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The Spectrum of Private to Public Cloud Services

by Tom Bittman  |  April 8, 2009  |  8 Comments

Is it a private cloud service, or a public cloud service? It’s not quite so binary. I first explored this in my post Virtual Cloud Privacy is Gray a few months ago. There are two relative dimensions that determine how “private” or how “public” a cloud service really is:

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Service Control/Ownership: There are two ends of a spectrum here – complete implementation ownership, and complete lack of ownership and control of implementation. But there will be many examples in between of partial control, shared ownership, etc.

Service Access: Also two ends to this spectrum – at one end, usage is extremely exclusive, while at the other end, anyone who chooses can access the service. Again, there will be many examples in between of limited access, industry-only access, controlled partner access, etc.

These two dimensions are coupled at the extremes, but there are many variations in between. Each has different security/privacy, cost, customization and elasticity attributes.

Many of the cloud services that emerge in the next few years will fall somewhere in the middle (consider the customers choosing Exchange Online Dedicated, or paying for Reserved Instances from Amazon). Understanding the trade-offs and options is critical. This is an important area of research for me right now (two research notes completed, three more in progress!).

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Category: cloud  

Tags: cloud-computing  private-cloud  

Thomas J. Bittman
VP Distinguished Analyst
20 years at Gartner
31 years IT industry

Thomas Bittman is a vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Research. Mr. Bittman has led the industry in areas such as private cloud computing and virtualization. Mr. Bittman invented the term "real-time infrastructure," which has been adopted by major vendors and many… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on The Spectrum of Private to Public Cloud Services


  1. […] Mind you Tom Bittman of Gartner talks of Exchange Online dedicated as a private cloud which makes more sense to me than […]

  2. Christian says:

    Good points. Even when Bechtel decided to go with a ‘private’ cloud, they are still thinking about a hybrid model down the road… see:
    http://cloudstoragestrategy.com/2009/03/bechtel-harnesses-the-cloud-a-case-study-in-service-delivery.html

    cheers!

  3. […] ← The Spectrum of Private to Public Cloud Services […]

  4. […] private services to fully public services that blurs distinctions of ownership or control (see Tom Bittman’s earlier post or his recent note The Spectrum of Public-to-Private Cloud Computing – subscription […]

  5. […] I just published a Gartner research note with this title (subscription required), which took some time to get published. We did have quite some discussion within the analyst community to make sure that positions expressed in this note, while recognizing certain important peculiarities of government, would not contradict Gartner established positions on cloud computing, especially for what concerns the differences between private and public cloud computing. These are discussed in various Gartner research notes and summarized in a blog post by Tom Bittman about The Spectrum of Private to Public Cloud Services. […]

  6. […] they know it when they see it, but they can’t quite explain it in words. A year ago I described The Spectrum of Private to Public Cloud Services, but I didn’t put that in the form of a definition. Here’s a […]

  7. […] quedando solamente diseñadores de aplicaciones. Cuanto menos, se irá imponiendo una manera de private cloud , es decir, un trocito alquilado de nube hecho más o menos a tu medida (Merecería la pena un día […]

  8. […] they know it when they see it, but they can’t quite explain it in words. A year ago I described The Spectrum of Private to Public Cloud Services, but I didn’t put that in the form of a definition. Here’s a […]



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