Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

A Private Cloud Delivers IT as a Service

This two-part series reveals what a private cloud is about

A private cloud delivers business functions as services and empowers go-to-market, while virtualization virtualizes computing resources supporting the private cloud. They are two different concepts, address different issues, and operate at different levels in enterprise IT. A private cloud goes far beyond virtualization and virtualization is not a private cloud. To conclude this two-part series as listed below, here are the specifics regarding a private cloud vs. virtualization.

An essential part of a private cloud is virtualization that offers opportunities in reducing infrastructure costs, increasing operational efficiency, and improving deployment flexibility. A server instance deployed with a VM offers many advantages over one deployed with a physical machine. And VMs facilitate the implementations of resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and hence a private cloud. Notice that the benefits of virtualization including lower costs, higher efficiency, flexible deployment, etc. however do not translate themselves directly to "capacity on demand" which is much more and what a private cloud delivers.

Virtualization Is Not a Private Cloud
In addition to missing the five essential characteristics as criteria, it is not required to deliver virtualization with SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS. Namely, virtualization is not necessarily presented as a "service" while a private cloud always is. What virtualization offers is to virtualize resources without specifying how the virtualized resources are made available to users. In other words, virtualization introduces a mechanism to facilitate implementations of some, but not all, of the private cloud requirements. To equate virtualization to a private cloud is to mistakenly present part of a solution as the solution itself.

Private Cloud Priorities

The term, cloud, denotes the abilities to exhibit the five essential characteristics with one of the three possible delivery methods of a service as stated in the 5-3-2 Principle of Cloud Computing and NIST SP-800-145. When one claims having a "cloud" solution, we can easily verify it with a few simple questions: Can a user self-serve? How accessible? Is it delivered with (or at least a flavor of) SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS? Is it elastic? Does it have a self-servicing component?

Specific to a private cloud, there are however different priorities on the five essential characteristics. Two of the five essential characteristics remain pertinent, yet become optional in a private cloud setting. Either on premises or hosted by a 3rd party, a private cloud is expected to exhibit three, if not more, of the five essential characteristics of cloud computing. They are resource pooling, elasticity, and self-service as illustrated below:

virtualization vs private cloud by Yung Chou

As mentioned earlier in this article, virtualization is not a private cloud, but an important technical component of a private cloud. A private cloud on the other hand encompasses much more than just virtualizing resources.

From a private cloud's view point, two of the five essential characteristics of cloud computing become optional. They are ubiquitous access and consumption-based charge-back model. This is absolutely not to suggest the two are not applicable. They very much are for any solution qualified with the term, cloud, including a private cloud. There are however legitimate reasons to consider the two differently regarding a private cloud.

Restricted Access

Ubiquitous access in cloud computing implies anytime, anywhere, any device accessibility to a service. C-I-A triadWhile considering a private cloud, there are scenarios in which general accessibility may not be the intent. The required data confidentiality, integrity, and availability of a private cloud may prevent a service owner from offering a general access. Instead, business requirements may demand, in addition to user credentials, a further restricted access based on a combination of isolation at various layers including a device type, IP address range, port designation, domain membership, constrained delegation, protocol transition, etc. Namely, accessibility of a private cloud should be based on corporate information security policies and not necessarily an architecturally defined requirement. The concept of information security can be best summarized with the so-called C-I-A triad as shown above.

Feasibility of Charging Back

While transitioning into cloud computing, a realistic approach for enterprise IT is to build a private cloud by first transforming the existing infrastructure components and applications into a target cloud environment. With infrastructure components and an application architecture already put in place, a charge-back model may not always be technically feasible or administratively necessary. To charge back, show back, or sponsor an application without a consumption-based cost morel is up to an organization's priorities and therefore not necessarily an architectural requirement of a private cloud.

The Essence of Charge-Back Model

Nonetheless, a charge-back mechanism signifies not only the ability to recover costs, but the critical need of designing analytics into a service. By offering self-service and elasticity in a private cloud, the resource utilization can become very dynamic and unpredictable. The ability to monitor, capture, and process utilization data for capacity planning for supporting anytime readiness of a service has become imperative.

System Management Now Even More Critical

There is no question that virtualization is an enabling technology in transforming enterprise IT into a cloud environment. The reality is that virtualization is one component of a private cloud solution. Virtualization is nonetheless unequivocally not a private cloud itself. What a decision maker must recognize is that, for building a private cloud, virtualization, resource pooling, elasticity, and self-service model are to be designed as a whole with consistency, compatibility, and integration. Such that the architecture can fundamentally realize the 5-3-2 Principle of Cloud Computingwith a predictable and maximal ROI in the long run. The discovery, deployment, configuration, and management of a target resource from bare medal to run-time are all to be based on a common management platform and implemented with a comprehensive system management solution. Further, a consistent user experience in managing physical, virtualized, as well as cloud resources is critical to warrant a continual and increasing cost reduction of on-going technical support and training.

A Private Cloud Delivers ITaaS
Above all, a private cloud solution offers a technical architecture to strategically empower go-to-market which has become increasingly critical to the survival of a business facing the unpredictable workloads supported by proliferation of mobile devices and triggered by instant data storms in a highly connected business computing environment. IT professionals must not confuse virtualization with a private cloud. The former is a technically centric and an important piece of private cloud puzzles for virtualizing resources. While the latter focuses on servicing customers with on-demand accessibility and always-on readiness of a target application. The 5-3-2 Principle of Cloud Computing and this two-part series reveal what a private cloud is about. And that is to strategically build a go-to-market vehicle, such that enterprise IT can fulfill business needs and exceed user expectations. With a private cloud, IT can leverage business opportunities generated by market dynamics and offer a user experience with anytime, anywhere, on any device productivity. Ultimately the ability of acquiring IT capabilities on demand with a private cloud is in essence a reality of "IT as a Service."

More Stories By Yung Chou

Yung Chou is a Technology Evangelist in Microsoft. Within the company, he has had opportunities serving customers in the areas of support account management, technical support, technical sales, and evangelism. Prior to Microsoft, he had established capacities in system programming, application development, consulting services, and IT management. His recent technical focuses have been in virtualization and cloud computing with strong interests in hybrid cloud and emerging enterprise computing architecture. He is a frequent speaker in Microsoft conferences, roadshow, and TechNet events.

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
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes how...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, showed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyone fro...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Application transformation and DevOps practices are two sides of the same coin. Enterprises that want to capture value faster, need to deliver value faster – time value of money principle. To do that enterprises need to build cloud-native apps as microservices by empowering teams to build, ship, and run in production. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Neil Gehani, senior product manager at HPE, discussed what every business should plan for how to structure their teams to delive...
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...