Here is an insightful post on Forbes.com by Dan Woods, Putting the Brakes on Public Cloud Adoption. It is good to see a conversation point out that a private cloud is not really delivering any of the benefits of the public cloud. Rather, it is the same as building another data center (and has the same price tag). Woods notes the drawbacks of investing in cloud computing:
- Not enough adequate Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from cloud providers
- Consistent performance
- Availability of adequate electric power
- Ability to meet legal and regulatory compliance requirements
While cloud architectures may make sense as a data center strategy, my perspective is that they don’t get any of the other advantages such as zero upfront capital expenditure. This is why you are only seeing large companies building them.
I believe people don’t necessarily just want to have their apps hosted over the internet; they want to get out of the business of running data centers. So using a cloud architecture with two or more data centers that an organization physically owns may sound like they are using the Cloud but they really are not.
There is a big difference between what is being branded a private cloud and what I would call a real internet cloud such as Salesforce.com. A true cloud is where you are off-loading all the capital expenditure and work to someone else and taking advantage of the low cost delivery mechanism. If you’re building your own internet-based architecture, that is all you get, but you don’t lose the high capital expenditure.
These are just my opinions. Let me know your thoughts on the article and cloud computing by commenting below.