Monday, March 27, 2017

Why Private Cloud, Seriously?

Sometimes, I just can't keep my big mouth shut.

A while back I got called out on Twitter.

I was trying to make a point about the business case for cloud and Michael Ward over at Pearson correctly pointed out that I hadn't really made a case for Private Cloud.  It was a fair point.  I actually wrote this response way back then but didn't get around to publishing this until now.  Sorry about that!

So, here it goes.

Premise:  "Cloud" as a thing is as much about business model as it is about technology.  Thus, the difference between "Private Cloud" and "Public Cloud" is primarily the difference between in-sourcing and out-sourcing.

Discussion:  If you read this blog or have read my book, you will know that I am a big fan of the NIST definition of cloud.   Under this definition, there are a few mandatory elements like self service and rapid elasticity but no references to technology.  Thus, you can see that this is fundamentally a business model change that has been enabled by things like the internet and virtualization but that this is not fundamentally about any one technical implementation.

Why is this distinction important?  I believe that this distinction is vital because it implies that the only way you can truly judge one cloud platform vs. another is based on business criteria.  In some ways, the cloud signals the end of the highly technical infrastructure wars that we have been fighting for many years.  Like other utilities, the implementation details become irrelevant.  Don't believe me?  Go ask AWS for details of how EC2 works.  They won't tell you, even under NDA.  You don't need to know that. 

Since we spend most of our time discussing implementation  details, it means that we in the industry are spending most of our time focusing on things that our actual customers don't care about.