The {Private} Cloud of Despair

“Oh ye of little faith!”  That’s kind of the reaction I have been getting from some of you to my last missive on the End of Private Clouds.

Perhaps it’s the definition of “not too distant future” that has people confused. There will absolutely be a continuing investment by vendors and their enterprise customers in building and deploying private cloud solutions. Some value will be realized and we can help make sure that happens. However, at some point most customers will fall into a pit of despair and abandon their private clouds BECAUSE THEY CAN’T KEEP UP.

How many enterprises write their own DBMS? SFA/CRM? Operating Systems, Networking, HRMS, ERP, or other systems? How many enterprises custom design their own servers and storage devices?  You know at some point early in the market many of them did just that. Then a vendor solution came along and made continuing their investment a bad business decision.

The fact is that Amazon, Google, Microsoft and (perhaps) IBM are proving that they can run data centers and clouds far more effectively than most enterprises. And it’s only going to get worse for the in-house IT team. The sheer scale, cost model, and ability to invest in R&D for data center technology and operations solutions just favors the bigger players and the gaps are only going to grow.

There’s been some recent noise about the gap between OpenStack hype and actual enterprise adoption. Perhaps many IT organizations are struggling with the tension between their desire to build and operate something as cool as a cloud and their understanding of the bleak reality they are facing.  The ladder to cloud success is very high – and only the undaunted will attempt the climb. The rest will despair of the Quixotic nature of such a quest and will move on to greener pastures.

(c) 2013 John Treadway / CloudBzz / TechBzz Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This post originally appeared at You can follow me on Twitter @CloudBzz.

2 thoughts on “The {Private} Cloud of Despair

  1. Choosing public cloud over in-house data center seems a usability/flexibility trade-off. Surely a happy medium exists?

  2. Well, your “missive” about the long term decline in private clouds seems related to your earlier thoughts on how many “cloudstacks” will survive the next 5 years. At the time, you estimated that there were about 36 “cloudstacks” separated into roughly 4 categories: VMware, which constituted its own category and is now offering their vCloud Hybrid Service; the big public cloud data center operators like AWS, Google and Microsoft; the public OpenStack commercial providers like Rackspace, Internap and HP; the “boutique” public-private-hybrid cloud providers like CloudStack, Eucalyptus and OpenStack private cloud providers like Piston Cloud Computing and Nebula.

    Private clouds delivered “ready-to-run” by the likes of Piston or Nebula might avoid the pitfalls of building your own private cloud out of the collection of OpenStack programs. Private and/or hybrid clouds are likely to be transitional solutions for some organizations until they have requirements that can be more quickly and economically met by public clouds . I agree that private clouds will always be in a race with the innovation and ease of use offered by public clouds. AWS innovates often and continues to advance the state of the art in public cloud services. It will be surprising if private clouds can can keep pace with public clouds over time.

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