Mark Everett Hall from Computerworld, wrote an article for CIO that discusses private clouds. Private clouds are environments which companies use automated tools provide virtualized serves to end users within their own organization’s infrastructure. According to Hall, “[private clouds] are gaining traction among IT leaders who want to deliver advance services at a lower cost.”
Hall states Gartner research that “expects by 2012 [that] IT shops will spend more than half of their cloud dollars on private cloud services because of improvement in cost and management efficiency.”
At Bechtel Corp. in San Francisco, there were 2,000 IT employees managing 20 data centers with 2-3 percent server utilization in 2005. Presently, Bechtel has reduced the number of IT employees by 900, reduced the number of data centers to 3, and has an average of 60-70% server utilization.
Challenges to private clouds include manageability issues, vendor lock-in risks, and slow adoption of internal cloud set ups. One reason for this is the unclear definition of private cloud computing. Geir Ramleth, CIO at Bechtel, stated in the article that narrowly defining private cloud computing would limit what it can accomplish.
However, other organizations are not so quick to adopt private cloud computing such as Hall’s counter-example, ING Financial services. Alan Boehme, senior vice president and head of IT strategy at ING, stated in the article that there are limits to present management tools. There is also with a concern with vendor lock in. Heavy reliance on one vendor is costly and inhibits changes to the infrastructure.
Hall states in the article that the biggest factor in weighing the pros and cons of private cloud computing is money. Because of the recent recession, budgets were reduced leading to reduction of IT spending. However, Hall states, “A private cloud lets IT get immediate dividends through self-service, automated provisioning and improved system utilization- all of which will have a big impact on IT operations costs.”
Next Thursday, November 5th, Dale Seavey, Director of Architecture, Design, and Engineering at Cisco, will lead an IMF web forum discussion around cloud computing. To learn more about the speaker and see details about this web forum please click here.