Why private clouds are surging: It's the control, stupid!

Private clouds do let IT maintain desired control, but they are not always the right choice

An article by Steve Rosenbush, "Private cloud computing takes off in companies not keen on sharing," indicates that the interest in private cloud computing is outpacing interest in public cloud computing: "For now, though, big companies are going to spend a lot of money building their own private clouds because the comfort level with public clouds isn't high enough. 'Can we actually have a public cloud that can guarantee certain service-level agreements, certain tiers of service?' wonders Greg McCall, an analyst with Sage Asset Management in New York. The answer is: Maybe soon, but not quite yet."

The fact of the matter is that public clouds do a pretty good job at providing storage, applications, and compute services on demand. While the myth is that private cloud computing providers "guarantee certain service-level agreements," the reality is that "private cloud" is just another term for on-premise systems, and on-premise systems typically have an uptime record a bit south of typical public clouds.

[ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

That said, it might not matter to those in IT who want to maintain control. If it's not control, it's security; if it's not security, it's cost -- those in IT pushing back against public clouds have a well-rehearsed set of excuses. Of course, the tech press has not helped much by publicizing the cloud computing outages on their front pages.

The trouble with all this is the IT naysayers are right some of the time. However, the lack of thinking around the core requirements of IT -- in favor of a dumb argument around private versus public clouds -- leads many to select the wrong platform for the wrong reasons. Not considering public clouds means you could be missing out on a very compelling architectural option.

Within most enterprises, there are solutions that clearly should be in public clouds, solutions that should be in private clouds, and many IT components that should stay where they are for now (not in a cloud at all). When you don't consider all options, your solution won't be optimal, and within many Global 2000 companies that translates into millions of dollars wasted per month.

That's OK: You are able to maintain control. But how much is that control worth to the business?

This article, "Why private clouds are surging: It's the control, stupid!," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.