Enterprises could make their datacenters more efficient by turning them into private computing clouds -- but the biggest winners could be companies like EMC, Cisco Systems, and Sun Microsystems, which stand to gain a larger share of datacenter spending.
On Sunday, EMC vice president and global marketing CTO Chuck Hollis wrote in his blog about the merits of private clouds, and then on Monday Cisco Systems' Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior addressed reports of an impending datacenter push in a Cisco blog.
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EMC (with VMware in tow), Cisco, and a number of other vendors aim to position themselves as the vendor of choice for building next-generation datacenter services, with the intent of grabbing a larger part of datacenter budgets, according to Andrew Butler, vice president at research firm Gartner.
Both Hollis and Warrior wrote of the potential new architectures, virtualization, and automation hold for improving the effectiveness of IT systems.
However, while they hold out the benefits of a private cloud, they will also use this as an opportunity to lock customers into their own solutions, Butler said. The message is that tying yourself to only one vendor will help you achieve the full benefits of a private cloud, according to Butler.
"What you've got are these big system vendors who are increasingly reluctant to share the spoils," he said.
The emergence of private clouds -- which work in the same way as public cloud services, but are run by the enterprises themselves -- will play an important part in this evolution of IT systems, according to Hollis' blog posting.
They have all the advantages of public cloud computing for enterprise IT without the downside, because IT departments retain control of security and legacy applications won't have to be rewritten, Hollis said.
The concept of private clouds is gaining prominence, according to Butler.
Just recently Sun acquired Q-layer. Its NephOS will allow enterprises to create and manage their own private computing clouds by linking facilities operated by different divisions of the enterprise.
So far the nascent private cloud arena has been dominated by smaller companies, including Elastra, 3Tera, Cassatt, and ParaScale.
ParaScale, which develops software for cloud storage clusters, has seen increased interest in private clouds.
Now, especially the larger companies are thinking that they can leverage their scale to provide cloud services to internal customers, instead of placing data and applications in the hands of external parties, said CEO Sajai Krishnan via e-mail.