Many people new to cloud computing get a little confused with terms. I know, I know. Between virtual private clouds, hybrids, public clouds and a variety of other cloud computing terms, the definitions can get a little fuzzy. I hope this post about the difference between a private cloud and a data center will clear things up a little bit.
A private cloud is any cloud you operate that can only be accessed by persons with the proper security authorization. It is not a public cloud.
A data center, on the other hand, is a physical location where your computing hardware components are located.
A private cloud can be hosted on your own computers or on the computers that are located some place else. A data center consists of all the computers and hardware at one location. They can be owned by the same person or a variety of persons. They may be managed by one person or company and owned by another. The data center computers could host a single private cloud, several private clouds, a few private and a few public clouds or all public clouds. In a word, the data center is the hardware on which your clouds are hosted.
It should go without saying that a data center and a private cloud are not the same thing, though your private cloud can be hosted on a data center.