Instead, it’s a stepping stone. It’s about embracing cloud concepts earlier, and about enabling the flexibility to use public cloud computing services as soon as they meet requirements. Getting some of the benefits of cloud computing, but contained within the enterprise.
I had a busy week along the west coast, meeting individually with fifteen different clients, presenting about cloud computing to groups in three cities, and doing some deep strategy dives with a few vendors.
Private cloud computing – and the point made in the first paragraph – came up in every conversation. I talked to people who already had private cloud computing services, or had some being developed, or were building technologies to make private cloud computing effective. I also talked to a few companies where private cloud computing will not make sense – a wasted investment, because their needs for the right services will be available in the public cloud soon enough.
The real issue is determining a strategy for each service. Some services are not destined for the cloud, and should evolve in a very different direction. Some services should be converted to a public cloud offering soon. Some services are candidates for the public cloud, but for one reason or another, the public cloud offerings aren’t ready yet.
For the latter services, it’s a question of return on investment. When will the public cloud service be “ready”? What is the cost of doing nothing before I migrate? What kind of investment have I already made internally? Is there a business case for investing in cloud concepts for this service internally? Are there even technologies available that can help me internally?
It will all come down to understanding the enterprise service portfolio, and building a vision and a roadmap for each service. For some of them, private cloud computing might be the way to go.
I’ve been putting a lot of time into this lately. My inquiries have shifted heavily to cloud computing in the past few months (away from server virtualization, another hot topic). I have six research notes in progress on the subject – describing the phenomenon, describing examples of private cloud computing services that others have set up or are in the process of setting up, discussing when it does and does not make sense, etc.