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Gartner: 5 things a private cloud is NOT

Brandon Butler | Sept. 14, 2012
The National Institute for Standards in Technology has a definition of what cloud computing is that's fairly agreed upon within the industry. But research firm Gartner says there's still a lot of cloud-washing, or market confusion on exactly what the technology is. Today, the firm released a list of five things the cloud is not.

Private cloud isn't just in the infrastructure layer

Private cloud computing is often thought of as virtual infrastructure services. There are other private cloud deployments though, particularly on the software and platform layers and increasingly in many other forms. Bittman says the IaaS layer is the fastest growing segment of cloud, but it is not necessarily the most important.

"IaaS only provides the lowest-level data center resources in an easy-to-consume way, and doesn't fundamentally change how IT is done," he says. The platform as a service (PaaS) layer, he says, is where organizations can create customized applications built to run on cloud infrastructure. PaaS comes in public or private flavors as well, having the application development service hosted either in your own data center or in a dedicated environment from a provider.

It may not always be private

Private cloud is the natural first step toward a cloud network for many organizations. It provides access to the benefits of the cloud - agility, scalability, efficiency - without some of the security concerns, perceived or real, that come with utilizing the public cloud. But Bittman predicts that as the cloud market continues to evolve, organizations will open to the idea of using public cloud resources. Service-level agreements and security precautions will mature and the impact of outages and downtime will be minimized. Eventually, Gartner predicts that the majority of private cloud deployments will become hybrid clouds, meaning they will leverage public cloud resources. Meaning your private cloud today, may be a hybrid cloud tomorrow. "By starting with a private cloud, IT is positioning itself as the broker of all services for the enterprise, whether they are private, public, hybrid or traditional," Bittman says. "A private cloud that evolves to hybrid or even public could retain ownership of the self-service, and, therefore, the customer and the interface. This is a part of the vision for the future of IT that we call 'hybrid IT.'"



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