The private cloud has many advantages over its public model counterpart. While these solutions are more CapEx intensive and complex than public, they offer a more long-term and transformative ability for IT to both drive and support businesses.

While many organizations are faced with making a decision between private or public, shifting business applications that are server-based to an entirely new platform could be a challenge. However, the private cloud remains a significantly more secure and trustworthy option than public clouds.

According to a TechTarget e-guide, titled "Best Practices for Approaching a Private Cloud," a recent survey found that 60 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses reported having partial private cloud infrastructure in place, compared to a similar 2010 study where nearly two-thirds of SMBs had no ambitions to adopt a private platform.

These two studies highlight the growing interest in private cloud solutions, but still, many organizations lack overall knowledge regarding the benefits and offerings of this technology.

Associated risks
Just like any cloud computing solution, there are some risks and obstacles associated with the private cloud. Many organizations lack the necessary funds to invest in a private cloud system, especially at a time when IT spending is limited. Additionally, application delivery in the cloud can be technically difficult for IT departments.

"Merging cloud and in-house processes is rarely simple, and some work is necessary to enable the kind of automation and orchestration features that make private cloud something special," noted TechTarget. "IT shops will probably need to turn to cloud-oriented, third-party tools."

Fortunately, there are IaaS cloud service providers that can help reduce the complexity of private cloud deployments. Firms such as PeakColo offer enterprise-class IaaS cloud services where businesses can white-label PeakColo's services as their own, which requires less of an investment and fewer complexities, while paving the way for faster profitability.

Private cloud's place in the market
Some tech experts say a hybrid model may be the best investment for businesses since it offers a taste of both the public and private arenas, according to Network World. While this may hold true for a number of companies, the reality of managing the flow of data between two different cloud systems is an arduous task to say the least, especially since hybrid platforms are still immature. Until hybrid options evolve, the majority of IT professionals and vendors will continue to focus on private cloud offerings, which can be seen by Dell's DIY in-house clouds and IBM's updated Tivoli software with VMware capabilities.

Laying the foundation for private cloud
As TechTarget describes it, the private cloud is basically a step up from virtualization that provides the foundation for achieving reduced costs and efficiencies. Additionally, virtualization lays the groundwork for automation, which refers to systems management that encompass deployment, patching and monitoring of both physical devices and virtual infrastructure. Automation is essential for rapid provisioning and deployment, and serves as one of the main pillars for IaaS cloud platforms.

With the private cloud market rapidly changing, businesses must consider their options carefully, according to Bernard Golden, CEO of cloud computing consulting firm HyperStratus.

"Private cloud is a long-term bet and CEOs have to look closely at what they're trading off by going with leading vendors with pricier products or smaller vendors that may have better technology, but it's unknown if they'll be a solid rock player," said Golden.