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If You Build a Private Cloud, Will Anyone Come?

by Tom Bittman  |  August 9, 2009  |  9 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.

Category: cloud  

Tags: cloud-computing  future-of-infrastructure  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 If You Build a Private Cloud, Will Anyone Come?


  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. […] As I mentioned here, 90% of the time it turns out the pressure is really to consumer some application as a service, not really cloud computing. 9.9% of the remaining conversations are more about the potential security issues of private cloud use. Which makes sense, since Gartner has projected that the actual enterprise use of true public cloud services has been way overhyped. Tom Bittman has a nice series of blog posts on private cloud issues here. […]

  4. 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.

  5. […] fine post from Tom Bittman If You Build a Private Cloud, Will Anyone Come?. He helps cut through the noise around private clouds with a statement that could be applied to […]

  6. […] service, and then you can start looking at architectures and products and technologies,” said Tom. Loading google.load(‘search’, ‘1’); google.setOnLoadCallback(function(){ new […]

  7. […] He advised against building a cloud “and hoping they wil come.” As he puts it in a new post: “We’ve got to get our IT people to stop thinking about products and technologies and even […]

  8. […] Another great post when it comes to pointers, is from Thomas Bittman (also, from Gartner) titled If You Build a Private Cloud, Will Anyone Come.  “We’ve got to get our IT people to stop thinking about products and technologies and […]

  9. […] Steve Kaplan. By The Bell. Cloud: If You Can’t Beat It… 07/22/2012. Steve Kaplan. By The Bell. If you Build a Private Cloud, Will Anyone Come? 08/09/2009. Thomas Bittman. […]



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