operating systems.

Optimise Network Design

Network design plays a critical role in private cloud performance. Ensure redundancy, load balancing, and fault tolerance are built into the network architecture to maintain high availability.

Capacity Planning for Scalability and Elasticity

Ensure that capacity planning is performed meticulously to accommodate future growth and resource changes. Private clouds should be designed with scalability and elasticity in mind to handle varying workloads effectively. This agility is crucial for adapting to changes in resource demands.

Define Organisational Objectives

Establish clear organisational objectives. Understanding; “What are you trying to achieve with your private cloud?” and “What are your current and future business goals?” are key questions to ask yourself when understanding your organisational objectives. The answers to these will aid the design and implementation process and choices.

Assess Workload Requirements

Carefully analyse workload requirements, taking into account factors such as computing power, storage, data sensitivity, and the physical location of the private cloud. Decide whether to host it in your own data centre or in a co-location facility.

Use a Data Management Strategy

Develop a robust data management strategy, including backup, disaster recovery, data classification, and encryption. Data is a valuable asset, and protecting it is paramount in private cloud environments.

Leverage Automation and Orchestration

Use automation and orchestration tools to streamline provisioning and management processes. Reducing manual effort through automation enhances efficiency and reduces the likelihood of human errors.

Rightsize Operations

Continuously evaluate your resource usage to ensure you only consume the compute and storage required. This optimises costs and resource utilisation.

Ensure Cost-Efficient Contracts

Insist upon contracts with the private cloud provider that allow for workloads to be shut down without incurring unnecessary costs. This flexibility is essential for cost control.

Implement Performance Evaluations

Regularly test and evaluate your private cloud architecture to determine how well they still meet performance, security, and scalability requirements. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed.

Integrate for Connectivity

Plan for integrations with other systems to ensure seamless connectivity and robust security controls within your private cloud environment.

In conclusion, these activities are vital for maximising the benefits of your private cloud investments. Engineers and managers alike play essential roles in optimising resources, enhancing security, and ensuring cost-effectiveness. So, if you decide the private cloud route is for you, making sure that it’s well designed and fit for purpose will assist with organisational adaptability and competitiveness in this ever-evolving landscape that is the technology industry.

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