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The Next Generation of Private Clouds

The Public Cloud is a promise. A promise for a new model without an Information Technology department. 

Unlike the Public Cloud, the Private Cloud is nothing to write home about. Utility Computing disguised in modern and attractive name. 

Reality is not as simple as described in the paragraphs above. 

If you read the article Tectonic shift as Public Cloud giants acknowledge the private deployment options, you will discover that even Amazon and Google admit that Public Cloud is not a magical solution for all problems.

There is a necessity for Private Clouds. There are systems for which Public Cloud is not adequate. 

Private Cloud
It is relatively easy to define Public Cloud. There are various different definitions of Private Cloud. 
The main definitions could be categorized as follows:

1. Cloud which is located within the Enterprise boundaries. 
Utility Computing may fit to this definition. If the organization provides Information Technology services it may include Multi-Tenancy instances. For example, a Large Bank's Core Banking Systems, provides services to few small banks in addition to the Large Bank users. 

2. An external Cloud which provides services to a single Enterprise
The Cloud is outside the Organization's Data Centers. However, it serves only a single organization.
A Private Cloud defined as cited above, may realize  some of the advantages of Public Cloud, e.g.  less dependency on the IT Department and easier Provisioning.
It will not be cheap as a Multi-Tenant Public Cloud.

3. Vitalization and Elastic Provisioning
The advantages of Private Cloud defined as cited above are described by the definition. 
However, it is not clear what differentiate it from Virtualization and Elastic Provisioning, which has nothing to do with Clouds.

Current Generation
Whatever Private Cloud definition we prefer, Current Generation of Private Clouds is based upon Commodity Servers. Usually, the applications are lightweight and non-Core Business applications.

The term commodity in this context refers to Linux and Windows Operating Systems Servers. They may be deployed under VMware or other Hypervisors.
Next Generation
According to Forrester Consulting's paper titled: "Private Clouds Will Use Hybrid Infrastructure", Next Generation Private Clouds will not be based solely upon commodity Servers.

The paper was written in January 2013. It was sponsored by IBM. Forrester's survey population included 200 IT decisions-makers in organizations with 500+ employees in North-America, United Kingdom, Germany and Brazil.

Some of the Key Findings are:

1. Building a Private Cloud is a Priority of nearly half of all Enterprises.
This finding conforms with Google's and Amazon's views of the Private Cloud cited in the beginning of this post.
Even if the Public Cloud is "sexier" and better defined than the Private Cloud you can not ignore large number of enterprises building Private Clouds.

2. Cloud Management and Security are a must
Customers need Standardized Operation Procedures, Security and fully automated Management.

3. Efficiency and Price are important
Technically, Efficiency and lower costs imply Multi-Tenancy and maximum resources utilization.

4. Next Generation Cloud should be utilized Hybrid Platforms  
Forget about commodity servers only Clouds.
It is too early to think of The end of the Mainframe
67% of  survey respondents said access to Mainframe Data was critically important or very important in cloud environments.   
My Take
New Information Technology paradigms are not a one size fits all solutions. In my Service Oriented Presentations, since it was a buzz, I always included one or two slides describing the systems which were bad fit for SOA

Another slide described an Enterprise fully transformed to SOA. Few non-SOA systems were included in the slide (in different colour).

Public Cloud is an excellent solution for SMBs problems. However, as far as most Large Enterprises are concerned, for the coming years, Hybrid Clouds will be the appropriate solution.

Successful Cloud Computing deployment should be based upon deploying the right systems in the Public Cloud, the right systems in the Private Cloud and integrating them together as a unified Architecture.

Private Clouds will not be solely based upon Commodity Servers (Windows, Linux, VMware etc.).
Expect heterogeneous Private Clouds which will include multiple servers such as UNIX and Mainframes in addition to Windows and Linux.

I wonder if Next Generation Public Clouds will be solely Commodity Servers based. I suspect that they will not.  


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More Stories By Avi Rosenthal

Ari has over 30 years of experience in IT across a wide variety of technology platforms, including application development, technology selection, application and infrastructure strategies, system design, middleware and transaction management technologies and security.

Positions held include CTO for one of the largest software houses in Israel as well as the CTO position for one of the largest ministries of the Israeli government.