- “There is no technical reason for private cloud, its all $, FUD, and internal politics. Discuss.” – Adrian Cockcroft,
- Do you think there is a need for private clouds (vs. public)?
It’s fairly easy to understand because organizational issues because they support the natural inertia of organizations to adopt new ideas. The arguments cover a range of topics, including;
- service level agreements,
- security needs,
- migration costs,
- and many more.
So, Adrian is royalty in cloud (I prefer royalty because it reflects respect for his achievement and position, vs. clouderati which reflects some sort of enlightenment), but his question is a little sensational. First of all it is so broad, it’s difficult to support or refute. Secondly, it encompasses the future, for which anything is possible. He blogs in more detail here.
I believe there are technical reasons why not the cloud, here is my logic.
Public clouds are designed on one basic premise that differentiate them from a private cloud, “Economies of Scale”. Having enough workload running in a multi-tenancy environment will balance out noise in the elasticity of workload and also drive down costs for the operation of the infrastructure. So for a private cloud to exist technically, it needs;
- enough volume to have economies of scale intrinsically,
- workload elasticity to warrant a cloud characteristics,
- a specific technical requirement that does not attract economies of scale publically
The argument will then be that there are many different public clouds, and they can service a wide range of technical requirements, but I still believe that the underlying architecture patterns are complex enough to reveal patterns that cannot be provided in volume.
The other issue I have with economies of scale solutions is they inherently develop lowest common denominator architecture. The business model aspects of public clouds limit their ability to solve for all workloads.
In closing, I will try and give examples of workloads that need private clouds:
- Slot machine gaming software – very elastic workload with very specific technical requirements for security, auditability and physical machine interface. I cannot see this be a public cloud.
- Online gaming – take a large facebook based games company. Lots of elastic workloads, but very close correlation architecturally to each other. They have the economies of scale alone to get the benefits of efficient operations. I can see them developing a private cloud that is optimized for their technical requirements and provides high degrees of automation to get better efficiencies than a public cloud.
What do you think?
Contributed by: Brad Vaughan