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Buy, Build or Brush Off

There are many ways to approach the cloud. You can be all in, go partway, or ignore the whole thing. And whether you go all in or partway you still need to decide on an architecture.

Two main choices are building your own cloud -- either by creating a private cloud or buying a public cloud service. The problem with this nomenclature is a public cloud should not be public. How can data be secured if it is truly public?

Access to the public (remote) cloud should only be granted to trusted users. Done right, a public cloud is just as private as a private cloud. How about we change our terms to in-house cloud and remote cloud.

Anyhoo, noted IT guru Greg Shields believes that some kind of move to the cloud is inevitable, and that shops will have a mix of private (in-house) and public (remote) clouds.

The key difference, according to Shields, is you build a private (in-house) cloud, but you buy a public (remote) cloud.

On the private (err, in-house) side you are halfway there if you've already virtualized your servers. Once you take that step, you then just need to set it up so these VMs are flexible, taking advantage of extra resources as they're needed and creating a view where all these apps look like a unified manageable service. Jeepers. Sound easy and cool. Wish it were so.

That brings me back to the whole notion of a private (in-house) cloud. A private cloud is only a cloud if it acts like a utility. I wonder how many private (in-house) clouds actually fit the true description of a cloud. To me, private clouds are more hype than truth.

Tell me where I'm right or wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/18/2011 at 1:18 PM


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