If you're one of the 24% prioritizing a private cloud, but just do not have the operational maturity to pull it off, here are a few recommendations to get ahead of the problem:
1..Set the right expectations with your executives. If the company is expecting a private cloud to be up and running in the next year, the infrastructure and operations team may have been sold up the river. Implementing a private cloud isn't as simple as the vendors say, and simply saying the virtual server environment is a private cloud probably won't fit the bill either.
2..Standardize and automate the virtual environment. Without aggressively pursuing these steps, the bottom line is private cloud desires simply won't be met. It's time to find out whos holding back this effort and why. We've found that virtual environment administrators are often trying to protect their jobs and consequently don't share their knowledge. These workers need to be shown a path of career advancement as they move to a higher value role in private cloud operations. For example, they can improve the use of the virtual environment and managing the pool, not the individual VMs.
3..Realize a self-service portal doesn't mean loss of control. There should be an approval workflow between the request and the deployment. But, once the approval has been received, the deployment should just happen if capacity is available. This may not provide the 15 minute timelines that developers are accustomed to with public clouds solutions, but it greatly improves the experience with I&O.
4..Seek a hosted cloud provider if it's too soon to automate and empower. If it's a struggle to standardize and automate virtualized infrastructure, or there's reluctance to empower developers, you simply aren't ready to build or operate a private cloud yourself. If this is the case, refocus efforts on a service provider who can offer a hosted private cloud solution.
5..Map workloads to the appropriate private and public cloud options. It's important not to think that building a private cloud will suddenly squash a company's interest in public clouds. That's because the elasticity, scale, and economics are superior in public cloud offerings. My advice: don't fight it. Embrace public clouds as part of the strategy and draw lines of distinction between what is best for the public cloud and what should remain in-house. Force-fitting every workload into a private cloud, no matter how capable the solution is, will ultimately be a disservice.
James Staten is Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, serving infrastructure and operations professionals. He will be speaking at Forrester's Enterprise Architecture Forum, February 17-18 in San Francisco.
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