Monday, January 31, 2011

Private Cloud is Not Just Infrastructure

I understand the push for Private Clouds. Major technologies incubate inside IT shops before they're moved to hosting providers and outsourcers. So it's no surprise to gain traction cloud needed it's internal equivalent and hence Private Cloud. The cynical side of me also recognizes that Private Cloud kowtows to the security wonks who see their jobs as preventing rather than enabling interactions. It also recognizes that no CIO wants to go to the CEO and explain the past several years investment in data centers now needs to be divested as everything moves to the cloud. As leaders continue to learn about the economics of public cloud and how they cannot, simply cannot be replicated in a Private Cloud, they've now started to reply "Hey, when I said Private Cloud I didn't mean it had to be in my data center. It could be outsourced." I understand it's hard to hit a moving target.

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that private cloud, like any cloud, is half infrastructure virtualization and process automation, and half application virtualization and process automation. A cloud does not exist with only one part. Yet reviewing the private cloud offerings of several software vendors such as VMWare and VCE show their definition is woefully short of a full cloud.

What about application service provisioning? What about the service discovery? What about service level management? What about session availability and continuity? None of these topics are covered by private cloud software vendors.

Where there is value, but it's more that "Private Cloud nesting underneath Public Cloud" flavor are the Private Cloud solution providers (CSC, Amazon ,etc.). They offer an entire stack, PaaS sitting on IaaS, on which one can deploy a private cloud.

A private cloud that only includes infrastructure is not private cloud; it's highly virtualized infrastructure. And sometimes it's not even highly virtualized...

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