Blog post

If You Build a Private Cloud, Will Anyone Come?

By Tom Bittman | August 09, 2009 | 3 Comments


Summer’s almost over – time for less sun and more clouds!

I’ve gotten a lot of client questions recently about how to get started building their private clouds. Their vendors are at their doorstep hawking private cloud computing. Clients are asking about what technologies to use, which vendors to choose, how to build one, etc. I say, “Whoa!”

fieldcloud This is no field of dreams. “If you build it, he will come” is not a reasonable strategy for private clouds.

We’ve got to get our IT people to stop thinking about products and technologies and even architectures first, and instead to focus on understanding their service requirements first.

Start by understanding your service catalog (most organizations don’t have one), understand the SLAs and costs for each service (most don’t know that, either), build strategic plans for each of those services (does anyone have this?), determine which ones might go to the cloud in the future and when that cloud service will be “ready” (OK, this takes some work), make your ROI decision about building a private cloud service, and then you can start looking at architectures and products and technologies.

There has been an awful lot of definitional talk about cloud computing and private clouds for the past year. Time to move on. My cloud research at Gartner is focusing on case studies, roadmaps, and best practices for private cloud computing – and debunking the incredible amount of vendor hype that is hiding some real value in this trend.

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  • Peter Blair says:

    Plus ca change…

    It seems that with every new technology or architecture, we return to a situation where the technology runs the service rather than the other way around.

    I remember setting up a network in 1996 and having the same difficulties in insisting on service requirements first.

    That requirement hasn’t changed

  • Basically, if an enterprise adopts an IT Service Management framework (ITIL or something else) then going from no-cloud to yes-cloud will address all your valid points.

  • Spot on, Tom.

    If you have a service-centric mentally in IT, lots of questions, answers, and smart technology decisions fall into place. It’s not about cloud, it’s about how you can clearly articulate your service strategy, define services, calibrate them to monetary outcomes.