From virtualisation to private cloud

Small steps to big results

Published/updated: July 2012

By Andrew Buss

Key Points

Virtualisation is seen by many as a key foundation stone for private cloud
When 118 respondents to a recent online survey were asked whether they thought that virtualisation skills provide a firm foundation for moving to private cloud, just over half agreed. Around a quarter were neutral about this, while fewer than 10 per cent disagreed.

But private cloud is not universally seen as the automatic next step from virtualisation
When asked whether they thought that private cloud was the natural next step from virtualisation, just under 40 per cent agreed, though those with greater experience were more inclined to acknowledge the progression.

Implementing a full private cloud can be complex and costly
Few organisations are at the level where their IT department can justify rolling out a full private cloud solution. However, many of the aspects of private cloud can bring recognisable benefits to the way IT is run and provides services to the business. Many companies could benefit from cherry-picking the most relevant parts of private cloud to make their infrastructure more dynamic and ‘cloud-like’.

Getting to grips with management will be the key to cloud-like environments
All too often, applications, systems or platforms are implemented on a project basis and then managed using a bunch of separate tools that come as default with each solution. In addition, IT operations teams are often physically distinct, leading to a fragmented management environment. Being able to get on top of automated workload management and distribution will require structural change to get the teams working together as well as investment in integrated management tool sets.

Charge back and billing are low-down on the private cloud priority list
While many voices in the industry opine that billing and self-service are key elements of private cloud, the evidence suggests that it is low down on the real priority list. If a billing culture is already in place, it may help to accelerate the move to a more private cloud-like environment, but it is clearly not a pre-requisite for moving this way.

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