Jul 7, 2011
There’s a split going on in cloud computing. Once considered a very public yet often nebulous and insecure environment known more for pay-as-you-go applications and services (i.e., SaaS), we have witnessed over the last couple of years a breakup of cloud computing into public and private cloud sectors.
What originally accounted for the cloud’s burgeoning popularity now comprises what we commonly refer to as the public cloud. This portion offers Web-based applications like Google Apps and Salesforce.com, which run on the public Internet and are open to any paying user.
What has emerged more recently, however, is the private cloud. Private clouds, as indicated by their name, are owned by individual companies and enterprises and are used to centralize all or portions of their computer systems. Anything from data storage to applications to operating systems can now be cloud based and managed independently by an individual company.
Recently, Microsoft’s David Linthicum provided Forbes.com with his thoughts on the business benefits of the private cloud (BTW, Microsoft is a huge proponent of the private cloud over the public cloud for enterprise use). Linthicum says that the four main business benefits of a private cloud environment are:
What all four benefits boil down to is that a private cloud arrangement minimizes management and maintenance because computing is performed in a centralized location – a one location, one IT department, one place to fix when something goes down. This minimization of IT expenses is precisely what enterprises are looking for in this day and age of doing more with less.
Unfortunately, no good idea goes unchallenged.
Rain on Me
Linthicum winds up his article with this caveat:
However, this technology is not something that solves all of your problems. You need to leverage this technology around the right strategy, and with the right people. Training should be a huge part of the deployment plan for cloud management tools, and you’ll also want a policy to constantly monitor their effectiveness.
And he’s right; all those things do need to be considered when establishing a private cloud environment for an enterprise. Where he comes up short, however, is in neglecting the issue of cloud access. Unfortunately, not everyone in the organization will be likely to access the centralized computing system in an orderly fashion so as not to overtax the wide area network that connects employees to the private cloud.
So whether the company is in disaster recovery mode or just doing business as usual, there needs to be some consideration of how everyone will access the cloud without bringing it down.
All cloud computing initiatives have one thing in common – data is centralized, while users are distributed. This places an increased emphasis on the network, making cloud computing susceptible to the same WAN bandwidth, latency, and quality challenges that impact other enterprise applications. By overcoming these challenges, Silver Peak’s WAN optimization (WANop) is critical to all cloud computing initiatives.
Silver Peak employs real-time network optimization techniques to maximize application performance across the cloud while minimizing IT operational costs.
These techniques include:
So, when an enterprise decides to seek a private cloud solution, and channel the Rolling Stones by saying, “Get off of my cloud,” they will find the path to that cloud significantly faster and more efficient by employing these WANop techniques.