The difference in cloud computing in comparison to traditional data centers is computing resources that aren’t specifically tied to a physical box. IT professionals don’t need to be as concerned about where these resources “live.” That’s because the private cloud allows IT to pool applications and resources together within a shared-hardware environment where resources can be allocated based on need, without dependency on a single box. That’s a big difference from traditional application deployments where each application required its own server, many of which sat (or still do) using only a small percentage of their capacity.
When you look at the physical components of cloud computing, they look a lot like typical hardware such as boxes, memory, keyboard and screen. But when IT pulls these resources together, they have the capability to build a “super” resource pool. This introduces new levels of performance because resources are no longer limited to the functionality available on a specific box. It also means IT can multiply the resources they have available without adding more physical servers. Now IT can maximize the demand for resources based on need, rather on the existence of an application.
Virtualization is a component of the private cloud. Virtualization is what allows IT this latitude to shift the location of resources to another virtual server (VM) when capacity needs expand. This level of flexibility allows IT to gain optimal productivity out of the data center without adding new hardware.
Here’s an example:
Let’s take an email server that is used heavily during the business day, but sits idle after the workday ends. The server then sits dormant, but is using power and energy as if it is still running.
Now, consider that you may have a backup system that runs at night, sitting idle during the day.
With virtualization, I can use the same computing resources to do both, maximizing compute cycles based on demand for the services IT needs to deliver to the business. This capability serves to reduce the cost of power, space requirements and hardware costs.
Additional benefits of a private cloud include:
- Reduced maintenance of hardware
- Reduced application disruption when issues with servers occur
- Perform maintenance during regular hours by moving virtual machines.
- Scale is no longer limited by rack space or time requirements to build, test and launch new servers
- Higher availability of services and applications
- Reduced power consumption
- IT can support more applications in the future with less footprint
If you haven’t considered a private cloud to help your IT department gain efficiencies and do more with less, there are a lot of great reasons why you should.