Today’s private cloud is alive and well in modern IT

Jeff DeVerter

robot standing next to three server towers


When you think of private cloud, chances are you think of dedicated infrastructure that lives in your on-premises data center, a colocation facility or at a managed hosting facility. You probably think of control, security, performance and dependability.

But does it also make you think of real-time scaling, consumption pricing or intelligent automation? How about AI and machine learning? Containers? Serverless?

If it doesn’t yet, it soon will. Private cloud — in recent years considered a second-class citizen compared to public cloud — is shattering stereotypes and showing that it is indeed alive and well in modern IT.

In today’s private cloud, you can run a whole software-defined data center on top of single-tenant infrastructure — creating a complete cloud-like experience. You can have full AI and machine learning deployments, create near-serverless developer experiences and deploy advanced automation. It’s all possible on private cloud.

This opens up new possibilities for businesses that can’t move to public cloud — whether because of geography, performance requirements, regulations and even company culture. They can now tap into cloud innovations, within the predictability and familiarity of their own private cloud.


Private cloud is here to stay

Even in the midst of massive public cloud adoption, businesses have held fast to their private clouds for certain workloads — especially for key, business-differentiating applications and those with strict regulatory requirements. As a result, these businesses are well-positioned to get an even greater return on their private cloud investment, as they look at new, innovative ways of putting them to work.

This steady reliance on private cloud is supported by a recent study we conducted in September 2020. We asked 1,800+ technology decision-makers in more than ten countries to share their perspectives on the future of compute for their organizations. Here’s what we discovered:

  • Organizations are running applications on relatively balanced split between public (35%), private (35%) and data centers / colocation (30%).
  • 43% of organizations are running key applications on private cloud, including ecommerce systems, back office automation, CRMs and their own built products and services.
  • Although they expect to move non-differentiating applications to SaaS, these organizations also anticipate that their overall private cloud footprint will stay the same over at least the next two years.

And as VMware and other partners continue to innovate around single-tenant infrastructure, we expect private cloud usage to continue and strengthen.


Is private cloud right for you?

Whenever you set out to select a cloud platform for a particular workload, we recommend you make decisions based on your data, security and application needs. Start by asking questions like: Do I have certain data privacy or regulatory requirements? Does this workload require a particular environment? And in some cases, should that workload span public cloud and private cloud, or even multiple public clouds?

Let’s take an example.

Say you have an IoT solution that’s running and calibrating machines in real time, and you need it to make decisions as close to the factory floor as possible. This restriction would, historically, rule out public cloud. But how about running a public cloud on your own private cloud? You could run an Anthos stack right on your factory floor and have a big stack of containers managing that IoT solution.

You might also have traditional hardware and software making decisions and tuning your production line. You can take the metadata and resulting data stored on-premises and send that out to your public cloud of choice to do analysis. This helps you gain a deeper understanding and generate future forecasting, while avoiding data egress fees.

In this case, yes, private cloud is the right choice. But so is public cloud running on a private cloud. And so are a hyperscale cloud and containers.

The decision is no longer binary. You have a wide range of choices and the freedom to architect a solution that meets the specific requirements you’re looking for.  As such, make sure private cloud is included in your arsenal of options.


Get to know today’s private cloud

I recently presented a 30-minute talk, “Private Cloud is Dead. Long Live Private Cloud.” In this presentation, I go into more detail about the history of private cloud, the reasons businesses continue to choose it and the bright future it has ahead. I also share the importance of having a single, consolidated view of all of your environments — across public, private and hybrid, and across applications, data and security — so you can stay on top of performance and spending.


Get to know the next generation of private cloud.