After Hours

10 reasons you should build your own cloud

As your reliance on cloud technologies increases, it might be time to think about bringing your cloud infrastructure in-house.

Businesses have almost reached the point where working within the cloud is a necessity. Be it for data storage, data synchronization, web-based apps, or even cloud-based operating systems, businesses need to hitch a ride to the cloud to keep up with the ever-expanding world around them. However, that doesn't mean you need to depend upon a third-party to host your cloud. Any business can pull the cloud within reach and inside its own infrastructure. But why would you bother spending the time and resources to make your own cloud when so many are already available? Does this wheel really need reinventing?

I can think of 10 reasons why it does. In the end, if you agree, you'll be digging into the likes of Ubuntu Cloud or ownCloud and serving up your very own company-centric cloud.

1: Cost effectiveness

Personal clouds are cheap. I pay something like $39.00 a year for my 25 GB UbuntuOne cloud. But when you ramp up to business levels, clouds can get costly. Bringing that cloud to your own hardware might have a high cost up front, but once that initial cost is paid, you're done. So long as you're using the right software (like an open source cloud), with an in-house cloud, you don't have to worry about added costs of additional seats.

2: Data security

Can you honestly trust your Dropbox account? Are you certain? One of the benefits of rolling your own cloud is that you, and only you, are responsible for the security of your data. Now, that can be good or that can be bad (depending upon your security acumen). But since you (and your IT department) will be completely responsible for data security, you can bet plenty of time and resources will go into making sure data on the company cloud is locked down tight. If you're not comfortable with the level of trust you have in your IT department's understanding of security, there is a fundamental flaw in the hiring process of the company.

3: Better control

If you rely upon a third-party for your cloud, you have little to no control over how that cloud can be used, how it's deployed, the granularity of its management, or how quickly (and how much) it can be expanded. If you bring that cloud in house, you are in complete control.  No matter how large you want your cloud, how many users, how you manage groups, how strong you want your security -- it's all in your hands.

4: True flexibility

With third-party clouds, you have to take what the provider offers. There might be scenarios you have developed that go outside the boundaries of the standard offerings. Not every business is the same, so not every cloud will fit. If you bypass this limitation and build your own cloud, you can remove the lack of flexibility forced upon your company by third-party vendors. With an in-house solution, your cloud can do whatever you need it to do, in a way that perfectly fits your business model and needs.

5: Sync speed

I've had issues with third-party cloud storage and sync where, due to heavy usage, my files and folders took far too long to sync. In a business setting, this is not acceptable. Workflow must enjoy immediacy or everything could bottleneck. If you bring your cloud in-house, you are only as limited as the data pipe you have feeding your internal network.

6: Company integration

You probably already have servers with shared directories and either and Active Directory or LDAP service running. If you build your own cloud, there's no reason why those preexisting services can't be rolled in. Not only will this make your cloud more powerful, it will also make it more IT- and user-friendly.

7: Unlimited size

Run out of space on your cloud? Slap on another drive. That's not the case with a third-party solution (where you wind up having to purchase more space). And even if you are allowed to purchase more space on a third-party solution, it will eventually max out. With your own internal cloud, that space is unlimited.

8: User management

Like the space issue, an in-house cloud means you won't be limited to the number of users who have access to your cloud. Those users can be easily managed, as well. Put varying caps on users based on need, department, etc.  Suspend users, set password requirements --your ability to manage users on your own cloud will be greatly enhanced compared to what you can do with a third-party solution.

9: Backup control

How is your current cloud backed up? If something goes hideously wrong, are you sure you can recover your data? If your cloud is in-house, you can always be sure that you have an up-to-date backup. Of course, you'll have to set up a backup and ensure that it backup works. But you'll be able to physically check on your backup (and even rotate drives). Take this one step further and make sure you have a regular, current image of the cloud server. With this image, should something catastrophic occur, you can be back up and running quickly.

10: HIPAA Compliance

Not all clouds are HIPAA compliant. If you bring your cloud in-house, so long as your internal network meets HIPAA requirements, your cloud will be closer to being compliant. With the in-house cloud, you can make sure that you meet the strict demands of the OCR HIPAA Audit Protocol. The only challenge beyond that will be ensuring that any client that connects to the cloud is also HIPAA compliant -- but that issue has to be addressed regardless of cloud location. Although cloud computing itself offers some serious challenges to HIPAA compliance, having your own in-house cloud server will make it easier for you to reach a compliant stage.

Pros and cons?

There are plenty of reasons for having your own in-house cloud. Naturally, it all boils down to one major factor:  Do you have the staff with the skill to build and manage that cloud? If so, the decision is a no-brainer.

What are some other benefits -- or disadvantages -- of bringing your cloud in house? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

54 comments
rmaillet56
rmaillet56

The internet wass not created by the militery It was created by Cerns Switzerland and MIT in Boston MA as a means of transfering data on Nuclear fusion. then other colages started attach them selfs to the network and it soon became a communications network with no beginning and no end thats when the US government took it over during the cold war... You can read the whole story at http://home.web.cern.ch/ or at MIT.edu

george
george

lets see history to understand the cloud... let make is simple. in the 80s and early 90s we encounter the "network" that created the LAN and WAN from that point we become aware the INTERNET created by the US military. the world started to connect to this "network" called INTERNET (simple cable connecting computers based on a protocol called IP). that was the beginning of cloud. the services on the internet started with hosting and email services which can be called small cloud. now we have much more serves running on the internet providing services and applications to the Internet People. so the cloud is just a big cable where many computers (servers) are connected so the [U] CLOUD = NETWORK ON A LARGE SCALE. [/U] this is my opinion.

rmaillet56
rmaillet56

Many hospitals and doctors offices are using Electronic Health Records or Electronic Hospital Records applications delivered strictly by the software providers choice of cloud solution providers such as Google or Amazon who do provide an excellent cloud infrastructure. But, If the Internet goes down weather it be the carrier delivering internet access to the various users of the applications or some place else that brakes the connection to the application without having an internal backup of some sort life's are at risk. Hence Price -V- Cost so what is the cost of a life. Or are we now back in the Vietnam era where life was worth nothing but a $0.20 bullet. The point I've been trying to make is as follows. I have been a systems and network engineer for over twenty years and have built some of the largest financial services ASP's in the world. What I am seeing today is the younger mostly windows IT professionals really think different when it comes to Price -V- Cost as compared to the way us older Unix and Linux IT professionals were taught. Life is a big player when evaluating Cost.

rmaillet56
rmaillet56

If what you say is true why are most Doctors and hospitals using strictly EMR/EHR services that are cloud based solution with zero in house redundancy in the event the Internet goes down. If life and death is not a serious issue in your eyes what would be more important to you if you were the one just brought in an ambulance and your medical records were unavailable and you happen to be allergic to something they shoot into your veins.

rmaillet56
rmaillet56

I think what most IT managers have forgotten is Price -V- Cost and the variables that must be considered when weighing Price -V- Cost. I think one thing gets overlooked quite a bit these days and that is mission critical requirements. It may be far less expensive to use cloud computing than installing your own data center, but what happens if the Internet goes down between the cloud and the end user some place? Lets take the emerging health care business. Most are free offered over a cloud solution. Lets start with the Doctors Electronic Medical Records (EMR) most are being offered for free the company doing the offering makes their money by charging exorbitant percentage of the billing. But what happens if the Internet goes down for 2 hours that cost the Dr between $300 and $500 an hour. Now take that and run those numbers against a hospital and the numbers grow exponentially by the number of surgeons and size of the hospital.. What I'm saying is there is a place where cloud computing is an excellent solution and then there are other times when its absolutely the wrong solution. These are issues that should be thought through by the CTO or consultant hired to make these decisions. The Price -V- Cost Senior needs to be studied in each case thoroughly. I forgot about the life's that are at stake in Hospitals that are relying on a outsourced cloud computing solutions. Without having a back-up system that is continuously in sync with the cloud database when the Internet goes down life's are at stake. In this circumstance people will die because doctors and nurses are unable to access crucial medical information IE: allergies to penicillin, pain killers, or other antibiotics and medications. People will die with out the hospital staff having this information at their finger tips at all times regardless of if the Internet goes down. The reason I am aware of these problems is because i just helped a close family member setup a excellent EMR system that is cloud based. I did this without giving a second thought to the architecture of Cloud computing he hit a snag the second week using the system because the local carrier went down for several hours not only did the doctor loose about a $800 in revenue, his patients health were put in jeopardy because the Doctor was unable to recall their past health history, leaving him in the dark as to what they may be allergic to etc. These are serious issues that surround cloud computing in the medical field that are not being taken into consideration when doctors choose systems. Remember they are doctors and not network and system engineers which I happen to be and I still over looked the most important issue these solutions have to be mission critical solutions and have to be designed and installed with that in mind.

ahanse
ahanse

When in actual fact it smells of gunpowder. Once upon a time after reading an article here I learnt something, nowadays it is more akin to troll fodder and my loyalty is becoming burdensome. The cloud concept fits the way of the future for many reasons that can be seen today with mobile users on a global reach. It makes complete sense. Done and managed with full understanding of the current issues it will/has transformed the way we do things. So bring it on. No matter which way you go there are pro and cons. The central model will be increasingly extremely costly not to mention the ramifications of potential data loss. The self imposed solution will run up against the ongoing staffing problem where the turnover will wreak havoc with the mismatch of skills that exists. The self solution will eventually loose out for the smaller businesses due to overall cost and reliability. Costs will skyrocket as we become reliant on the centralised cloud model because supply and demand dictate prices. Cost will be a water cooler subject for all time but the one for businesses to watch will be data loss because it means the difference between survival and extinction.

Slayer_
Slayer_

We already have that, it is called a LAN. I didn't think the circle would complete so soon.

den123net
den123net

What a moronic take on things! (Unless the article is a joke, in which case, its pretty good, as it caused solid laughs across a large office full of techies). I have now shared it across colleagues and even clients and all had a good belly chuckles.. There is no In-House Cloud by definition. The same way as there is no "National Power Grid" in-house. You can have a server room, sure, even with back-ups (wow), but it is not, nor ever be a Cloud :) Will your own Cloud magically grow when you need more data / compute? Will it shrink at night when you don't need it? The author should get a tech job, (writing does not count), and even then refrain from advising anyone on anything ...

starmagus
starmagus

What is HIPAA Compliance? HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed.

mvanzwieten
mvanzwieten

Just wanted to send in a correction... it's actually HIPAA... Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Not to be confused with HIPPO. :)

RNR1995
RNR1995

UGH! sick of the cloud talk, cloud smoud

bobcglewis
bobcglewis

I am very non-geek (obviously) but isn't someone chasing their tail here? Once there were big servers in the cleaner's office at the end of the corridor. Then people (like Google) put thousands of servers into aircraft hangers, rented out their capabilities and gave this the rather funky and esoteric name of 'cloud' computing, as if it floated in the stratospheric ether; and then, latterly, (in the mindless race for whose-got-the-acronym-of the-week award, 'SaaS', so-normal-people-will have-to-ask-what-it-means-and-we'll-look-so-clever-and-scientific-when-we tell-them. What a load of GC (Geek Crap)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm very confused, especially by point #6: "Company integration - You probably already have servers with shared directories and either and Active Directory or LDAP service running. If you build your own cloud, theres no reason why those preexisting services cant be rolled in." What does Jack mean by rolling existing services into a private cloud? How does this differ from the existing shared directory configuration? It sounds like we're adding a layer of something between the service and the users, but I can't picture what it is. It looks to me like all of Jack's advantages are just rehashings of the traditional client-server model. That's the model I've used mentally to understand 'cloud computing', with servers external to the clients and an Internet link in the middle. Obviously that doesn't apply to internal clouds, but how does 'internal cloud' differ from 'client-server'? Does IT no longer provide a resource and the infrastructure to connect to it? Are my previous understandings incorrect? What are the changes? What am I missing?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The Internet was NOT created by the US military. It was created by university research departments funded by the US military.

rduncan
rduncan

that I would gladly take part in, especially around your Linux background and Price -V -Cost - that's interesting.,. I do think - or I hope rather, that the medical profession while it relies on computers like everyone else, would not be hindered too much by not having internet access - just in terms of dealing with trauma etc, - however you mention medical records and I know in Europe there is no way we could put them into the public cloud, I'm fairly sure it would be in violation of the data protection act, there is still a lot of data that for legal and auditing reasons cannot go into the cloud

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...why are most Doctors and hospitals using strictly EMR/EHR services that are cloud based solution..." Are MOST doing this? Over in the "Why you should be working in Health IT" discussion, the article and posts indicate there's plenty of room for growth, including cloud solutions. I agree with you that cloud solutions may be a questionable approach. Where we disagree is the pervasiveness of current deployments, both in general and in the medical field in particular.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"I think what most IT managers have forgotten is Price -V- Cost and the variables that must be considered when weighing." I disagree. I think most IT managers are well aware of this issue, as well as most of the other ones you point out. That's why cloud adoption is running behind the predictions of the academics, consultants, and marketers.

rduncan
rduncan

compute power will go the same way as electricity in the 20th century, not sure I can agree about costs though, as they keep going down every year

rduncan
rduncan

because LAN refers to a network

rduncan
rduncan

Will your own Cloud magically grow when you need more data / compute? Will it shrink at night when you don't need it? it won't grow magically, but neither does any cloud,however you can build a hybrid cloud and consume some public resources as you need them (is this magic?) - will it shrink at night - yes! this can be controlled by policy, not just virtual machines but right down to powering downing nodes, these are built in features of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge chipsets that private cloud developers are taking advantage of and can save even small data centers thousands per year. Private cloud is the fastest growing industry on earth at the moment, makes me wonder about that large room of 'techies'

rduncan
rduncan

...you should buy that domain name ;-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

rduncan tried, but he couldn't get it through my thick skull. I get that a 'private cloud' adds a layer on top of the traditional client-server model, but what does that layer do for me?

rduncan
rduncan

The client server model is more of a user analogy like producer/consumer whereas the cloud model is the abstraction of the underlying technologies that make that model work, you need to go back a couple of steps to the deployment phase of the client server model, the cloud is about cataloguing these deployments into a couple of clicks and getting the same result over and over again - also during the deployment phase you can reach deep into the operating system and configure services and applications- up until now all we are getting is out-of-the-box OS and an architect or administrator designs the platform - now we can use tools like AWS 'cloudformation' to deploy 'stacks' - this is best explained by example, Imagine you have to deploy services on a green field site - you need racks, power, cooling, servers, networking, security, resilience, maybe a hypervisor, storage network - you got all that ordered, installed? - great you still haven't delivered anything to end users - they want an AD forest and a SharePoint site - it has to be highly available and load balanced for 500 users it must be secure, let's not even consider your new servers all need firmware updates, your switching needs to be done, your SAN fabric (you bought a standard one and it only takes 1 RAID configuration across all disks - better make it RAID 10 for performance - there goes half your storage!) - This is all going to have to be 'project managed' and take a couple of weeks at least. There are a couple of problems with your platform - you didn't really know enough about SharePoint and you suspect it may not be optimally configured - oh well - I'm sure you'll learn more about because next month you have to do the same thing at another site. Now check AWS out for deploying a Sharepoint HA farm complete with new AD forest, highly available and load balanced across Two different 'availability-zones'- nicely configured for optimal performance- high performance RAID for SQL - any old volume for you log files - now you can deploy both customer sites at the same time - yes, you can customize each installation, what else? it can scale, now we need 1;000 current users- actually we only need 50 concurrent users. yes of course there are caveats, you need to consider everything. here is one on AWS http://aws.amazon.com/articles/9982940049271604 here is one on Azure http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/training-kit/hol-deploysharepointvms/ and that's just one example! Private cloud is the abstraction of the underlying technology the same a public cloud but...I can audit my data, I can use multiple hypervisors, I can sync my local directory and all of those powerful things that come with total ownership -Sorry if that seems long and windy!

tbmay
tbmay

....there won't be many onsite datacenters and server rooms for most businesses. The idea, of course, is the big guys simply can do hardware infrastructure cheaper. With that said, "the cloud" is about as vague a term of something to be touting as anything I've heard. I just slightly more specific than getting on tech boards and talking about how smart it would be for everyone to use the Internet. And it MUCH less specific than touting using large provider services to take advantage of the commodity nature of network services.

rmaillet56
rmaillet56

What Hospitals and Dr offices really need is a small in house solution working in conjunction with a properly designed ASP for constant up time and protection of the data.

rduncan
rduncan

while there is great hysteria when public cloud platforms go down, in truth they offer much better up-time that local datastores, especially when you consider maintenance windows etc. with regard to people dropping dead in the emergency room while doctors dick around with computers, seems like a comical scenario to me ...we tried to save your husband, but 'the internet' was down as for people being allergic to penicillin, in most cases this is ascertained by asking the patient, it's not brain surgery

Slayer_
Slayer_

the cloud is just a buzzword it's full name is the network Cloud. the network Cloud is the unknown network connections usually outside the wan. Having an internal cloud is pointless, an internal network is called a lan or local area network. We already have those.

den123net
den123net

This debate is getting silly (it like arguing that horses are better than cars), but here is my last reply on this: Again, there is no such thing as in-house or private Cloud. Like there is no such thing as an in-house power grid. You can host in-house and have your own private DC (on site or off site), but it is not, nor will ever be a Cloud. Calling it your cloud is silly. it won't grow magically, but neither does any cloud, = yes it does :). Well not magically, but companies like AWS, Google, MS have technology which took them years and billions to develop that you will not have access to. They can add capacity at such a rate (and they do) that the dont actually know how many servers they have (Google has stated this publicly) It does not matter to them. They have moved away from individual servers or racks or even DCs - it is all just capacity for them now. They run custom Hypervisors and OSes that you cannot deploy in house, and never will... So its like "magic" for most of us. however you can build a hybrid cloud and consume some public resources as you need them (is this magic?) = Not it is not magic (see above), but, the economic argument is lost immediately if you accept this: If hybrid works, then why full Cloud does not? Demand is peaks and troughs. If you build DC for the max demand (the past) - at least 50% is wasted - when you dont use it. If you build it for average, you waste 25% only, but have to pay extra every time you go to max. If you build for the minimum, then your utilisation is 100% (in theory), but then why make the investment at all? Hopefully you get the point that the only possible rationale for hybrid cloud is when you have ALREADY (in the past) made the investment, and just want to migrate to Cloud gradually, and sweat something that you cannot do anything else with for a while. Even then it is dubious, which brings us to the next point. will it shrink at night - yes! this can be controlled by policy, not just virtual machines but right down to powering downing nodes, these are built in features of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge chipsets that private cloud developers are taking advantage of and can save even small data centers thousands per year. = Lol. Really? You can turn down power and cooling, even turn off machines at night - but this is saving a fraction of the cost. Do you get some of you initial investment back? Do you shrink the room in the building? Do you shrink security / patches / maintenance / salaries of the employees managing it? No of course not. Thats why those costs are called "Fixed". In fact, even at peak times, every manual tells you not to run anything at 100% capacity - 75% is typically the top threshold. So what happens to the 25% remaining? Do you get that back? Does someone pay you? Rhetorical question... Private cloud is the fastest growing industry on earth at the moment, makes me wonder about that large room of 'techies' = where did you get this from? Public Cloud (AWS, Google, MS, Rackspace and a few others) are growing exponentially, where as server and hardware sales are crashing (the stuff that would be used for "private clouds" (HP, IBM et al all whining and trying to build their own private clouds) - just do some simple googling or read anyone from Gartner to the The Register to see this. The room of techies, most used to design DCs and build / deploy / manage servers, large and small. They have all left the industry to join the one that has come to replace it - Cloud.

bobcglewis
bobcglewis

But spell it right - cloudschmoud!

RNR1995
RNR1995

It is available....we own too many already!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Maybe I didn't understand the AWS example, but that looks like an external application and not an internal one. I'm paying Amazon to host my data and services, right? For internal, won't someone still have to perform that list of tasks in your second paragraph? If I'm going to roll out the same basic configuration repeatedly then some form of template or image will make it easier, but I'm doing that now without using a 'cloud'. Say I need a new SQL server. I open the hypervisor, copy an existing template (one someone inside the company had to create and configure), give it a name, IP address, etc., and go. I can't scale up internally without having to eventually add new hardware. I understand it works when I'm paying an external source to make all this happen. I don't see what the additional layer in an 'internal cloud' provides.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

A properly configured server farm and a generator can provide that, at least until the diesel tank runs dry.

rduncan
rduncan

that's correct, of course you have to plan for some overhead in every datacentre so you can handle extra load on servers and of course some room for growth, lets say you have 20% unused capacity - this is generally the norm - it's not seen as wasted capacity that you will never receive a return on investment on, but your basically saying, this is what my datacentre can handle today, and this is how much we can grow before we need to purchase X Y or Z so if you deploy a private cloud you say the same thing except - if I want to grow my datacentre for a month, a day - or whatever I can I don't care what the hardware is now, even without a cloud -well that's true, but consider you deploy hyper-v on a Microsoft cluster, Microsoft cluster certainly does care what the hardware is the cluster validation report will have a hissy fit if one node has 100MB Ethernet and one node has 1gb - I'm sure it's somehow doable but would be a nightmare if your 1GB host went down and all you virtual machines migrate onto the 100MB one

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Okay, let's take it a step further. "the reason being, you want to take all of the hardware resources inside your datacentre and turn it into a commodity," Why? Once the company has purchased infrastructure hardware, it has spent the money. It's not going to resell unused capacity to other companies. Indeed, it shouldn't be buying more capacity than it anticipates needing over the next 3 to 5 years. If it buys more, it's wasting money on hardware that will be obsolete before the capacity will be used. If its business is seasonal, like retail at Christmas, it makes sense to turn to external vendors for needed resources on a temporary basis. But it wouldn't build that sort of capacity into an internal cloud, would it? If the company isn't doing that, then what capability does this internal cloud provide? "you don't care much what the hardware is anymore - if it has a processor, RAM, some hard drives- great!" I don't care what the hardware is now, even without a cloud. I clone a new virtual server off a template, add it to the domain, add any necessary apps that aren't in the template and bang, Bob's your uncle. But I don't have capacity to create a large number of new servers. We don't anticipate doing this, and the capacity to do so would be a waste of resources.

rduncan
rduncan

there is no need for third party services, and it is installed entirely on the company architecture, and of course behind your firewall, it's also dependent on virtualization so they all come bundled with hypervisors- so at this point most people usually stop processing and say - ok, I can have all of that with vmware or hyper-v - why should I bother deploying what is essentially the same thing as a hypervisor. the reason being, you want to take all of the hardware resources inside your datacentre and turn it into a commodity, you don't care much what the hardware is anymore - if it has a processor, RAM, some hard drives- great! we will install the 'node' part of the private cloud platform register it with the 'controller' (or whatever they groovy name the developers put on it), and now these resources are available in your cloud. the front end user console tells you - you have x amount of compute power in your cloud - you have x amount of storage and so on, ( are you familiar with 'the borg'? you assimilate servers into your cloud ) so like virtualization you have server templates (4 core, 8 gig, 60gb disk) - usually from micro to x large, based on this your controller will tell you exactly how many of each you can launch in whatever 'availability zone' so the reason I mention public clouds is, some private clouds are compatible with public clouds, so while of course you are right to point out they are available to everyone, if you have a compatible private cloud you can use amazon cloud like it's inside your datacentre, the commands are compatible, the user authentication, the storage. if you need more of something for an application you are hosting inside your own datacentre you have compatibility to take something from the public cloud without issue. it's 'elastic'.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but I'm not sure we're using the word 'private' in the same way. Let's tackle that before we get any deeper. You keep referencing third-party services. Those are what I think of as public clouds. They're available to anyone who pays the hosting company for their services. But the article is about why a company should build its own cloud instead of paying someone else. I understand a private cloud to be one hosted entirely inside a company's firewall, with all users being employees or stakeholders of the company. Is that correct? If so, then I don't see what the 'cloud' part is. Users connect to resources provided by company servers via the company LAN, right? Somebody on the company IT staff sets all this up and manages it. There are no third-party services involved, and the resources are solely for the company's use. Am I at least close?

rduncan
rduncan

it's everything related to IT, infrastructure, platforms, software, networking, security, appliances etc- except it's consumerized so that I can, as a private cloud operator, give or charge you for some compute power, or some storage (DropBox is built from a public cloud API) or some bandwidth. if my private cloud platform is compatible with a public cloud one then, I can (at the coding level for example) take advantage of public cloud services like compute, so now your 'local' data centre is elastic, it can expand and contract, a private cloud platform can keep VM's running at night and power down most of your servers, SCVMM is now pretty much a private cloud platform, you pop in you Azure subscription details and now you can spin up a SQL server in Azure and use it in your local datacentre etc etc.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

the patient is conscious to be asked. And I -still- don't know what a 'private cloud' is...

den123net
den123net

As it the tech has moved on. Google for example has its own file system, which breaks everything up into 64 MB chunks that are stored across multiple data centres at least 5 times - all are in sync, all constantly moving, and no one specifically, not even Google knows exactly where "the data" is at any one time time. Scary? yes, but it requires them to have an approach to security unlike any other. This means in practice, it is almost impossible to steal data or destroy it by an attack. Or at least the attack vector has to be as modern as their unique system. So its not just a bunch of disks somewhere anymore. Like the grid, it is not as simple as just pointing out the power plant any more.

rduncan
rduncan

because I don't know wtf you are talking about

bobcglewis
bobcglewis

However you want to romanticise it, somewhere (presumably on Earth) there's always a f-----g hard drive(s) - whoever owns it (them). Not so?

rduncan
rduncan

please site your source that proclaims that the 'cloud' by definition is a network.....it's not a network, this demonstrates a complete lack of understanding to both networking and cloud computing, if you don't understand cloud computing I don't know why you feel compelled to comment, it all sounds rather techno-phobic. The fact is Cloud computing is a multi facet service that beats traditional datacentre (not LAN) configurations hands down on any measurable metric, there is no point is putting you fingers in your ears and yelling 'LAN LAN LAN' there is no technical grounds to compare the Two, and for the sake on enlightenment an AMI is an Amazon Machine Image, the crazy community who have embraced Cloud computing and have made over 2,000 of these so far, these are fully configured appliances that you can bundle to your own 'LAN' if you have a private cloud. - a private cloud is your own AWS, so nothing like a LAN or network, it does have network components perhaps that is why your are confused https://aws.amazon.com/amis allowing non IT staff spin up servers has nothing to do with driving to a public cloud provider, using a private cloud you can create a group called, lets say 'Developers' - members of this group (sync'd from your directory) can log in to the private cloud self service portal, you have applied a policy to these users that lets them consume, 2 TB fast storage, 1 TB ordinary storage, access to spin up servers (these are virtual servers), like say, a ruby on rails stack , or .net stack and team foundation server - you have these configurations cataloged so they pick them from the menu and start developing the app (this is called Platform as a Service). After they finish they need to deploy the app, again you pick a Platform from the menu like a LAMP stack or JBOSS or IIS stack - whatever. Hypervisor management consoles such as vCentre and SCVMM are morphing into private cloud platforms, but much better ones are Eucalyptus (Elastic Utility Computing for Linking your Programs to Useful Systems). Jack - you will love this running on Ubuntu server, another big community one is OpenStack - which already supports the shibboleth SAML protocol for claims based authentication, this looks like a favorite among federated institutions because federation members would become 'tenants' in a community cloud. Potentially saving certain sectors millions

Slayer_
Slayer_

[i]a cloud is not a network, granted the name was spawned from old network diagrams when engineers would draw the backbone to 'cloud' or internet services, i.e. the unknown - putting your internal data center into a cloud formation saves time and money and you can actively grow and shrink you datacentre into public clouds.[/i] The cloud by definition is a network. [i] do you have public ips at you LAN gateway [/i] I can do that at home on a basic consumer router, but why would I want to? [i] DHCP servers [/i] Again, home router [i] DNS [/i] Domain Name services? Normally use to interpret website names into IP addresses. I don't see a purpose for this on a normal LAN. [i] Loadbalancers [/i] Gigabit network makes load balancing less of an issue. But still possible using "QOS" which I might add, nearly all 40 dollar consumer routers have this. Damn the cloud so far seems useless. [i] Storage controllers [/i] I don't know what this is [i] Is you LAN compatible with public cloud machine images like AMI ? [/i] Never heard of it [i] Does you LAN know about Public clouds and load balance during peak times, snapshop local storage to cloud storage for off-site backup [/i] Why would it need to? [i] do you still have to patch servers in? [/i] With network cables? no, magical fairies make networking possible, just like your cloud apparently. [i] do your LAN services have elasticity to consume more compute, more ip addresses, more storage? [/i] Yes, you buy these things called hard drives, and put them in things called computers. [i] will you LAN automatically move your data to faster disks during peak access based on metrics? [/i] It can if you really want to. But moving data would take longer than accessing it. If I know what needs to be fast, I will put it on the fast disk access. [i] does you LAN allow non IT staff spin up servers? [/i] Wow, ok drive to your cloud provider, and ask to turn on their servers. Let's see what they say. [i] does you LAN allow you to associate and IP address to block storage? [/i] I don't know what that is. [i] does you LAN allow you to deploy a HA application across your datacentre and a public cloud provider or Two? [/i] I don't know what that is but since the point of this is to move clouds internal, it seems pointless to argue this. [i] *you can painstakingly achieve all of this using a million seperate 'solutions' or you can embrace the paradigm shift [/i] Fine, but we all already did that, then were told to ditch it for cloud, and now we are told to take these cloud services back internally. Sorry I am not an IT person. But as I read this blog, it sounds like they want to reverse everything they did with moving things to the cloud. Maybe there is more to this that makes it easy for you to understand, but I don't get it. It sounds like a bad idea compounded on a bad idea.

rduncan
rduncan

a cloud is not a network, granted the name was spawned from old network diagrams when engineers would draw the backbone to 'cloud' or internet services, i.e. the unknown - putting your internal data center into a cloud formation saves time and money and you can actively grow and shrink you datacentre into public clouds. do you have public ips at you LAN gateway DHCP servers DNS Loadbalancers Storage controllers Is you LAN compatible with public cloud machine images like AMI ? Does you LAN know about Public clouds and load balance during peak times, snapshop local storage to cloud storage for off-site backup do you still have to patch servers in? do your LAN services have elasticity to consume more compute, more ip addresses, more storage? will you LAN automatically move your data to faster disks during peak access based on metrics? does you LAN allow non IT staff spin up servers? does you LAN allow you to associate and IP address to block storage? does you LAN allow you to deploy a HA application across your datacentre and a public cloud provider or Two? *you can painstakingly achieve all of this using a million seperate 'solutions' or you can embrace the paradigm shift

rduncan
rduncan

This debate is getting silly - yes, since your first post firstly 'googling' as you put it, is not research - it's search, God knows I could come across an opinion like yours above while 'googling' and end up totally misinformed, you seem to think we need to build clouds the size of AWS for them to be considered clouds ....here I did some googling for you..... OpenStack is an open and scalable operating system for building public and private clouds. It provides both large and small organizations an alternative to closed cloud environments, reducing the risks of lock-in associated with proprietary platforms. OpenStack offers flexibility and choice through a highly engaged community of over 6,000 individuals and over 190 companies including Rackspace®, Dell, HP, IBM, and Red Hat®. The Leading Private Cloud Platform Eucalyptus Systems provides IT organizations in enterprises and technology businesses with the leading open source software for building AWS-compatible private and hybrid clouds. Apache CloudStack is open source software designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines, as a highly available, highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform. CloudStack is used by a number of service providers to offer public cloud services, and by many companies to provide an on-premises (private) cloud offering, or as part of a hybrid cloud solution. OpenNebula.org is an open-source project developing the industry standard solution for building and managing virtualized enterprise data centers and enterprise private clouds. For a growing number of enterprises, the journey to cloud computing begins with a private cloud implementation built on Microsoft Windows Server and System Center technologies. A private cloud transforms the way your business delivers and consumes IT services. Amplify your datacenter’s efficiency and agility while enhancing security and control with a private cloud from VMware. Consolidate datacenters and deploy workloads on shared infrastructure with built-in security and role-based access control. http://www.google.ie/about/datacenters/efficiency/external/index.html ...keep clicking your ruby slippers

rduncan
rduncan

..virtual, scale-able, they mean they same thing in computing as they do life, you can extend in one direction, you can scale both ways- take it out on the English language I guess

bobcglewis
bobcglewis

Do we really need words like 'virtualisation' (7 syllables!) and 'scaleable' (= extendable)?

tbmay
tbmay

The more I think about "private cloud" the more confused I am about the term. Is vdi an example of private cloud? Is it simply a combination of virtualization and scalable storage? If so, did we really need a new buzzword?