Private Cloud: A Case of Like-For-Like

Many of the criticisms and concerns linked with cloud computing are currently levelled at public cloud providers. In the majority of cases, the primary point of contention lies in the perceived security risks of hosting an organisation’s most sensitive data outside the confines of the corporate firewall.


Keeping it in the family…


Anxieties associated with the safekeeping of a company’s “crown jewels” are somewhat understandable. Cloud is still a relatively new concept and decision-makers are under pressure to make sense of the hype which surrounds it. Considering the burden of such responsibility, it is arguably unsurprising when those in possession of a firm’s IT wallet make cautious judgements based on a strong element of fear rather than progressive, transformative thinking.


In the world of cloud computing, a conservative mind-set will frequently result in the deployment of private cloud environments (or, at most, a limited hybrid effort) – essentially an elaborate form of ring-fencing. This decision is ultimately a compromise: a concession that the cloud model is favourable but also a clear declaration that faith in the concept and its immense potential, is limited.


Perhaps faith is not the appropriate word. A lack of understanding? It seems ridiculous to assert that a group of people as bright as the average CTO could fail to grasp the greater possibilities of cloud – true cloud, with all of its scalability, flexibility and related business benefits.


Meet the new boss, same as the old…


It seems – as with most things in life – that scaremongering has temporarily won the day, bringing about a scenario where enterprises have moved from buying and building their own physical IT environments to embracing a private cloud model; an approach that fundamentally equates to retaining the status quo.


One of the most compelling arguments for cloud adoption is the array of short, low commitment contract options that are available: 2 hours, 3 days, 1 week and so on. In tandem with this point is the idea that cloud is intended to facilitate asset free, on-demand computing which removes risk of ownership. Furthermore, thanks to ease-of-deployment, organisations should profit from a reduced strain on technical resources.


We’ve been here before…


In this context, private cloud can simply not be classified as the genuine article. Firstly, with contract terms typically in the region of 3 to 5 years, investment in private cloud requires long term obligation. Moreover, as the infrastructure remains within the jurisdiction of the corporate firewall, businesses fail to fully realise the financial advantages of the shift from capital to operational expenditure.


Compounding this predicament is the severe limit on scalability inherent in private cloud; a model not built to cope with sharp fluctuations in demand. CTOs and IT managers must also acknowledge the maintenance costs associated with hosting their physical assets – not only financial, but also in terms of having the skills available to adequately repair, configure and deploy complex systems.


A new conversation…


As the market begins to mature, it is inevitable that lingering negative debate around cloud computing will begin to diminish, giving way to a bolder, more positive vision on how to utilise it to revolutionise business practice.


However, if enterprises are to fully embrace the concept, then cloud providers themselves must evolve their offerings to marry the benefits of both private and public models. Only then can organisations truly advance their cloud ambitions beyond the group firewall; retaining the technological aptitude, SLAs and security of the private arena while attaining public cloud’s metamorphic powers of elasticity and contractual flexibility.


Tomorrow’s cloud, today…


While the world’s cloud suppliers scramble to refashion their offerings to align with the desires of the enterprise, IIJ Europe are already at the dance. In IIJ GIO – Japan’s market leader for the past 5 years – the company is presenting global firms and business partners with the perfect fusion of public and private cloud.


No more compromises.


About Colin J. O'Sullivan

Colin O’Sullivan is a senior business and partner development manager who has recently relocated to Dublin following 7 years working abroad. Colin has spent over a decade in the technology industry, helping customers across the globe to drive organisational improvement through the adoption of world class products and services.

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