Top challenges in moving to a private cloud
Part 1: Getting started
The worldwide x86 server virtualization market has reached $5.6 billion with server virtualization rates in most enterprises crossing 75 percent. Yet, within those same enterprises, if you ask developers what they are using, the answer you will almost always get is AWS – they are not deploying their workloads on virtualized servers.
Although dominant virtualization players such as VMware have rolled out impressive cloud initiatives such as vRealize, their adoption has been low. Not just vRealize but also open source technologies such as OpenStack and CloudStack have seen poor adoption. In general, the enterprise IT world is stuck with traditional virtualization, while developers at the same enterprises have moved on to public clouds, even though having a private cloud can be more cost-effective.
There are several reasons why the switch to a private cloud has not happened yet.
- Enterprises tend to be averse to private clouds because more often than not they are unable to utilize their existing infrastructure. Other than the high costs involved, buying new infrastructure means juggling multiple vendors for virtualization, storage, networking, etc., leading to vendor lock-in and increased management complexity.
- In a bid to avoid vendor lock-in, many enterprises turn to CloudStack for creating private clouds. But it takes at least a couple of weeks to deploy using CloudStack and that’s too long. It is hard to scale up and delivers a subpar user experience.
- Besides, CloudStack needs expert cloud engineers, not an easy or cheap challenge to solve. In fact, expert manpower accounts for most of the operating costs of a cloud, more than servers, storage, or networking. For most businesses, this means making hefty investments in an area that is not their core offering. In face of such complexities, enterprises prefer to choose public clouds such as Amazon where creating a virtual machine is child’s play. The steps after that may be complicated, but allocating storage and attaching it to a virtual machine is quite simple.
- Private cloud is not elastic. Enterprises are limited by the hardware they have at hand. If your workload needs expand and you run out of hardware, you have no choice but to procure new equipment, rack it, and get it up and running, which can take forever.
These are some fundamental challenges that make it difficult for cloud projects to even get off the ground. In our next post, we will discuss more issues such as compliance, security, user experience, and disaster recovery that prey on the minds of enterprises when they consider the shift to a private cloud.