Cloud Ave: Private Cloud Silliness

InsightaaS: InsightaaS: Cloud Ave. is a site that examines cloud through both a technology and a business lens. Generally, we find its perspectives to be well-informed, though today’s example starts with a conclusion – “it seems likely that public cloud will eventually supplant both private cloud and hybrid cloud deployments” – that is at odds with both current research (for example, this post and associated whitepaper!), and conventional wisdom, and continues with a difficult-to-explain decision to emphasize the notion that “Amazon’s cloud might be bigger” than a corporate private cloud (there’s no “might” about this, no matter how large your corporation and its cloud might be!).

We decided to highlight the post in spite of the poorly-conceived introduction and the author’s ‘loose’ understanding of scale because the piece itself sheds light on private clouds, and on the fact that as they get more common, the user will see little difference between public and private delivery models, and IT will need to mirror the practices and concerns of public cloud providers. Left unaddressed by the author is the idea that IT will eventually see hybrid as a way of connecting internal demand and available skills and the economies/efficiencies of public resources. Overall, the piece provides a useful reminder: not all of what we read on the Internet, even from trusted sources like Cloud Ave, is accurate or complete – but much of it can help illustrate important issues, if we are discerning enough in our reading to separate the useful bits from the errata. 

Private clouds are real. It’s well past time to grow up and accept this.

Not every IT workload is most logically run in a cloud, now or in the future. But, for those workloads where cloud is advantageous, it seems likely that public cloud will eventually supplant both private cloud and hybrid cloud deployments. Public clouds are getting cheaper, they are addressing legacy regulatory hurdles, and they are increasingly meeting every valid concern that IT buyers and users might have about entrusting mission critical cloud workloads to them.

However, in 2014, there are still workloads or situations which are suited to a cloud-like treatment but more suited to a private or hybrid cloud deployment than to a public cloud. This may be because of the sometimes prohibitive cost of running steady workloads for long periods of time in a public cloud. It may be because of existing investment in hardware, data centres or people. It may be because of some as-yet unresolved legal, compliance or regulatory hurdle. It may simply be because of fear of change. Or there may be some other reason.

IT suppliers know this, and there’s an unhealthy flood of ‘private cloud’ solutions on the market, many (most?) of which are simply last year’s product with a new name and a cloudy logo…

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