The bumpy road to private clouds

By Bill Claybrook, Computerworld |  On-demand Software, private cloud

Private Clouds: Pros and Cons. What kind of cloud computing are you planning or implementing?

* No clouds under consideration at this time: 53%

* Private cloud only: 18%

* A combination of public and private clouds: 17%

* Public cloud only: 12%

Base: 155 IT managers

What do you see as the advantages of private clouds over public clouds?

* 1. Better security/control

* 2. Self-service provisioning

* 3. Little or no learning curve for end users

* 4. Better or more-efficient scaling

Base: 54 respondents planning or implementing private clouds; multiple responses allowed.

What do you see as the drawbacks of private clouds compared to public clouds?

* 1. Having to build it all internally: time, cost, learning curve for IT

* 2. Scalability

* 3. Having to handle virtualization, automation and orchestration

Base: 54 respondents planning or implementing private clouds; multiple responses allowed.

What's the most challenging part of implementing a private cloud?

* 1. Software licensing/pricing issues

(tie) Finding tools to help us build our cloud

(tie) Ensuring economies of scale

* 4. Finding tools to help us manage our cloud

* 5. Making it all work together (interoperability)

(tie) Technology obsolescence

* 7. Lack of cloud standards

Base: 54 respondents planning or implementing private clouds; multiple responses allowed.

Source: Computerworld online survey, November 2010; Research assistance provided by Mari Keefe, editorial project manager.

This is what private clouds are all about: providing the on-demand elasticity of public clouds, but doing it within the company's firewall.

By the way, business users may expect private clouds to act like public clouds. In a public cloud, the public cloud provider's IT operations group is responsible for the computer infrastructure, and the customer's business application groups manage and monitor their own applications on the public cloud. If the private cloud is expected to operate in a similar manner, then the IT group may need to give up its traditional application-management role.

Getting Started

The first step down the path to a private cloud is to go beyond server virtualization. Iams outlines these subsequent steps:

• Virtualize your storage and try to achieve the same flexibility with storage that you already have with virtualized servers.

• Coordinate server virtualization and storage virtualization using management tools such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Azure Storage or VMware's vStorage.

• Virtualize your network infrastructure and, again, coordinate that with your management tools.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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