Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

My Own Private Cloud

Has the Pendulum Swung Back?

Is the pendulum swinging back toward local datacenters running private cloud? Certainly some decisions I'm getting involved in indicate it is in my little part of the world.

But first let me ask, did the pendulum ever really swing toward public cloud? A survey conducted in Sept 2013 by Cloud Passage of SMBs and enterprises (more than 1,000 employees) found 21% deploying private cloud only and 13% deploying public clouds only, with 48% deploying both. The survey also found smaller businesses including public cloud more frequently.

Getting hard numbers on public vs. private is impossible. So given the one metric above and a few years' experience writing and researching the topic, I'll provide my take:

  • Initial enthusiasm was for public cloud taking over the world. The vision of Nic Carr's The Big Switch prevailed in cloud-related articles and speeches , in which computer resources were delivered and measured like water or electricity. This school of thought believed that there was no such thing as private cloud - if it was on-premise, it wasn't cloud.

  • VMware's success in virtualizing a couple billion dollars worth of datacenters per year refuted the Big Switch vision. Even though proponents have always been careful to say that virtualization alone is not cloud, it sure feels that way when your local resources are suddenly much more productive and running much hotter.

  • The era of hybrid cloud ensued.

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Kant (but not Hegel) would be proud.

How Much?
I've long thought it would be very helpful if Jeff Bezos released the revenue figures for Amazon's public-cloud offerings. Surely he considers the secrecy of this information as part of his competitive advantage.

More important, I'd like to know, as a potential customer, Amazon's revenue and expenses, difficult as it may be to determine them. Because I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that not only should cost savings not be a reason to move to public cloud, but in fact, no such savings exist.

Total upfront cost aside, I made the opex vs. capex argument in favor of public cloud many times in the early days of a few years ago.

Think Local
But now, I'm tasked with building a cloud for a startup with ambitious goals. The firm has capex, in fact, wants to spend money on capital expenditure because it's tangible and easily funded. In running the numbers, I've found that we may be able to build and operate our datacenter locally for less money over three years than to simply buy public cloud resources.

We'll also have the additional benefits of stimulating a local economy (in rural Northern Illinois) that needs it badly, while tapping into a large fiber-optic network that was just laid down throughout the region as part of an $85 million government program. We have all the brick-and-mortar, construction expertise, and bandwidth we need here. We can provide jobs every step of the way, including once we're up and running.

I'm evaluating a whole bunch (for lack of a more elegant, precise term) of alternatives for PaaS (to create the software that will drive the datacenter), and for a private-cloud infrastructure that makes performance and economic sense.

We can do this with just a single rack of servers to start - I'm not talking about recreating an NSA or Google site. But we can blast enough cyberkinetic energy into the tubes of the Internet to serve a very ambitious business plan with our own private cloud. If we need more, we have plenty of room, bandwidth (as I said already), and electricity.

And if we run short of processing at any step of the way, I'll just give Jeff Bezos a call and see if he has some extra-large instances to sell to me on an occasional basis.

Contact Me on Twitter

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...