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Best Private Cloud Providers Shortlist

Below are the 12 private cloud providers I'll discuss in this article and their unique selling points:

  1. VMWare - Best for virtualization and management solutions
  2. Red Hat - Best open-source cloud platform for flexibility and customization
  3. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) – Best for multi-cloud hosting
  4. Dell Technologies - Best for simplified management and end-to-end solutions
  5. Google Cloud - Best for machine learning and AI capabilities
  6. Microsoft Azure Stack - Best for a comprehensive range of cloud services
  7. Amazon Web Services (AWS) - Best for extensive scalability and global reach.
  8. IBM Cloud Satellite - robust security features and enterprise-grade infrastructure
  9. OpenStack - Best open-source solution for medium to large businesses
  10. Oracle - Best for a comprehensive suite of cloud services
  11. Cisco - Best for analytics and monitoring
  12. Citrix - Best secure application and desktop virtualization solutions

You can run into challenges as you search for the best private cloud providers, including uncertainties about requirements, security concerns, and potential vendor lock-in. I aim to provide practical solutions by guiding you in defining your needs and considering factors like performance, scalability, cost, and support.

By offering this guidance, my goal is to empower you to make informed decisions and find the ideal private cloud provider that meets your specific requirements.

What Is a Private Cloud Provider?

A private cloud is a remote server hosted in a data center, which is only accessible to selected users over the internet or a private internal network. This starkly contrasts with a public cloud, which is accessible to the public.

Private clouds are managed by private cloud providers, who are responsible for deployment, maintenance, and updates. They work behind the scenes to ensure the private cloud is accessible, customizable, secure, and compliant with industry and regional standards — particularly those related to data privacy.

Overviews of the 12 Best Private Cloud Providers

Here are the 12 best private cloud providers on the market today. Discover why I chose each provider and learn about their unique features, integrations, and pricing plans.

1. VMware - Best for virtualization and management solutions

VMware vSphere's web client allows you to monitor your private cloud
VMware lets you track virtual networking across multiple hosts and clusters from a centralized interface. (Source)

VMware is a trusted private cloud provider offering industry-leading virtualization and management solutions.

Why I picked VMware: I chose VMware because the company has a long track record of providing quality private cloud solutions to leading tech companies. If you already use products from a VMware-partnered company — or you intend to in the future — then you can set up virtualization on your preferred platform under the VMware foundation.

VMware Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include VMware Cloud Foundation, which lets me deploy computing, networks, storage, and container services on one platform. There's also the VMware Aria platform, which helps unify ‌applications, infrastructure, and services across all hybrid and private clouds.

VMware offers native integrations with its vRealize Suite Cloud Management Platform for managing hybrid and public clouds and the Cloud Foundation for managing virtual machines (VMs) and container workloads.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial: Depends on the partner

Pros

  • Application modernization and virtualization in any cloud environment
  • Unified hybrid and private cloud management through VMware Aria
  • Strong partner integration

Cons

  • Pricing and support depend on the partner
  • Complex setup process

2. Red Hat - Best open-source cloud platform for flexibility and customization

Private cloud provider Red Hat's Hybrid Cloud ConsoleAlt tag: Creating a dedicated cluster with Red Hat, a private cloud provider
Creating a Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated cluster in the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console. (Source)

Red Hat is a private cloud provider that offers a comprehensive set of solutions based on open-source technologies. These solutions use container technology, especially Kubernetes, to deploy and manage applications in private cloud deployments.

Why I picked Red Hat: I opted for Red Hat because of their open-source cloud platform, which provides the flexibility and customization I require for my private cloud. For example, if certain integrations aren’t available, I can use the open APIs to add them.

Red Hat Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include an open-source approach and containerization capabilities that allow me to deploy web apps quickly. These features‌ position Red Hat as one of the best options for businesses that need a flexible open-source private cloud provider.

Integrations include native integrations through the Red Hat Integration platform. Red Hat also supports integration with external systems through APIs and pre-built connectors.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial: 60-day free trial

Pros

  • Strong community support and active development
  • High scalability and ability to handle large workloads
  • Integration with Red Hat's ecosystem of products and services

Cons

  • Complexity in managing heterogeneous environments
  • Limited integration with proprietary software

3. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) GreenLake - Best for multi-cloud hosting

A list of various private cloud services available on HPE Greenlake
HPE GreenLake offers multiple edge-to-cloud services. (Source)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) GreenLake is a prominent private cloud provider that offers solutions for businesses looking for secure and scalable private cloud environments.

Why I picked HPE: HPE stood out to me because of its expertise in multi-cloud hosting and enterprise-grade support. Its ability to integrate private and public clouds allows me to leverage the benefits of both worlds. With HPE, I have confidence in reliable support and services tailored to meet the demanding needs of my enterprise.

HPE Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include hybrid cloud capabilities, composable infrastructure that can adjust to suit my business requirements, and comprehensive support services. These features enable businesses to effectively manage their infrastructure across public and private cloud environments.

Integrations include integration capabilities through their partner ecosystem. It also offers pre-built integrations with leading software vendors.

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go

Trial: 30-day free trial

Pros

  • High-performance computing capabilities
  • Advanced security features and compliance support
  • Strong support and professional services offerings

Cons

  • Limited scalability options compared to cloud-native providers
  • Less emphasis on AI and advanced analytics

4. ‌Dell Technologies Apex - Best for simplified management and end-to-end solutions

Private cloud provider Dell's APEX Cloud Service's workload examples
Dell Technologies Apex offers cloud services for all your essential workloads. (Source)

Dell Technologies Apex is a reputable cloud provider that offers a range of hardware and software solutions specifically designed for private cloud deployments.

Why I picked Dell: The reason I chose Dell Technologies as one of the best private cloud providers is its focus on simplified management tools and software to streamline the deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of private clouds. It also offers an easy way to manage my cloud, which lets me focus on business operations.

Dell Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include an intuitive and user-friendly interface that helps me implement and operate private cloud environments. It provides more than a streamlined management experience but also automated workflows and robust security features like data encryption, access control, and threat detection mechanisms. These features enable businesses to focus on their core operations while maximizing efficiency.

Integrations are pre-built with popular third-party software like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle, facilitating efficient data flow and interoperability.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial: Free demo available

Pros

  • Flexible and scalable infrastructure options
  • Robust security features and compliance support
  • Strong customer support and professional services

Cons

  • Limited scalability options compared to cloud-native providers
  • Less emphasis on AI and advanced analytics

5. Google Cloud - Best for machine learning and AI capabilities

Private cloud provider Google's Cloud dashboard allows you to manage its Kubernetes Engine
Manage a Google Kubernetes Engine from Google Cloud. (Source)

Google Cloud is a private cloud provider that offers a range of services and solutions designed to empower businesses with scalable, secure environments. As a provider, Google Cloud focuses on advanced cloud technologies, data analytics capabilities, and global infrastructure.

Why I picked Google Cloud: I chose Google Cloud because its powerful tools enable me to unlock the full potential of my data, automate processes, and develop advanced AI-driven applications. With cutting-edge machine learning and AI capabilities, Google Cloud is the perfect fit for businesses seeking innovation and data-driven insights.

Google Cloud Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include its advanced AI and machine learning capabilities that empowers me to build intelligent applications and make data-driven decisions. It also offers an extensive set of cloud services and tools, including BigQuery for analytics and Cloud Storage for data storage.

Integrations are native with several Google services, including Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Google Analytics, and Google BigQuery.

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go pricing model

Trial: Free plan available

Pros

  • Advanced big data and machine learning capabilities
  • Global network infrastructure
  • Strong security features

Cons

  • Documentation can be challenging
  • Support response time can vary

6. Microsoft Azure - Best for a comprehensive range of cloud services

Analyze your log data with private cloud provider Azure's Machine Learning Dashboards
Analyze your log data on Azure ML Workspace. (Source)

Microsoft Azure offers a comprehensive suite of cloud services, including infrastructure, databases, analytics, and more. Azure allows businesses to use Microsoft technology for their own private cloud without managing the technology themselves.

Why I picked Microsoft Azure: As someone heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, I naturally gravitated towards Microsoft Azure. The efficient integration with existing Microsoft products makes it quite convenient to build and manage my private cloud. Plus, Azure's extensive suite of services provides everything I need, from robust infrastructure to advanced analytics, under one roof.

Azure Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include Azure portal that allows me to view and manage all of my applications in one unified hub. It also automatically calculates charges for existing and projected costs, so you can create forecasts and plan accordingly.

Integrations include a comprehensive set of native integrations with various Microsoft services, such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform.

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go

Trial: 30-day free trial

Pros

  • Wide range of services and integrations
  • Strong enterprise focus
  • Hybrid cloud capabilities

Cons

  • It can be overwhelming due to the vast array of options
  • Customer support can be variable

7. Amazon Web Services (AWS) - Best for extensive scalability and global reach

Private cloud provider AWS console interface showing different data
AWS provides a reliable infrastructure for your business. (Source)

AWS is a private cloud provider that lets organizations quickly scale their private cloud resources to meet changing business needs.

Why I picked AWS: AWS stood out to me because of its unparalleled scalability and global reach. Whether I need to rapidly expand my resources or serve customers across different regions, AWS offers the flexibility and infrastructure to support my business. The ability to scale up or down based on demand is crucial in today's dynamic landscape.

AWS Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include its extensive scalability which provides me with the resources I need to scale my private cloud infrastructure in multiple regions worldwide. These features contribute to AWS' reputation as a leading private cloud provider trusted by businesses of all sizes.

Integrations include a vast ecosystem with various services, both native and pre-built. AWS provides integration options through the AWS Marketplace, which offers multiple third-party solutions.

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go pricing model

Trial: Free plan available

Pros

  • Highly secure and robust infrastructure
  • Extensive cloud service portfolio
  • Strong community and support

Cons

  • Pricing can be complex for beginners
  • Steep learning curve for some advanced services

8. IBM Cloud Satellite - Robust security features and enterprise-grade infrastructure

IBM's Cloud Satellite building and deploying applications
Build securely from anywhere in the world with IBM Cloud Satellite. (Source)

IBM Cloud Satellite is designed to deliver high performance and scalability, enabling businesses to meet their private cloud requirements effectively.

Why I picked IBM Cloud Satellite: I opted for IBM Cloud due to its robust security features and enterprise-grade infrastructure. Security is a top priority for me, and IBM Cloud's advanced encryption, identity management, and regulatory compliance measures give me peace of mind. Moreover, their enterprise-grade infrastructure guarantees that ‌critical workloads run smoothly and reliably.

IBM Cloud Satellite Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include its flexible infrastructure options which lets me use compute infrastructure from other providers like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud as IBM Satellite locations. Its vast data centers also lets me securely build and deploy applications from anywhere in the world.

Integrations are pre-built for IBM Watson services, IBM Cloud Functions (serverless computing), and popular third-party tools.

Pricing: $60/instance/month

Trial: 30-day free trial

Pros

  • High-performance computing options and scalable infrastructure
  • Robust management and automation capabilities
  • Integration with IBM's broader portfolio of software and services

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited support for non-IBM technologies and platforms

9. OpenStack - Best open-source solution for medium to large businesses

Private cloud provider OpenStack managing multiple compute instances
Launch and manage multiple compute instances with OpenStack. (Source)

OpenStack is an open-source private cloud platform that enables businesses to build and manage their private cloud environments. As a private cloud provider, OpenStack focuses on providing a flexible and customizable solution that gives businesses complete control over their cloud infrastructure.

Why I picked OpenStack: I picked OpenStack for its modular architecture, which enables businesses to select and integrate the components that best fit their needs. This flexibility allows for scalability and adaptability, as businesses can add or remove components as their private cloud environment evolves.

OpenStack Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include its modular architecture, which enables me to select and integrate the components that best fit my business needs. It offers interoperability and compatibility with other cloud providers and technology across public and private cloud environments.

Integrations are pre-built for popular hypervisors like KVM, VMware, and Hyper-V. It also integrates with storage systems like Ceph and Swift and with networking technologies like Neutron.

Pricing: Pricing unavailable

Trial: Free plan available

Pros

  • Large and active community support
  • Scalable and highly customizable infrastructure
  • Cost-effective compared to proprietary solutions

Cons

  • Requires advanced technical expertise for setup and management
  • Limited vendor support and professional services offerings

10. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Best for a comprehensive suite of cloud services

Private cloud provider Oracle's Cloud Infrastructure dashboard showing the quick actions list
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure lets you manage your cloud infrastructure. (Source)

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers private cloud services for businesses in complex environments. These services include high-performance computing, dedicated resources, and advanced networking.

Why I picked Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: I selected OCI because its comprehensive suite of cloud services caters perfectly to the diverse needs of my business. OCI has everything I need for cloud infrastructure, database management, and developer tools, so I can improve operations and efficiency.

OCI Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include advanced networking capabilities like virtual cloud networks and load balancing, ensuring optimal performance and high availability. It also provides comprehensive security features, such as built-in DDoS protection and identity and access management, to safeguard data and resources.

Integrations include native integrations with Oracle applications and services, such as Oracle Database, Oracle Integration Cloud, and Oracle Identity and Access Management.

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go pricing model

Trial: 30-day free trial

Pros

  • A comprehensive suite of cloud-based services
  • Strong security and compliance features
  • Integration with Oracle technologies

Cons

  • May be costly compared to some other cloud-based solutions
  • Learning curve for developers who need to become more familiar with Oracle technologies

11. Cisco - Best for analytics and monitoring

Private cloud provider Cisco Workload Optimization Manager showing potential savings
Improve utilization with Cisco Workload Optimization Manager. (Source)

Cisco is a leading private cloud provider with comprehensive solutions and advanced capabilities. It helps businesses build, manage, and optimize their private cloud environments. This gives businesses efficient operations and enhanced security.

Why I picked Cisco: I picked Cisco because its private cloud solution offers exceptional analytics and monitoring capabilities. I also like that Cisco shows me real-time data about my cloud environment, which has helped me improve utilization and find ways to reduce costs.

Cisco Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), which combines computing, networking, and storage resources into a single, cohesive platform. It offers hybrid cloud capabilities and a network-centric approach through Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Cisco Software-Defined Networking (SDN), enabling agile and automated network provisioning, improving flexibility and scalability.

Integrations include popular enterprise applications and systems. These include CRM platforms, collaboration tools, and network management software. It also provides pre-built integrations with leading cloud service providers, such as AWS and Azure.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial: 45-day free trial

Pros

  • Strong network performance and reliability
  • Robust security features
  • Comprehensive portfolio of networking and infrastructure solutions

Cons

  • Steep learning curve for complex configurations
  • Limited support for non-Cisco hardware in some cases

12. Citrix - Best secure application and desktop virtualization solutions

Private cloud provider Citrix's Endpoint Management dashboard showing metrics like installed apps and devices by platform
Manage applications and devices with Citrix. (Source)

Citrix is a private cloud provider that enables organizations to streamline application management and improve user experience within their private cloud deployments.

Why I picked Citrix: I chose Citrix because of its secure application and desktop virtualization solutions. Citrix lets me securely deliver applications and data securely to any device or location. It gives me complete peace of mind knowing that my applications and data are protected while being easily accessible to my users.

Citrix Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include its focus on performance optimization to ensure smooth and efficient access to applications, enhancing productivity for remote and mobile workforces. Citrix's strong emphasis on security, including access control, data encryption, and threat detection, made me include it here as a good choice for businesses with strict security requirements.

Integrations come pre-built with collaboration tools, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions like Citrix Hypervisor and VMware Horizon, and identity management systems like Okta and Microsoft Active Directory.

Pricing: From $10/user/month

Trial: 7-day free trial

Pros

  • Optimization tools for networking and performance
  • Collaboration features for enhanced productivity
  • Focus on security and data protection

Cons

  • Limited customization options
  • Difficulty managing complex environments

Other Options

Below is a list of more private cloud providers that could benefit your business:

  1. BMC Software - Best for streamlined IT operations
  2. SAP HANA Cloud - Best for enterprise resource planning
  3. NetApp - Best for private cloud based storage
  4. Rackspace- Best for generative AI
  5. Trigma - Best customizable private cloud solutions

You can also check out my list of overall best cloud service providers, multi-cloud providers, and hybrid cloud options.

Selection Criteria For Private Cloud Providers

In developing my list of the best private cloud providers, I used a meticulous evaluation process based on several criteria, including:

Core Functionality

The core functionality of each private cloud provider was of the utmost importance to me. Here are some factors I considered:

I looked for platforms that enable you to:

  • Host and manage your applications
  • Customize the infrastructure to meet your needs
  • Integrate data and services from other sources
  • Monitor performance metrics in one location
  • Achieve high levels of performance and reliability

Key Features

I delved into the key features offered by each private cloud provider to identify their unique selling points. Some of those features include:

  • Scalability: Private cloud providers should offer scalable infrastructure that can easily accommodate varying workload demands.
  • Metering software: This helps organizations gain insights into their cloud resource consumption and optimize resource allocation.
  • Resource and workload manager: This enables businesses to efficiently allocate and manage their cloud resources.
  • Compliance: Private cloud providers have to offer robust security measures like access controls, data encryption, and auditing capabilities to ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Self-service portal: The best private cloud providers offer self-service portals that let users efficiently manage their infrastructure and provision resources as needed.

Usability

I scrutinized the ease of deploying, managing, and using the private cloud solutions offered by each provider. I assessed intuitive interfaces, comprehensive documentation, and user-friendly management tools. Providers that made it easy for businesses to adopt and manage their private cloud solutions were given extra consideration.

Cost-Effectiveness

I examined pricing models, including subscription plans, pay-as-you-go options, and additional costs associated with resources and services. I also considered factors such as the provider's pricing transparency, cost optimization features, and the ability to scale resources efficiently. I favored providers that offered competitive pricing structures without compromising on the quality of their offerings.

People Also Ask

In this section, I address some common questions about private cloud providers:

Choosing the Right Private Cloud Provider

A private cloud gives your business greater control and flexibility over your cloud services, infrastructure, and resources. It lets you shape your cloud environment exactly how you want so you can respond to changing workloads and stay on top of security and privacy concerns. There are endless cloud resources to learn more.

With my list of the best private cloud providers, you're equipped to make an informed decision about which one is right for your business. Subscribe to The CTO Club newsletter to stay updated on the latest insights to help you build SaaS teams and systems that scale.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.