Four Reasons Private Cloud Adoption Initiatives Fail
June 14, 2012
While it may make sense to get a private cloud up and running as fast as technologically possible, technology is just a small consideration compared with user needs and business culture demands. When organizations go pell-mell at their cloud deployments, disappointment inevitably waits around the corner.
"There are some large companies that can get a cloud up and running fast. And some have done that, and then are disappointed that the company doesn't adopt it or users don't adopt it or costs actually go up, not down, and provisioning takes longer, not less, time," says Jay Seaton, chief marketing officer at GlassHouse Technologies. "And so a lot of what we're seeing is if a cloud is set up without the right objectives or without the right configurations and all of the pieces that go behind that, then bad things happen and people are disappointed."
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He says this is why, to a large degree, private cloud adoption has been slower than we might have expected several years ago. And it's why his company announced this week a new Accelerated Cloud Enablement (ACE) service, meant to thoughtfully circumvent private cloud pitfalls in a speedy but not breakneck pace of 45 days.
"If you just talk to software vendors, for example, they could set up a cloud in a manner of days, but what we're talking about here really is not just deploying hardware and software, but making that cloud effective and ensuring that that cloud achieves what the client organization wants to do," Seaton says, adding that making sure configurations, policy setup, self-service and automated provisioning all work to "get at the nub users want out of a cloud that they don't typically see as being available in a private cloud."
According to Seaton and his colleague, Ken Copas, IT service management and cloud practice lead at GlassHouse, this is because organizations tend to fall into a number of the following private cloud pitfalls:
1. IT views cloud and virtualization as the same.
"I've heard a lot of people say that cloud is just a new buzzword for virtualized environment," Copas says. "While it's true that a virtualized environment is key to building a cloud environment--you can't have a cloud environment without a virtual environment underneath it--they are two very different things."
According to Copas, it's important for IT to take a step back and define the difference between a virtualized compute environment and a cloud environment. Doing so will help IT define the objectives for success in a private cloud deployment.
"Anytime you can spin up a virtual machine and make that available to a business user, that is a virtual environment," he says. "But until a user can go to a portal, select among various services through self-selection and then choose to automatically provision that service to themselves and then begin paying for that service as they use it, then they haven't met our definition of what cloud is."
That orchestration on top of a virtualized environment is the essence of what cloud is, and until IT can deliver that successfully, its private cloud efforts will fail.
Next: Private Clouds and the User Experience