IDC on Cloud Computing
I came across an article published in December 2009 where EMC interviews Frank Gens, IDC’s senior vice president and chief analyst, on trends and directions in virtualization and private clouds. It has some sense with a portion of non-sense.
The idea of private clouds is exciting: to bring the efficiency, simplicity, and adoption speed benefits of public clouds into datacenters, and yet IT still maintains control.
I dare to think that Frank Gens is getting it wrong. Why to maintain control? Putting security issues aside, this just defeats the purpose (at least partially) of cloud computing to cut costs as business would need to spend money on hardware and its maintenance. I am not saying that if you use a public cloud (or private cloud in the way I understand it), you do not pay for maintenance of hardware it uses. Yes, you do, but you do not have to keep engineers in house to do that. You just consume a service and pay for it as much as you use it.
But, like I said, putting security issues aside, when you take security into account, you may start thinking the way Frank Gens does, but this problem can be solved if you have proper agreements with your service providers listing SLAs, availability, and disaster recovery requirements (this is to answer Frank’s concerns on performance and availability) and you connect via a VPN. It is working in enterprise environments, I have seen this. Speaking of permissions, there are some solutions, but they are not perfect yet, but standards are there, it just has to be straighten out a bit and put to use in enterprises.
In general, I think private clouds in the sense IDC understands them are similar to slavery. But private clouds the way I see them are similar to freedom; yet, they offer better return and agility.
I totally agree with Frank Gens that cloud computing is better positioned for IT to “adapt quickly to changing business requirements, including new business applications, support for mergers and acquisitions, integrating new development and distribution partners, and supporting new business configurations (e.g., outsourcing/offshoring)”. The way business operates may change along with moving into the cloud.