It seems to me that the industry has become overly-fixated on hosted clouds (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS etc.) that are run by third parties which have all of those nice economies-of-scale.
But what about implementing an "Internal" cloud inside of corporate data centers? John Foley of InformationWeek just raised this question in talking about Elastra.
[they are] working on a version of Cloud Server for data center VMware environments, or what it refers to as "private clouds." That's an oxymoron since cloud computing, by definition, happens outside of the corporate data center, but it's the technology that's important here, not the semantics."Semantics aside, what properties would an ideal "internal" cloud have? Clearly the same economics as a "traditional" cloud, but with some added benefits to avoid the current pitfalls of external clouds. The improved properties include --
- Should work with existing physical & virtual resources in the data center (heterogeneous platforms & O/S's)
- Should let you specify whether your apps are virtualized or not (but either way, provide capacity-on-demand)
- Wouldn't require that sensitive data be hosted outside the enterprise; it would maintain internal auditability
- Ought to adhere to internal security and configuration management processes
- Would not disrupt existing software architectures
- Would allow you to add additional capacity (compute resources) on-the-fly
- Could be segregated to support both production & development environments
- Would provide internal metering & billing for internal users and business units
I'm guessing that, as cloud computing gains steam, IT organizations will want the same properties internally - through implementing an "internal" cloud leveraging utility computing infrastructure.
ProductionScale recently ruminated on this topic (calling it a private cloud, instead of internal):
"What is private cloud computing? To make a non-technical analogy, Private Cloud Computing is a little like owning your own car instead of using a rental car that you share with others others and that someone else owns for your automobile and transportation needs. Rental cars haven't completely replaced personal automobile ownership for many obvious reasons. Public Cloud Services will not likely replace dedicated private servers either and will likely drive adoption of private cloud computing".Working for Cassatt, I'm biased toward believing that a market for Internal Cloud infrastructure providers will emerge.... and potentially help enterprises dovetail their internal clouds with public clouds. Any other opinions?