Putting an unresponsive production infrastructure behind an agile development environment may end up investing in a development cloud that ends up unused. Even worse, this scenario can hold the potential for stranded investment, as expensive production environments lie fallow while applications are deployed into public clouds that support low friction interaction.
Overall, organizations looking to deploy private clouds should thoroughly understand what they're signing up for. A development cloud is an appropriate start, but is not sufficient for a long-term plan. It's inevitable that a development cloud will be the first step toward implementing a larger production environment capable of supporting self-service, elastic provisioning, and agile operations fully committed to cloud computing characteristics. Anything less will, in the end, fall short.
Bernard Golden is CEO of consulting firm HyperStratus, which specializes in virtualization, cloud computing and related issues. He is also the author of "Virtualization for Dummies," the best-selling book on virtualization to date.