Race to end Inequality: Private vs. Public Cloud

It’s fair to say I spend a great deal of time contemplating what would be an ideal world for our enterprise cloud customers.

After all, enterprise IT departments that want to offer a cloud solution for their internal customers find that their employees already have high standards. Consumers today are cloud savvy, turning to the likes of Amazon and Google to store and access their digital libraries, music, photos, videos and documents. Their expectations are already set, and that bar is pretty high.

To offer a private cloud with sufficient capabilities for their internal customers and provide an acceptable user experience, an IT organization currently has two alternatives.

Option #1 DIY cloud

One alternative is to set up your own cloud. However, there are massive gaps between providing an Amazon-like private cloud experience versus what most vendors are able to offer.

There are vendors offering numerous services, but once their technology is purchased, it may take at least a couple of weeks to have a private cloud up and running. Three months would not be uncommon. At the end the user experience and feature set is not close to what their users have come to expect, and their IT is less likely to have the budgets and resources to change as fast as Amazon or Google.

And from an end user perspective, the expectation gap cannot be met today with a DIY cloud, leading to shadow IT risk with use of public clouds. Also, from the IT perspective there are not enough dollars and resources to compete with Google or Amazon when it comes to ease of change and scale.

Option #2 Hyper-converged cloud

The other alternative is to move to the hyper-converged cloud where storage, compute and networking are packaged and delivered as a stackable appliance. This option allows you to buy and stack together and immediately turn on a private cloud experience. This experience is vastly superior and easy to use but comes with a price.

Other than being expensive, an even bigger problem is a serious vendor lock-in further compounded by a closed community. Once you have picked a hyper-converged vendor, you are stuck with buying all your expansion hardware from them at premium prices.

Option #3 Best of both worlds

What if there was a cloud solution that combined the best of the both worlds? An open source cloud infrastructure, with no vendor lock-in, delivered with the ease of hyper-converged cloud?

What if the “brains” of a private or a public cloud were available as an appliance, allowing you to rack this along with your existing hardware or buy compute and storage from the vendor of your choice when you need it? The appliance must be capable of discovering the compute and storage nodes that are being added to the system and add them to cloud infrastructure instantaneously. If the technology that powers the solution is known to be simple to operate, rock solid, API driven in order to be developer friendly, and also happens to power some of the world’s largest public and private clouds today (hey – we acquired this recently!), that will make it even more exciting!

Rack the appliance and your storage and servers together, and instantaneously you must have a cloud up and running, instead of in weeks or months. The cloud should be able to upgrade itself at the click of a button, instead of you having to schedule a massive upgrade cycle that takes weeks! Better still, if one could check a box and get backup and DR available for any workload, this will be even better! How about more features on tap in your cloud like those available on AWS or Azure – like DB-as-a-Service or Analytics-as-a-Service…

I imagine this would be the ideal cloud experience. The best of both worlds. What do you think? I’d love to have a conversation about what your ideal cloud orchestration solution would be like. When you wish upon a cloud solution for your enterprise, what’s on your wish list?

Leave a Comment