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An end to end private IP cloud? 1

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Peter Thompson

Private cloud is a flavour of cloud computing. It came about as a result of the growth in the use of virtualisation software in order to better use computing resources. Scalability, flexibility and efficiency are some of the key drivers behind cloud computing. Private cloud customers are seeking those benefits. If you are considering moving to a private cloud computing solution, providing a high quality end user experience should be a strong motive for the decision. The task of delivering a positive working experience will be highly impacted by the system performance. But the performance won’t be solely reliant on the computing, instead it will be the entire ecosystem of the connectivity, applications, security and hardware infrastructure. Best practise private cloud should address the entire user experience. The user experience will be measured by the sum total of the parts that comprise the private IP cloud solution.

Much like how many of us don’t know the workings of our motor vehicle (and don’t care to,) users do not care to know about the technological workings of the IT infrastructure, they simply want an outcome that enables them to work effectively.

Private cloud versus virtual private cloud

Private cloud refers to privacy rather than the physical location of the servers. The term actually refers to dedicated infrastructure rather than multi-tenanted infrastructure. Virtual private cloud networks are another term whereby the server infrastructure is shared. It may be that some of the server and storage infrastructure is dedicated as a resource e.g. processor, storage or RAM, yet there are components that are also shared such as the motherboard, power supplies and the backplane.

A private cloud can be the result of virtualisation of servers that reside within a private IP network. Server infrastructure is located at one of the offices of the private cloud owner. Another solution is an off-premise private cloud which is hosted by a third party, usually in a data centre. The hardware is dedicated and not shared. Virtualisation can still play a part in private cloud solutions but the primary meaning of this term is that the resources are dedicated to a single customer.

Private cloud and private IP broadband networks combined

Whether you choose a private cloud computing or a virtual private cloud computing solution, attention should also be paid to the broadband connectivity. Often, a private cloud is thought of as only the server infrastructure. However, in our view a private cloud solution in combination with a private IP broadband network yields the best outcome.

A private IP network means that the network does not traverse the Internet and bandwidth among other network services can be easily injected with control. Intelligent traffic management techniques such as MPLS and QoS can be applied.

Your private cloud solution will most likely still incorporate third party software and managed services that will be delivered from devices or via the Internet. Through the use of a centralised Internet gateway you can easily control who comes in and out of your network and ensure that the entire end to end network is reserved for its primary purpose of serving applications and data to its users.

Top user experience

One of the main attractions behind a private cloud is that a customer enjoys the benefit of cloud computing whilst operating the cloud on dedicated hardware resources. In principle, the customer has greater control and influence over the hardware and operating system software.   Combined with the use of private IP across the broadband network, it’s possible to create dedicated and guaranteed bandwidth for the entire private cloud network.

Bringing it all together

The combination of a private cloud and private IP broadband network will yield the best outcomes for businesses looking to provide an enhanced computing experience to its users. A user experience is the complete ecosystem of the integration of many different layers of technology. Taking the time to analyse every aspect of the ecosystem and the steps to mitigate shortfalls in user experience will help to ensure your private IP cloud implementation is successful.

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About Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson founded GCOMM in 1996. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering/Information Systems from Griffith University and his MBA from Nyenrode Business Universiteit in Holland. He believes in building great teams of people, both in business and socially.
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  • Matt Thompson

    An excellent and timely post. This is something that I have been advocating for quite a while and many customers and partners are starting to recognise the importance of connectivity. Rather than thinking about the private cloud or servers first, I believe many business should instead think about the user experience to that cloud. The network is the key foundation to a successful private cloud deployment IMO.