Cheat Sheet: Private cloud

How having your own slice of the cloud could be the way forward...

...vendor lock-in. Businesses need to know how they can move data and applications into and out of their hosted private clouds and whether the migration tools that convert applications to work in cloud environments don't stop the apps being used elsewhere.

As always, security is an issue that needs to be considered when creating private clouds, as the management of data that is held and processed in a different kind of computing environment could create holes in security that may not have existed before.

What other challenges are there?
The main business challenges to private cloud adoption are cultural because the implementation of standardised and shared services means different parts of the business will need to adjust to having less customised technology.

With hosted private clouds, the finance department will also need to adjust to new ways of paying for technology as subscription and chargeback models are generally the preferred option of cloud vendors.

This change means businesses will need to work out the IT resources they use to ensure they have the services they need and know what costs are likely to be accrued as a result of using the services.

It must be straightforward once the business has got used to the idea...
Well, not entirely. Once a private cloud is up and running, deciding which parts of the business get priority when competing for computing resources could become a major problem.

So when implementing private cloud technology, businesses need to be clear about the business cases that will be prioritised when there is competition for the flexible resources and manage these priorities effectively.

So will everyone be running private clouds by 2012?
Unlikely. The creation of private clouds could take several years to complete, so the approach won't become widely used for a while.

Analysts at Gartner believe organisations will invest in private cloud services to a greater extent than public cloud in the next couple of years and use the technology as a stepping stone to the public cloud.

However, analysts predict that a hybrid model in which private and public cloud and more traditional technology are all used will become the norm in the long term, as organisations work out the best way to deliver their various technology services.

So it's not going to be just about the private cloud then?
No, but private cloud is going to be a major factor in how IT organisations develop over the next decade.