Public vs. Private Cloud: No Comparison

It never ceases to amaze me how many people consider Public and Private Clouds to be somehow comparable. We want a Cloud, they say, but we’re afraid of Public, so we’ll do Private instead. That way we can get the benefits of Cloud without the risks. Sound familiar?

Too bad that just about everything about that argument doesn’t hold water. Not only are Public Clouds actually more secure than Private ones, but they are also far more elastic and far less expensive for most situations. So…why is it you wanted a Private Cloud again?

Whatever your reasoning, let’s say that Private Cloud is still on your shopping list. Sure, Public has advantages, but Private Cloud is almost the same thing, right?

No way. In fact, Public and Private Clouds are very different kettles of fish. To see why, let’s reset the starting line. Where do you start with a Cloud initiative?

Public Cloud: you’re on your laptop, with your credit card. You log into the Cloud provider’s Web site, click a few buttons, and in a half hour or so, you’ve provisioned your Cloud environment.

Done. OK, let’s compare with Private.

Private Cloud: it’s you in a meeting. With your CIO or VP of Infrastructure or other IT bigwigs. You discuss Cloud. They scratch their heads and ask you for more information.

You go back to your desk, meet with your team, do research, talk to hardware vendors, hire consultants, review product literature, write reports. More meetings. Weeks pass.

You meet with data center providers. Or maybe you talk to your own data center team about all that empty floor space they have. Discussions about power, cooling, racks, physical security, and staffing ensue. More weeks pass.

Finally you’re ready to buy some gear. You go through your organization’s existing procurement process. You got it, more weeks – or months – pass.

The gear arrives in your data center. You set it all up in an afternoon. Ha! Gotcha. More weeks pass.

Everything is all set up, fully configured, and fully tested (like the testing bit alone didn’t add more weeks to the process). Now users can come to your Private Cloud internal portal and automatically provision their own Cloud instances, right?

Maybe, but probably not. Most Private Cloud deployments don’t offer automated self-service provisioning. Oops.

Remind me, why did you want a Private Cloud again?

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