02-09-11 | Blog Post

Private Cloud Components: How to Build a Secure Private Cloud

Blog Posts

Mike Flaherty explains the different types of cloud computing and the components of a secure private cloud.

Hi, this is Mike Flaherty.

Let’s talk about private clouds and cloud hosting.

What is the cloud?

Well, think of it this way – instead of having 20 servers, what if you could pool them together into a giant super server – then split up those servers into virtual servers. When needed, you could move resources from one server to another, or one virtual server to another. That’s cloud computing.

Today, you’ve got many choices for cloud computing. You’ve got public clouds, private clouds and internal clouds. Each of these choices have different characteristics and features – let’s take a look at a few of these right now.

In a public cloud model, it’s more of a utility. There are no contracts, you’re using shared hardware and shared resources, and it’s self-managed – kind of pay-as-you-go.

On the other hand, you’ve got private clouds that are secure, dedicated and compliant with SOX, PCI and HIPAA type regulations. So that could be an advantage to the private clouds.

Now you’ve got a couple choices when you do choose a private cloud, if you go that way. You could outsource it. In that case, there’s no cap-ex vs. insourcing, where you have to do a capital outlay. Outsource models are fully managed vs. insourcing where your staff needs to self-manage the hardware.

If it’s outsourced, it might be with a PCI data center, so that’s another advantage. Now, a secure private cloud typically starts with dedicated server on secure network in a compliant data center that’s going to meet regulations. Customizable hardware, automatic failover, SLA’s and 24×7 support – these are all great advantages of a private cloud.

So why Online Tech’s private cloud? Again, this is cap-ex free, compliant, dedicated and secure. From a deployment standpoint, you can deploy this very quickly and scale as needed. It’s also redundant and resilient – you can failover not only internally to internal components but to a secondary data center over 50 miles away.

Now how does this private cloud work? You start with a hardware base and then storage. That storage can be located on a SAN or internal disk on a private network. Then you’re going to deploy your virtual servers, a cloud controller to do monitoring and logging, and you’ve got the option to do off-site backup in a secure data center, 53 miles away.

These components typically look like this – Dell servers, multicore, with plenty of RAM, dedicated Equilogic SAN, private Cisco switch and Cisco firewall, or Fortinet firewalls, and virtual servers with VMware. Then again, the controller, which is going to logging, and monitoring and patch management.

As far as migrating to the private cloud, you’ve really got 4 options – the first would be to a single server, local disk with VMware. The second – you would just double that, multiple hosts. The third – we introduce the SAN and the cloud controller; this is typically recommended for 15+ servers. Then the fourth option being off-site replication.

Now the secure private cloud is:

  • Dedicated servers
  • Storage security network hardware
  • It is in a secure environment
  • Its PCI, HIPAA and SOX regulatory criteria are met
  • It’s scalable, fully-managed, fully-monitored, and backed by SLA’s.


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