IT departments must also establish financial transparency for cloud services they provide in order to get their customers to buy into it. These customers are unfamiliar with consumption-based billing. Traditionally, they pay for physical servers, but with a cloud can be billed per minute, per core, per megabyte, Boehme says.
That cost can vary within the cloud depending on various factors such as what environment the resource is deployed in and time of day. Customers, who are likely also familiar with public cloud services, may not understand why the prices may fluctuate since public cloud charges are always the same. "The agility and flexibility that drive big cost benefits [for the business as a whole] impact the ability to provide understandable information to customers," Boehme says.
Once a business is ready to use a private cloud, it has to pick the right applications to deploy there, says Jessica Carroll, managing director for IT at the U.S. Golf Association. For example, the USGA is planning an app that will support the organization's social media site, but it has no idea how much traffic it will get. That will be hosted in a private cloud that has been carved out of a public cloud provider's network. She would not name the provider but says it was chosen because it was small and its top engineers would be able to respond quickly at any hour of the day, she says.
If the application needs more processing or memory, it can added quickly.
In choosing a provider who'll create a private cloud within their cloud, Carroll recommends onsite visits to witness the features - servers, data center, generators, etc. - that insure the level of service required. "It is really worth the day trip. It makes it all real so you know everything in that contract actually exists because you've seen it," she says.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.