Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Aruna Ravichandran, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Cameron Van Orman

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo

@CloudExpo: Article

The Difference Between Public and Private Cloud Computing

If the cloud’s origin is essentially private, what is the “public cloud”?

Cloud computing has essentially been private from the beginning. Google, for one, demonstrates that the world's most successful search engine runs not on an IBM Power, Sun Enterprise, or other massively powerful machine engineered for business by the go-to-vendors for computer solutions. More in keeping with its democratic, spare, and ubiquitous, engineering ethos Google created a "cloud" of white box computer - throw-away hardware servers running Linux.

Rather than purchase software box-software or hire a large consulting firm to design and build the infrastructure, Google engineered proprietary software to enable search requests and indexing tasks to be coordinated across this white "cloud" of white box hardware. Like most innovations that somehow become synonymous with brilliance and innovation, the innovation of using large numbers of identical machines to process enormous amounts of work isn't new at all. In fact it isn't even an innovation that can be attributed to computing at all.

If the cloud's origin is essentially private, what is the "public cloud"? One possible definition is that the public cloud is a disruptive channel through which to package and deliver some of the advantages of the cloud to "the public." Why is the public interested in the cloud? The cloud promises advantages that elude even the largest enterprises today. Public cloud computing services are purchased by individual users, small business, medium-sized business, and one of the world's largest firms.

What problems does the business community imagine the cloud might solve? Traditional technology solutions take a lot of time and money to implement, yet business needs to move quickly and flexibly to seize new opportunities. The business systems of yesterday seldom adapt easily to new requirements. And the work involved in adding new capabilities to existing systems is almost always significantly greater than the effort to build from scratch. Given this dynamic, the risk of building new systems or modifying existing systems seems high. What makes the current practice even less appealing is the tendency over time for the cost of maintaining existing systems to grow. Some studies show that today maintaining current systems consumes seventy percent of a firm's technology budget.

Given these dynamics, the (public) cloud computing model seems to offer an approach that mitigates some of the issues faced in businesses of all sizes.

  1. Firms would like to be able to purchase focused, low-cost, customizable, and flexible technology services
  2. Pay for these services when and how they are consumed. For example, some cloud computing vendors offer a metered rate model in which the firm or individual pays for just the right amount and quality of resources required to meet demand.
  3. Provision these firms as they are needed. If a company needs to provide a temporary call center in Asia for three months while consolidating their data centers in the region, then the cloud computing model offers the ability to provision, configure, and host the software and desktops to do so. If a 25-person firm decides that a customer relationship management solution seems like a good idea, the firm can provision and use that solution in the cloud.

Beyond the rapid deployment, the capability to flexibly alter and shape technology services in the cloud infrastructure can help firms design, deploy, and "shape" technology solutions that fit their immediate needs, yet can adapt over time as the business evolves. In other words, compared to traditional technology practices, the financial model of the cloud seems attractive.

CIOs and business owners tend to look at the return on investment for existing and new technology spending. One of the key factors in the ROI model of investment is the length of time, or "payback" period over which the benefits of the expenditure outweigh the costs. It's not any easy decision because in the traditional model, the CIO purchases equipment, software, services, training up-front, and then hopes that the benefits can be clearly demonstrated. Yet most firms have difficulty tracking costs and benefits in a way that makes the outcome clear. If the CIO chooses too little hardware, or implements a solution that the business users later reject, the whole solution can require additional customization or additional hardware. The cloud computing model assists in mitigating these risks by enabling both the cost and the benefit flows to be aligned. Because the building blocks of a cloud solution are much more scalable, many aspects of the solution can be tuned.

Most firms choose not to write their own desktop operating system or desktop applications. Firms make these choices every day. Yet much of the computing expenditures today deliver little competitive advantage, yet consume scarce and valuable human and capital resources. For a firm like Google, a Private Cloud of white boxes orchestrated to index and return search results makes sense. Yet, for the majority of businesses the public cloud computing model may enable business to better align the cost of computing with the business value, and make competitive advantages achievable through technology.

More Stories By Brian McCallion

Brian McCallion Bronze Drum works with executives to develop Cloud Strategy, Big Data proof-of-concepts, and trains enterprise teams to rethink process and operations. Focus areas include: Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Project Management Cloud Data Governance and Compliance Infrastructure Automation

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Digital transformation leaders have poured tons of money and effort into coding in recent years. And with good reason. To succeed at digital, you must be able to write great code. You also have to build a strong Agile culture so your coding efforts tightly align with market signals and business outcomes. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll lose. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the leading technology training platform for enterprise multi-cloud infrastructure. Cloud Academy is trusted by leading companies to deliver continuous learning solutions across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
DevSecOps – a trend around transformation in process, people and technology – is about breaking down silos and waste along the software development lifecycle and using agile methodologies, automation and insights to help get apps to market faster. This leads to higher quality apps, greater trust in organizations, less organizational friction, and ultimately a five-star customer experience. These apps are the new competitive currency in this digital economy and they’re powered by data. Without ...
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud so...
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers bala...
With the modern notion of digital transformation, enterprises are chipping away at the fundamental organizational and operational structures that have been with us since the nineteenth century or earlier. One remarkable casualty: the business process. Business processes have become so ingrained in how we envision large organizations operating and the roles people play within them that relegating them to the scrap heap is almost unimaginable, and unquestionably transformative. In the Digital ...
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...