Path from Public to Private. A Tale of Two Clouds.

I’m sitting here writing this post while reflecting over the last few years. “Wow,” I think, “there has been a tremendous amount of hype about ‘the cloud.’” And there has been, be it how it saves money, speeds up prototyping, reduces time to market and increases efficiency on a number of levels. Honestly, unlike most hype, this is actually well deserved. I mean, it’s true... adopting cloud computing really does enhance most organizations ability to operate efficiently while simultaneously reducing costs.

If we stop there, it all sounds pretty awesome, right? After all, who doesn’t want to save money and be more efficient? So why isn’t every company on the planet scaling to infinity in a public cloud?

To answer that question, it helps a bit to take a step back and take in the bigger picture. Yes, public cloud computing offers a number of advantages over traditional single-tenant computing, but at the same time, it also has some issues -- both real and perceived -- that keep adoption, for some organizations, at bay. Here are a few to consider:

  • Pricing certainty. This is kind of the reverse of the pitch. We all know the advantages of a cloud when usage spikes. But what is not often discussed is how costs spike, too. It’s really obvious, when you use a product with a variable, usage-based billing model, you can expect a variable, usage-based bill at the end of the month, duh. But, for many organizations, that’s a big deal -- especially when they have to budget out ahead of time.
  • Built for techies, leaving everyone else in the dust. It’s no secret that many large, massive public clouds are designed to be consumed by the most technical users around; therefore they don’t invest heavily in tech support and service. Many large public clouds (who shall remain nameless here) are well known for large-scale outages and poor technical support quality.
  • Privacy and security. Just because a cloud computing vendor makes a claim about security doesn’t mean that they are able to back that claim up. Whenever you share infrastructure with anyone, you risk some cross pollination. One somewhat flawed, but easy-to-understand analogy is this: think of public cloud as a public swimming pool. There are lots of folks you wouldn’t mind sharing it with, but there are also some people you would mind. It’s that kind of thing. Except you often have no idea who else is swimming in your pool with you.
  • Not enterprise grade. Most public clouds are built on either open source technology or proprietary platforms. I don’t make a claim that there is anything wrong with either of these. We run our own proprietary platform here at SingleHop for some of our products. But when it comes to enterprise systems, mission critical applications and the like, enterprises are demanding industrial-grade strength. Redundancy is key, stability is critical, and, frankly, cost is less important than reliability.
  • Finally, and this is true in many medium-to-large sized organizations: Your job depends on it. When you recommend a vendor and product to the guys upstairs, you want a good recommendation that helps your company grow, not a source of new problems down the road. Being accused of poorly researching a service can be harmful to your standing with your superiors. Often times, it’s the devil-you-know, and often times that’s not a cloud service.

So given all of these pros and cons; given all the needs for security but elasticity, for scalability and security... what do you do? I’ll tell ya: Look into a Private Cloud for your organization.

Private Clouds are exactly what they sound like: a dedicated, single-tenant pool of enterprise-grade computing resources devoted entirely to a sole organization. Within that pool of resources, you can deploy as many VMs as needed for no additional charge per-VM. Private Clouds offer a powerful combination--single-tenant infrastructure with public-cloud elasticity. And that’s a great thing when you need both.