6 Reasons Private Clouds Aren't Dead Yet - InformationWeek

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Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
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6 Reasons Private Clouds Aren't Dead Yet

Public cloud use is growing fast, but there are still plenty of reasons to adopt a private cloud. Product development, agility, optimization of resources, and cost containment are among them.
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(Image: gui jun peng/Shutterstock)

(Image: gui jun peng/Shutterstock)

The Cisco Global Cloud Index says that 68% of enterprise workloads will be executed in the public cloud by the end of 2020. Another 24% will be executed in private cloud infrastructure, bringing the total for cloud computing to 92%.

So, why don't all those users of the public cloud simply become the standard and everyone else move in that direction? It's hard enough to see why the traditional data center is still hanging around at 8% of the total by the end of 2020.

Why does it need to survive at all, and why will private cloud infrastructure be hanging on then as well? Why not realize maximum gains by moving everything into the public cloud? Aren't the largest economies of scale be achieved there?

[Considering Hadoop? Read Hadoop Pros and Cons for Enterprise Users.]

Part of the answer is that even public cloud providers understand some customers have reasons to keep a portion of their compute load off multi-tenant public cloud servers. Also, some customers have large applications where any form of latency is an issue, and they want their workload to run unimpeded by others on a bare metal server.

As a result, service providers offer the option of private cloud servers, accessible only through a virtual private network or over a private line.

But there are other reasons private clouds are necessary or desirable, which we'll explore in the following pages. The private cloud isn't necessarily a laggard, a dinosaur waiting for its day of extinction, post legacy data centers. In many cases, it's a more specialized beast, designed to fulfill specific purposes that can't be easily met in the public cloud.

If a task is mission-critical to the company, the resources devoted to it are frequently of a higher order, needing bigger servers, top-of-rack switches, and more instrumented monitoring than offered by the general purpose public cloud.

Remember, service provider AWS is building a cloud for the CIA, rather than putting the CIA in the public cloud.

The CIA needs a private cloud. Here's a look at why you may too. 

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
1/6/2017 | 4:32:45 PM
Disagree almost completely
If you look at the definition of public and private clould, your CIA example is a VERY narrow niche; and the bleeding edge hardware example would most likeloy be outside the definition of a private or public cloud as this would more likly be a purpose built environment outside the definition (e.g. dedicated massive scale HPC).

The fact is that the security, resilency, redunancy, and flexibility of the major publiuc cloud providers well exceed the majority of forture 500 datacenters (and have all of the data and certifications to back up that claim); perhaps this is the reason why so many have moved, or are in the process of moving 80% to 100% of their enterprise footprint to the public cloud. This is also why organizations like Salesforce and Workday, both that contain highly sensitive data, are in the public cloud.

As for the new products use case, the public cloud would be more cost effective and more nimble in EVERY case; especially considering that you must maintain, and pay-for, excess capacity that allows for the quick provisioning of the required compute. Further, if you only need a single server there is simple no way to compete with public cloud products like AWS Lightsail. 

Private cloud use in the enterprise (outside the narrow CIA use-case) is, at best, a bridge to fill in the GAP during the move to the Public Cloud.  As for privacy and security concerns; this is the domain of misconceptions and the uninformed.

Corporate data-centers and private clouds = "Buggy Whips"

User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2016 | 6:32:05 AM
Re: Private cloud equal quicker time to market, not lower costs
Private cloud can't die one day, cause it's just defferent marketing niche. It's like "beefsteaks will disappear because everybody will eat hamburgers and pizza". You will always have clients there.
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
11/23/2016 | 2:35:27 PM
Private cloud equal quicker time to market, not lower costs
Private cloud is knocked as having cloud-like characteristics but never achieving the public cloud's economies of scale. To a large extent, that's correct. But there are other reasons than just cost to build out a private cloud, including quick provisioning of resources for development teams and new products. On the private cloud side, it's a trade-off between costs and getting a more flexible set of resources.
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2016 | 7:29:51 AM
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