Mark Thiele, ServiceMesh’s resident data center expert, just commented on some cloud predictions from Forrester’s James Staten. James points out that many private clouds will be hosted. At ServiceMesh, we think about private clouds coming in different types:
- Internal private clouds — These are the private clouds that you’re used to thinking about. Typically, the IT department buys a bunch of servers, throws vSphere on top, and hopes for the best. As James points out, these will often fail. The upshot here is that, “Hope is a small town in Arkansas, not a strategy.” Simply throwing together a bunch of technologies doesn’t mean that you have a cloud. Mark provides some great success factors that will help keep your internal private cloud effort from running off the rails. I’d be remiss in pointing out that ServiceMesh actually sells a Liquid Infrastructure IT optimization strategy that can deliver and optimized private cloud reference architecture, and work with you to implement it. Unlike your internal IT guys, we have already worked with the manufacturers, built prototypes, done the cost analysis, built prototypes, and measured the performance. If you want to be successful building your internal cloud, you should at least talk with ServiceMesh to see if we can help.
- External private clouds — Just because a cloud is external doesn’t mean it’s publicly accessible. Many of our clients are working with service providers to build private clouds that are hosted by the service provider. The provider buys all the gear, deploys it, and manages it on a daily basis. The enterprise just consumes the capacity as required. For an odd twist, it’s important to note that some service providers can even do this on the enterprise’s premise, using the enterprise data center space. In some cases, this is important to provide physical security. But even in this case, you’re buying cloud resources from a service provider and using them with your Agile IT, cloud operating model.
However you decide to go, don’t let your thinking fall into the simplistic “internal = private; external = public” mode. Where a cloud is located is far less important than who builds and operates it and whether it is publicly accessible.
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