Story image

Private cloud does not exist

28 Nov 2013

Private cloud does not exist. At least, not in the sense that they are somehow related to true cloud computing offerings.

I know they’re there in the NIST definition of cloud computing as a deployment model. It’s certainly a term that gets thrown around meeting rooms as though it were a real thing. But if we’re honest, it’s not.

It’s the deluded labelling of on-premise virtualised environments to help vendors or IT departments pretend they’re embracing cloud.

Why do I say this? Well, it’s because “private clouds” don’t give organisations the benefits they should expect from cloud computing.

Whilst there’s a number of aspects to the benefits organisations can expect from true cloud computing, and it does vary, the things people are typically expecting are things like: agility, converting capex to opex, paying for what they use, unrestricted scaling, increased security, high availability, and freeing themselves from managing infrastructure and applications.

The simple litmus test I use to test “is it cloud?” is something from George Reese. In his book Cloud Application Architectures he asks the following simple questions to test if something is cloud:

* The service is accessible via a web browser or web services API.

* Zero capital expenditure is required to get started.

* You pay only for what you use as you use it.

* If you aren’t getting a relatively straightforward “yes” – then it’s not cloud. It’s really that simple.

And that’s where your private cloud dreams start to fall apart. Private clouds require capital expenditure to get started – lots of it. Hardware, data-centre space etc.

If you decide to stop using it – you’re going to keep paying for it – at least until you start firing your IT staff and selling old servers on TradeMe. You’re also unlikely to be seeing increases in other non-functional areas such as security and high availability.

Don’t get me wrong – the activities behind many organisations efforts to realise the “private cloud” are useful. Virtualising your environments will give you efficiency.

Understanding how your services/applications are consumed internally and how you might “charge” for them internally in utility-style model is going to be useful.

Giving IT teams a greater level of self-service will improve your agility. But it ain’t cloud. Not even close.

By James Valentine - Chief Technology Officer, Fronde

Does private cloud exist? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below

Protecting data centres from fire – your options
Chubb's Pierre Thorne discusses the countless potential implications of a data centre outage, and how to avoid them.
Opinion: How SD-WAN changes the game for 5G networks
5G/SD-WAN mobile edge computing and network slicing will enable and drive innovative NFV services, according to Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks
TYAN unveils new inference-optimised GPU platforms with NVIDIA T4 accelerators
“TYAN servers with NVIDIA T4 GPUs are designed to excel at all accelerated workloads, including machine learning, deep learning, and virtual desktops.”
AMD delivers data center grunt for Google's new game streaming platform
'By combining our gaming DNA and data center technology leadership with a long-standing commitment to open platforms, AMD provides unique technologies and expertise to enable world-class cloud gaming experiences."
Inspur announces AI edge computing server with NVIDIA GPUs
“The dynamic nature and rapid expansion of AI workloads require an adaptive and optimised set of hardware, software and services for developers to utilise as they build their own solutions."
Norwegian aluminium manufacturer hit hard by LockerGoga ransomware attack
“IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible.”
HPE launches 'right mix' hybrid cloud assessment tool
HPE has launched an ‘industry-first assessment software’ to help businesses work out the right mix of hybrid cloud for their needs.
ADLINK and Charles announce multi-access pole-mounted edge AI solution
The new solution is a compact low profile pole or wall mountable unit based on an integration of ADLINK’s latest AI Edge Server MECS-7210 and Charles’ SC102 Micro Edge Enclosure.