Strategy in Private Cloud Services
Cloud Computing has been a buzz trend and has been heavily marketed for some time. Recently we have seen the rise of private cloud services. To what extent has the economic climate shaped our needs and technologies and revolutionising the way we look at cloud and what cloud strategies are now emerging?
The use of cloud services and platform is nothing new in business, it has been around for years, with companies such as Amazon employing cloud computing and selling it as Amazon Web Service (AWS) as far back as 2006. A successful strategy according to Martin Bishop, Global Head of Hosting Services at Telstra Global, will allow businesses to “grow faster, reduce costs and become more efficient as a result.”
With widespread economic instability, businesses that chose the correct cloud strategy can expect to strengthen their IT capabilities. While service prices are increasingly falling or are free for public cloud services, open source software is becoming more wildly available for deploying private clouds. Companies are faced more than ever with the option of employing their own private cloud services.
Those that deploy a private cloud service are faced with both the advantages and disadvantages inherent in the design, as such a strategy needs to be thought out in advance in order to reap the full benefits. Private cloud services hosted on site can offer increased security, physical on-site support, and greater flexibility, however private models can incur increased costs when software is required to upgrade the service or server storage needs to be increased.
Private cloud services, although costly to maintain and requiring a large initial investment, can often prove to provide greater long-term savings than public cloud services, where large scale services used by businesses require pay-as-you-go model. Ephraim Baron, Director of Enterprise Cloud Solutions at Equinix, commented: “If you have significant demand, the owned private option can result in overall cost savings. If your load varies widely a capacity-on-demand approach will likely make more sense.”
Public clouds are often pre-configured services lacking speciality, while private cloud services are bespoke, created for the needs of the business. Mark Skilton, Director of Global Infrastructure Services at Capgemini UK, views private cloud as being essential in providing individually managed solutions for businesses: “We’re looking ahead with our partners at EMC and Microsoft and many others to move into more hybrid cloud technology offering clients even more bespoke solutions. This can only be done through the private cloud which can be controlled to suit one’s own business objectives, as opposed to the public cloud which, by its nature, dictates services levels.”
Ephraim said that customers need “to be more aware of your data needs and available options in order to make the best informed decision when it comes to managing the cloud. In today’s economic environment, proper planning and scaling of infrastructure is a critical formula to success.”
In creating a strategy for private cloud implementation, businesses must ensure that the cloud is properly orchestrated. Orchestration enables the provision of exact requirements such as; CPU, memory, disk space or network/configuration and how it is delivered.
Tony Lucas, SVP Product and Founder at Flexiant believes that businesses “should think about more than just private, public or hybrid cloud, and ask whether the platform they’re deploying is in fact cloud at all. Only with cloud orchestration in place can an organisation really deploy a private cloud that is flexible, agile and user-driven.”
If private cloud services are deemed to be appropriate for the business, it is essential that the tendering process is comprehensive. “Some companies out there that are just selling servers and storage, rather than anything new, and are simply re-branding these technologies and offering them as ‘Private Cloud Services’ in the race to capitalise in the market”, warns Andrew Greenway, Accenture Global Director of Cloud Services.
With the rapid development of cloud technology and services, John Green, CTO of Prolinx details the coming evolution of private cloud services: “there are a couple of big trends emerging that are driving the adoption of private cloud computing - cloud service management is becoming a requirement for adoption with companies being unlikely to adopt a single cloud deployment model.” John added “there’s also the question of Big Data, and businesses turning their attention to adopting technologies that enable them to manage and analyse huge volumes of data from many different sources.”
While cloud computing continues to remain a growing trend, businesses need to be made aware that hopping on to the latest band-wagon may prove to be ineffective. It is essential that businesses identify a strategy for the employment of cloud services , in order to determine between Private, Public Cloud services or choosing to delay or scrap the deployment of cloud services for the time being.