Private clouds are attracting serious attention because they provide many of the benefits of cloud computing, but are deployed behind the corporate firewall. They eliminate security concerns around public clouds, and ensure the company retains full control—the two biggest obstacles companies raise about cloud computing. In one Gartner survey 43% of respondents increased private cloud spending. Private clouds, however, need to be tightly managed.
Cloud computing represents the convergence of several IT trends: virtualization, distributed application design, grid, and enterprise IT management, explains Elber Riberio, Director of Global IT Outsourcing at CPM Braxis Capgemini, a leading remote infrastructure management outsourcing firm. Business executives like the idea of private clouds but often overlook the critical IT management demands.
In the private cloud, IT capabilities, applications and data are delivered over the internal network as services. The IT services and the corresponding virtualized IT resources can be allocated, provisioned, and configured fast; in minutes or hours rather than in days or weeks. This makes private clouds particularly responsive to changes in the business.
The cloud only masks the underlying complexity of IT, not eliminates it. Private clouds are more demanding from an IT management perspective as more users turn to it to do more things. For that reason private clouds need more and better management, not less.
If anything, a private cloud will stress the organization’s IT management as never before. Due to the ease of accessibility and configurability workers will use more and different IT services in more ways and more often. Since it will be easier and cheaper to provision virtual servers business units will ask for more as they respond to changing opportunities.
The same goes for security. With more users doing more and different things organizations must be particularly vigilant in monitoring what is happening to ensure users are doing only what they are authorized to do.
These increased management and security challenges alone are enough to lead organizations to opt for some form of expert remote infrastructure management outsourcing (RIMO). Unlike traditional IT outsourcing RIMO does not entail the transfer of an enterprise’s assets or personnel to the outsourcing provider. Instead, the organization contracts for the provider to continuously monitor its systems, identify potential problems, handle configuration remotely, and resolve problems in real time from a remote location.
The same offshore India-based outsourcing companies also do RIMO. For many organizations RIMO turns out to be a cost-effective way to transition to a private cloud and improve their IT management without having to hire on-site staff.
But competitive RIMO providers now are cropping up much closer. CPM Braxis Capgemini offers a Brazilian near-shore RIMO alternative for North American companies compared to the far-shore options in India. Due to its recent acquisition by Capgemini, the vendor will likely offer an onshore RIMO option too at some point.
It’s easy to get excited by the possibilities of a private cloud; just don’t ignore infrastructure management.