Private cloud hosting represents a revolutionary new frontier in the information technology and – more specifically – the web hosting world. Finally, the promise of computing power as a utility is upon us and it brings with it a new set of opportunities and challenges. Many organizations are options to deploy their solutions into public cloud hosting environments, where there applications and data share physical hardware, storage, and network environments with hundreds or thousands of other companies. While this certainly meets the needs of many businesses, many others are unwilling to take such a public plunge either because of security restrictions, performance concerns, or worries about loss of control of their infrastructure. Because of this, a new hosting model has risen known as Private Cloud Hosting. In the private cloud hosting model, your web site or corporate hosting infrastructure runs in a dedicated and/or virtualized environment and can be scaled up or down as your needs change.
The first advantage most often cited for private cloud hosting environments is that of security, which means both the actual physical security of the environment as well as the perceived security of the environment in that it is private unto itself. Sites that strive to reach PCI compliance for their electronic commerce applications have found that private cloud hosting environments can be secured in a way that can allow them to successfully achieve this goal. Physically dedicated hardware provides the assurance that no data can be mistakenly transferred or shared between businesses, which is obviously almost a pre-requisite for any electronic commerce environment.
Many private cloud hosting solutions rely heavily on virtualization technologies, such as the Xen Cloud Platform (http://www.xen.org/products/cloudxen.html). The Xen Cloud Platform is a popular Linux-based selection among many leading hosting companies who are now offering private cloud hosting packages based on the underlying virtualization of the environment. A cloud based on something like Xen’s solution offers the best of both worlds. Customers are able to both control their own utilization of system resources as their needs change without the time and expenses inherent in provisioning new server and network infrastructure. At the same time, the underlying virtualization technology allows you to fully utilize the hardware across a variety of applications and usage scenarios. If designed properly, this sort of solution allows businesses to optimize both their time and money investment, while perhaps simplifying the actual deployment architecture. For example, in an optimized private cloud hosting environment, you are more focused on the actual solutions you deploy (Databases 1 and 2, Email VM 1, Web Site 1 and 2, etc.) and the dedicated capacity assigned to each which frees customers from worrying about the nine servers and their various storage needs potentially needing to scale soon to a total of 14 servers.
One additional advantage is related to the topic of resource flexibility but can be presented in a different light. A cloud hosting environment is uniquely positions to help your business manage drastic swings in workload, whether that be due to a new organization coming on board, a roll-out from a test phase to production, or simply an onslaught of new customers due to some improved functionality or marketing. In the traditional dedicated hosting world, these sorts of scenarios can bring a business to a complete halt if not planned for properly (and that planning itself takes a great deal of time and money in many cases). Private cloud hosting offers the ability to reduce overall cost of a solution, the flexibility to scale to meet changing business needs, and the capacity to fully utilize your hardware and network resources.
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