Internal Cloud Computing

Internal Cloud Computing refers to computing applications, platforms and infrastructure being delivered as a bundle of services to users within a private enterprise. Also known as private cloud computing, this type of computing environment provides many of the same efficiency benefits as public cloud computing. The chief difference between an internal (private) cloud and an external (public) cloud is that the former incorporates an additional layer of security by leveraging an enterprise firewall. Likewise, a private cloud or internal cloud is theoretically the most secure type of cloud computing environment, as compared to a public cloud, community cloud or hybrid cloud computing environment.

Overview

With internal cloud computing, the cloud services provider and the cloud services consumer are the same entity (the enterprise). This parallel translates into additional capital and operational expenses that must be incurred by any enterprise that implements an internal private cloud. In an internal (private) cloud computing environment, the cloud provider (enterprise) is responsible for maintaining its own physical computing resources; including servers and data storage, etc. which generates capital expenses for the organization. Operational expenses are generated by the human labor requirements for the tasks of configuring, maintaining and managing the SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) resources within the enterprise private cloud.

Internal Cloud vs. External Cloud

The decision to implement internal cloud computing within an organization can not be motivated by cost savings, as with other types of cloud computing environments. In fact, in many cases, organizations will have to invest more capital into infrastructure, than what is required in a traditional on-premise IT operation, in order to ensure there are enough computing resources available during times of peak demand. However, when this occurs (over-provisioning), an enterprise may be able to offset some of the costs associated with its cloud services delivery, by selling off unused capacity on the cloud spot market.

Since a private organization has to incur the costs of additional software, platforms and infrastructure when implementing an enterprise private cloud, the extra expense should be justified by concrete business requirements. For example, when an enterprise needs to deliver computing services that adhere to special compliance, legal or regulatory requirements, an internal cloud is the appropriate cloud solution. In addition, when an enterprise has a strong need to guard its proprietary information or trade secrets, etc. an internal cloud may be preferred over an external cloud.