Cisco has weak market adoption for its private cloud platform but it also has what Nelson considers one of the strongest visions and strategy for its platform moving forward, focusing on application life cycle transforming IT into being a service provider itself. Microsoft is seen by Forrester as having a strong public and private cloud offering between Systems Center and Azure and solid plans to focus on an application-centric vision for handling operations too.
An emerging trend in the private cloud market is the integration of more application life-cycle management tools, Nelson notes. IT operations administrators provide blueprints of how applications should be designed to run them in the private cloud, or they provide preconfigured applications and offer those to users in a self-service catalog.
One area that still needs a lot of work is hybrid cloud integration, Nelson says. Private cloud platforms today, for the most part, provide only limited functionality for managing both internal private clouds and public cloud resources that sit outside a customer's firewall. At the most, platforms typically offer the ability to provision Amazon Web Services resources in the public cloud. But, advanced functionality such as the ability to manage multiple different heterogeneous environments (public and private), from multiple vendors under a single pane of glass are still being developed by providers. There are some exceptions -- for example Microsoft has strong connections into its Azure cloud services, while Eucalyptus is focused on providing connections into the AWS's cloud.