A private cloud appliance is a hardware device that provides software-defined converged infrastructure for an organization’s proprietary network.
Private cloud delivers similar advantages to the public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture and for a single organization. Organizations choose to operate their own private clouds for a number of reasons, such as information security concerns or special networking requirements. Private cloud appliances offer a simpler alternative to in-house development of cloud infrastructure from separate elements.
Depending on the requirements of the organization, the appliance may provide converged or hyper-converged infrastructure. Hyper-converged appliances integrate compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources, coordinated through a software-centric architecture, in a single commodity hardware box. Essentially, the difference between the two is that converged infrastructure does not include virtualization software.
Vendors of private cloud appliances include Oracle, Cisco and Nebula.