But one thing is very clear: If your IT organization is not willing to make the full investment for whatever part of its data center is transitioned to a private cloud, it will not have a cloud that exhibits agile provisioning, elasticity and lower costs per application.
As part of the transition, you need to determine whether your staff has the experience and skills required for a private-cloud environment or whether you need to hire someone who has been involved in building private clouds.
How you get started depends on your existing infrastructure. If you already have server virtualization, you have a definite advantage over those who do not. Most important: Do not rush out and buy a ton of software from vendors, especially from a single vendor, without a plan in place.
Next time, in Part 2: Profiles of some private-cloud adopters and how they have approached the management issue.
Bill Claybrook is an analyst with more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, specializing in Linux, open source, virtualization and cloud computing. He is president of New River Marketing Research in Concord, Mass., and holds a Ph.D. in computer science. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.