Putting Private Clouds on Public IT Infrastructure

Michael Vizard
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Deploying Applications in the Cloud

While there's more talk than actual use of cloud computing in the enterprise, a Zeus Technology survey looks at the beginnings of a major shift under way. Clear expectations and planning can improve your experience and near-term success.

When people talk about private cloud computing there is a natural assumption that a variant of cloud computing is going to be deployed by an internal IT organization using IT infrastructure on their premises that is protected by a firewall.

But chances are pretty high that when all is said and done, that private cloud computing platform is actually going to be running on public cloud infrastructure. The nuance that seems to be getting lost in the public versus private cloud computing debate is the simple fact that the data center of tomorrow is going to be a virtual entity.

A virtual data center by definition means that it can be hosted anywhere. Assuming that this virtual data center is secure, the question quickly comes down to where is the most economical place to host it? Given the scale at which public cloud computing companies will be investing in IT infrastructure, it will be almost impossible for any company outside of the Fortune 100 to argue that they can more cost-effectively acquire and manage IT infrastructure.

In fact, OpSource CTO John Rowell argues that much of the conversation surrounding private cloud computing on-premise versus the cloud is pretty much a nonstarter. A virtual data center running on public cloud infrastructure managed by IT experts is going to be just as, if not more, secure than anything built by an internal IT department.

In addition, Rowell says the whole notion of hybrid cloud computing is equally inane. Why run any applications locally when all that serves to do is introduce network latency and additional network bandwidth costs. It's simply more cost-effective to run all the application workloads on the virtual data center in the public cloud.

OpSource is so certain of this that the company this week launched a high performance computing service on top of its public cloud, which is already widely used by software-as-a-service (SaaS) application providers. If HPC applications can run efficiently in the public cloud, it's hard to imagine any other application workload that could not, notes Roswell.

The whole argument over where to deploy application workloads in the cloud may come down to a moment in time. Right now, many IT organizations are piloting internal private clouds running on top of internal IT infrastructure they manage. There's no doubt that some form of that private cloud will exist. But where those private clouds actually run today may not be where they wind up running tomorrow.

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Nov 22, 2010 12:57 PM Sundar Raghavan Sundar Raghavan  says:

Interesting observation on private clouds. At Skytap, we think cloud automation can change the way enterprises utilize scalable, efficient cloud computing resources. Companies need a self-service Web UI, enterprise grade security and policy control, and the flexibility to be used for different types of workloads such as test/dev, training or sales demos. Check us out by signing up for a trial at http://bit.ly/9hDLHg.


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