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Private Cloud... Really?

What Bill Murray in Caddyshack teaches about Private Clubs

Surveys report that companies fear the Public Cloud. Sure enough there's much to fear. Those of us who follow the media know how in a movie like Caddyshack even at a fancy private golf club an innocent little candy bar can result in a stampede of people desperate to exit the pool and a punch line depicting Bill Murray all decked out in a Hazmat suit. So if something like that can happen in a private club pool, imagine where a public pool event might lead? Fukushima comes to mind. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. Tokyo Electric was a Private company. Bad example.

If Private Cloud were possible, it would already exist. Vendors will gladly sell you every single technology necessary to achieve it--and have been doing so for years. IT departments love to buy that stuff, but never get around to actually installing it or using it. It reminds me a little of those most excellent Monster.com SuperBowl ads of yore.

To bring this video up to date, just add, "When I grow up, I want to negotiate multi-million dollar enterprise software licenses, and then just keep the software on-the-shelf and never install it."

What's the Secret?
The secret is this: Cloud is not about technology. It is all about competition and "about the Benjamins." Public Cloud works because it brings into sharp relief the massive failure of IT in general and data centers in particular. Once you fork over several hundred million dineros and the Private Cloud/ aka next generation data center is constructed, what incentive does the data center organization have to actually fulfill its promise? The fact is, once you make the kind of investment required for a Private Cloud, the IT department owns you--not the other way around. The reason Public Cloud works is because you as the business person finally have control. Control is something you've never had before: are you so eager to let it slip through your fingers because you were afraid?

Have you ever tried to hold anyone internally accountable for breaching a Service Level Agreement? I bet you didn't bother with that exercise again. Your internal Private Cloud department will have so many excuses for not meeting your needs, why it can't meet the same standards and cost benchmarks as Public Cloud that you will soon feel like you never left your private "old school" data center. And that will be pretty much the truth because other than spending a lot of cash, little will have changed.

ABCD (A-Always B-be C-Closing D-Datacenters)

Cloud is all about scale. And you don't have the scale to make it work. And the people who could make it work, don't want to work for you. They want to be a part of a larger dream and that dream is the Public Cloud where all the excitement and action is going on. You can't just put a new skin on an old data center. My favor / advice to you? As Alec Baldwin cries out in Glengarry Glen Ross,  "the real favor, follow my advice and fire [them] . . .  because a loser is a loser."

Further Reading

Of Clouds and Container Ships: Community Cloud--Not in a Boat, Not with a Goat>

Practical Analysis: The Great Myth Of Cloud Computing -- InformationWeek

Gartner: IT should be planning, moving to private clouds

More Stories By Brian McCallion

Brian McCallion, founder of New York City-based consultancy Bronze Drum focuses on the unique challenges of Public Cloud adoption in the Fortune 500. Forged along the fault line of Corporate IT and line of business meet, Brian successfully delivers successful enterprise public cloud solutions that matter to the business. In 2011, while the Cloud was just a gleam in the eye of most Fortune 500 firms Brian designed and proved the often referenced hybrid cloud architecture that enabled McGraw-Hill Education to scale the web and application layer of its $160M revenue, 2M user higher education platform in Amazon Web Services. Brian recently designed and delivered the JD Power and Associates strategic customer facing Next Generation Content Platform, an Alfresco Content Management solution supported by a substantial data warehouse and data mart running in AWS and a batch job that processes over 500M records daily in RDS Oracle.”