Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

The Essential Elements of a Private Cloud

For those just starting on the private cloud journey, it might be useful to get the lay of the land

Not long ago, Forrester analyst James Staten wrote a report with the compelling title: You're Not Ready for Internal Cloud. What Staten meant, of course, by the term "internal cloud" is what we have been referring to in this blog as a private cloud. Whether you're ready or not probably depends a lot on where you are on the project path.

For those just starting on the private cloud journey, it might be useful to get the lay of the land and discuss the essential elements of any private cloud project, and point out areas where my definition diverges from Staten's, as a recognized expert on the subject and someone whose opinion I greatly respect.

A Set of Consistent Services
Staten's first rule is that you need a set of consistent services that your users can access and use with a limited amount of friction.

Staten says beyond this consistent deliverable, the service shouldn't require any custom configuration. The user basically gets that standard service offering and that's it. Think Henry Ford's famous quote about the Model T: "You can have it any color you like, so long as it's black." But as Staten states in his report, "...the capability delivered is repeated, religiously. That's the foundation for how cloud computing achieves mass scalability and differentiated economics."

He's right, of course, but what he doesn't mention is that you need a service catalogue of standardized IT components to make all of this work to make it all possible. When you create that, it makes the self-service portal Staten discusses possible.

The problem is that standardization is harder than it looks. Organizations have been trying to do this for a long time. The challenge is having a framework that's manageable and works yet is flexible enough to work for your business when it doesn't match the standard offerings.

Usage-based Metering
Another essential pillar of the private cloud is the notion of usage-based metering, or the idea that you pay only for what you use and no more.

This model should appeal to everyone. Managers know what they are getting, and IT can easily determine capital expenditure budgets by tracking usage across the organization. As Staten explains in the report: "Nearly all cloud services leverage this model to provide cost elasticity as your consumption changes."

This is one of the key elements of the private cloud - this ability to meter and measure usage across the organization.

Self-Service and Fast
The final piece of Staten's cloud computing puzzle is self-service. This means you set up a web portal where users can access your services using standard internet protocols. He says it needs to be almost always on and users need to be able to get up and running quickly.

One key piece I see missing from Staten's essential elements is a system to measure what we mean by successful - what you would call a service-level agreement if you were contracting with a public cloud. How do you measure success? What is your up time guarantee and so forth?

We see this is as an essential covenant between IT and the company, which spells out exactly what users should expect in terms of service levels from the company's private cloud.

With an understanding of these basic elements of a private cloud project, you are better prepared to begin to understand what you need to do to achieve your organization's cloud computing goals.

More Stories By Benjamin Grubin

Benjamin Grubin is a 15-year veteran of the technology industry with experience in security, software engineering, marketing, consulting and management. He is the Director of Product Management & Marketing for Cloud Technology Partners, overseeing products that accelerate cloud development and migration. Mr. Grubin has worked with Fortune 100 companies to modernize their infrastructure and support next-generation management and security technologies. He is also a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and panels on topics including cloud computing, IT service management, virtualization, and IT security.

Mr. Grubin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School as well as both a Master of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science from Tufts University. Follow Ben on Twitter at @bgrubin.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.