Managed private cloud providers may claim they provide computing power as cheaply as possible, perhaps even at levels that are normally charged for a commodity cloud server. The question to ask, however, is what the private cloud provider is running. Some managed private clouds are like black boxes. They tend to be notoriously opaque about the details of their infrastructure because they may be running cheap hardware at close to 100% capacity. This practice inevitably leads to unreliability and instability.
As with low-end public cloud solutions, low-quality, over-stretched servers in a private cloud develop hardware faults. They overburden load balancing systems, introducing unpredictable latency. Performance is erratic, but you can’t easily determine the reason. It could due to unusually heavy data center traffic, a noisy neighbor stealing CPU cycles, a bad server or an incipient crash.
Is Redundant Availability Enough?
Private cloud providers offer redundant availability as a way to make up for these shortcomings in the same way that public cloud vendors will. But, this just shifts the dependencies elsewhere and often makes the problem worse. Demanding enterprise workloads like SAP HANA require extremely high memory and throughput. These needs make them difficult to correctly provision in environments that are not built for them. Only SAP-smart private cloud will do, unless you’re prepared to deal with sluggish performance and low productivity.
If you run SAP, the best practice is to make sure your private cloud Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantees infrastructure performance (at least for high-end enterprise private cloud services). Private cloud hosting for complex ERP systems requires carefully configured hardware and specialized knowledge. Even then, managed private cloud hosting is more cost-effective than building and running landscapes in-house.
Application availability is also critical in SAP landscapes. It’s another area where managed private cloud can shine in comparison to public cloud hosting options. In a managed private cloud, redundancy is built in to the various components in the stack. This approach avoids failures. In contrast, in the public cloud, we duplicate the stack because failure is inevitable.
Managed private cloud providers typically offer the most secure option for automating day-to-day administration, security and compliance. Enterprise cloud providers like Symmetry have learned to synthesize the low cost and flexibility of public cloud hosting with the performance, application availability and customer service of the private cloud.
Private Cloud with No Limits?
Private cloud hosting has historically been tied to discrete units of hardware, with the costs and scalability limits this arrangement entailed. The development of the virtual private cloud changed that. Private cloud providers could pool resources among multiple tenants like a public cloud, while maintaining a larger reservoir of compute and better control of demand. From the end user’s perspective, the performance is the same, but with dramatically lower costs and the ability to scale on demand.
Private cloud is now undergoing a second transformation involving automation, particularly related to software development. The private cloud has usually been a mixed benefit for development. Greater security is an obvious benefit, but it has come at the expense of long wait times at the help desk. This has often led to shadow IT, where developers are going outside authorized channels to fire up their own public cloud compute, which defeats the whole point of keeping development in the managed private cloud.
With automation, private cloud providers are beginning to allow self-service just like the public cloud. Developers can now provision their environments with minimal wait time, while keeping everything secure within the company’s cloud. Symmetry’s next generation cloud is leading the way in this regard. The cloud still enforces internal policies the way the help desk traditionally would, but without the wait.
Can Your Private Cloud Provider Help You Leverage Scalability?
All this private cloud innovation is reshaping cloud strategy on a fundamental level. Companies moving to the cloud have tended to use a multi-cloud approach to leverage scalability for testing and development. With multi-cloud, they can also take advantage of the platforms’ stability and performance for production. Multi-cloud posed some significant challenges, though. Tenants need to manage multiple vendors and invest in cloud integration to make all the pieces work together.
Next Generation Virtual Private Cloud emerges as a complete solution. Customers can find all the cloud benefits they need in one place while simplifying their vendor portfolio. They never have to deal with multiple vendors pointing fingers at each other. One vendor is solely responsible, so it’s easier to resolve problems quickly.
A single-cloud environment eliminates unnecessary complexity. There’s no need for complex cloud integration. Tenants don’t have to worry about how updates in one cloud will affect the rest of the ecosystem.
A single-cloud landscape also greatly aids security and compliance efforts. An enterprise cloud gives you complete visibility at every level of your landscape and allows you to centralize controls, making it easier to detect and address compliance issues.
A single-cloud environment is easier to defend against outside threats, due partly to the security of a vendor-operated enterprise data center footprint. Your data is protected by physical security and access controls, sophisticated network security, monitoring and other techniques which provide a level of protection public cloud hosting typically can’t match.
Another reason why private cloud hosting is more secure is the reduction in attack surface. With fewer connections between fewer clouds, you have a smaller area to defend against hackers. With better visibility, the risk of an attacker slipping through undetected is dramatically lower.
You need a private cloud provider who will stay on the cutting edge while providing traditional dependability and high-touch service. At Symmetry, we pride ourselves on functioning as an extension of your IT team. Whether you’re looking for a partner to design, host, and run your SAP HANA cloud, a consultant to help you plan your next upgrade, or just someone to fill in temporarily for IT staff, we’re here to help.
Contact us to learn why the private cloud is the right solution for your business.