One of the most controversial aspects of the rapidly evolving cloud computing market among industry insiders is the idea of ‘private clouds’.
Purists insist that cloud computing is all about exchanging legacy, on-premise, inhouse IT resources and functions with online, shared resources via the Internet (i.e., the ‘cloud’).
While this is the origin of the cloud computing concept, a variety of forces have conspired to create an alternative approach referred to as ‘private clouds’.
These include valid customer concerns regarding privacy, security, reliability and performance; along with proprietary concerns among various hardware and software vendors seeking to usurp some of the spotlight away from cloud upstarts like Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) and Salesforce.com (CRM).
In addition to the sourcing and marketing forces fueling the idea of private clouds, there are various debates regarding the technical implementation of private clouds which have raised questions about the viability of this idea.
Just as it pioneered the practical deployment and delivery of public clouds, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now taking the lead in offering ‘virtual’ private clouds as well.
Anyone who shares my background and experience in the telecom world, can easily see the parallels of yesterday’s AWS announcement with the evolution of the virtual private network in the 1980s to meet the peculiar needs of individual organizations.
Numerous members of the AWS ecosystem have been offering enhancements to its public cloud capabilities to make it more palatable for enterprises to use individually in a safe and secure fashion. Now, AWS is lending more of its resources and reputation to extend their capabilities further to meet users’ unique requirements.
This move will stimulate more customer interest in cloud computing and spark more competition among legacy vendors seeking to legitimize their private cloud efforts.