Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Gopala Krishna Behara

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
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
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...