Chuck Hollis at EMC posted an interesting blog last week; see Clouds Need To Be Better Than The Environments They Replace. Chuck is right but we are missing one overriding point about private clouds, namely that one aspect of “better” is often the ability to take control away from the vendors. This often is THE key value proposition for senior IT architects in the context of private clouds.
Chuck makes the case for better quite well, including:
· Usual progression of value propositions that drive new technology/model adoption that cloud is following: Cool --> Cheaper --> Better. Agreed. Maybe add Accessible
· Cost-to-Serve. Time-to-Serve. Agreed--this is a great way to think about this because service is at the forefront. Maybe also add Ease-to-Serve.
· Private Cloud defined as being under control of IT. Agreed, and agreed on the other elements of the definition. However, the issue is how to get there. This gets to my control point.
Cloud (including private cloud) management and middleware are is a strategic control decisions for enterprises. One option is to extend VM management, provisioning and hardware resource management platforms. This should and will inevitably happen. However, there is another decision that needs to be made about whether to architect a “layer of independence” into the overall stack and system. Enterprises that want more control over their system and more leverage over their hardware and software vendors are likely to view independent and/or open source management and middleware solutions as a way to make their overall business model or investment plan “better” by squeezing more (performance-wise and financially) from their best-of-breed proprietary solutions.
This is what it’s really about. The users taking control over IT to get better service, and IT taking control over its supply chain to either get better service or deliver better service. The point is that “better,” when it comes to private clouds, means not just a better alternative to today’s architectures/solutions/capabilities, it can mean a better alternative to their current position in the supply chain.
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