Tech Talk Live Blog

The Benefits of Using Private Cloud Services

Jessica Diller

The educational world has not embraced the cloud or infrastructure as a service as much as private sector for good reason or because they are afraid of change?

With budget constraints at the organizational levels, it is not surprising to see districts, non-profits, colleges, and universities looking at every budget line item to see where they can reduce costs.  Organizations, more than ever, are open to new ideas that they might have not considered before. When thinking about technology, the three highest ticket items are usually personnel, infrastructure, and licensing.  Too many times, when thinking of cost reduction, organizations think of doing more with less. They consider fewer personnel, less (out of date) infrastructure, and less (not fully compliant) licensing.  One alternative that can be overlooked for various reasons is private cloud.

So what makes a cloud “private”? A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud systems, but removes a number of objections to the cloud computing model including control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security, and issues connected to regulatory compliance.  The term “private” defines the aspect that the infrastructure is not open to the public and is hosted by a single entity.   When an organization decides to share their infrastructure with another (but still not the general public), then it can be referred to as Infrastructure as a Service.

So how can this reduce cost?  Private cloud allows organizations to save money by sharing storage, data protection, infrastructure, and software. Interestingly enough by moving to a private cloud, an organization can save in all three big ticket items without having the same negative effects as cuts and noncompliance.

1.  Personnel

  • It is important to note that the most important part of a private cloud transition is to have buy-in from all employees.  Employees should not look at the cloud as a replacement for their position, but as a shift in responsibilities.  The common goal for all districts is to provide support to student learning.  Moving to a private cloud increases technology staff’s availability to support student learning versus technology infrastructure.
  • Through normal employee turnover, organizations can benefit by employing less skilled employees at lower pay rates instead of shrinking the number of staff members.

2.  Infrastructure

​By moving to a private cloud, organizations can eliminate:

  • Equipment replacement cost,
  • Cooling cost,
  • Power,
  • Redundancy,
  • Monitoring,
  • Backup and disaster recovery,
  • Archiving,
  • Physical space,
  • And more.

3.  Licensing

Depending on which state you live in, the laws regulating licensing are different. Most private cloud and Infrastructure as a Service providers have ways to reduce your cost with licensing.

Private cloud might not be a great fit for every organization, but my suggestion would be to do a little research, and investigate what options are available.  I honestly cannot think of many cons when moving to a private cloud.  The only one I can think of is cost.  Make sure to find a cloud system that fits your needs and is cost effective.  It should be cheaper to use a private cloud then to have the infrastructure in-house. If you have had reservations about placing your data in servers where the actual locations are not easily accessible, consider finding a local private cloud provider that will keep your data locally, and safe, while saving you thousands of dollars yearly.

Our schools in Pennsylvania have been slowly embracing the change. Through private cloud services, our districts have been able to share a robust infrastructure that encompasses MS Active Directory, Exchange, and Lync.  They have drastically reduced cost while obtaining a better maintained infrastructure with control over their information and experts at their fingertips.

To learn more about Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 Private Cloud Services click on the document below or contact Jessica Diller at jessica_diller@iu13.org.​​

Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 Private Cloud.pdf

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