So on the one hand, the private cloud is just another step toward the commodification of IT, where internal customers pick from a menu of metered services across a virtualized infrastructure, rather than specifying the nth requirement for custom deployments that tie up resources forever. On the other hand, one of the most exciting use cases for the private cloud is the ability for enterprises to establish quasi-public clouds for partners, which may accelerate business-to-business e-commerce in unanticipated ways.
Without question, the private cloud comes with a large dose of hogwash. Nonetheless, the model of providing commodity services on top of pooled, well-managed virtual resources has legs, because it has the potential to take a big chunk of cost and menial labor out of the IT equation. The lights in the data center will never go out. The drive for greater efficiency, though, has had a dozen names in the history of IT, and the private cloud just happens to be the latest one.
This article, "What the 'private cloud' really means" originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at infoworldmobile.com.