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Saving private cloud

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Cloud is everywhere!

You send documents and pictures to the cloud. You sync your device to the cloud. You don’t know where your information is, but you know it’s stored in the cloud. As a user of a public cloud, you don’t need to understand how it works—you just know it does.

Now let’s talk about the corporate world, the domain of the private cloud. The same IT infrastructure that created a public cloud is used to create a private cloud. But the private cloud user doesn’t get the same immediate benefits and value.

Lifebuoy 5144538Setting aside a discussion about the costs of creating and maintaining a private cloud, think of the many tasks and liabilities for which the private cloud user assumes responsibility. The user gets a compute resource, like a virtual machine, but she is now responsible for managing all aspects of it.

Let’s go through an example. Say your company has dispensed with the need for a group of administrators to handle cloud requests by creating a self-service portal where users can select their preferred cloud services. And your company has even gone through the long process of automating and configuring the provisioning, so that users can get their requests in a matter of minutes instead of days or months.

Now, who’s responsible for keeping the computer services running effectively? In a public cloud, the answer is simple and straightforward: the cloud provider. In a private cloud, this responsibility is passed to the user, undermining the value of the cloud.

Private cloud users get their service, but they are required to restore it when the service goes down, back it up in the case of failure or expand and shrink it depending on the load. It can be overwhelming for users to take on such responsibility.

Can we save private cloud? Yes, we can. Let’s look at how it can be done.

Public cloud users simply use the cloud without worrying how it works. As a private cloud user, I would like to have the same worry-free cloud service I get from a public cloud.

Would this be easy to do? Absolutely not, because it would involve taking care of the service lifecycle: monitoring, backup, scalability and many other aspects. But this is what would make a private cloud appealing to a user. Users want something with the advantages of a public cloud, though perhaps without the bill at the end of the month.

There may already be a solution that can handle those duties and save the private cloud. Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will discuss IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator.

Connect with me on Twitter @patrocinio to continue the conversation.

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