Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Patrick Carey, Greg Akers, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA

Cloud Expo: 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, founder of New York City-based consultancy Bronze Drum focuses on the unique challenges of Public Cloud adoption in the Fortune 500. Forged along the fault line of Corporate IT and line of business meet, Brian successfully delivers successful enterprise public cloud solutions that matter to the business. In 2011, while the Cloud was just a gleam in the eye of most Fortune 500 firms Brian designed and proved the often referenced hybrid cloud architecture that enabled McGraw-Hill Education to scale the web and application layer of its $160M revenue, 2M user higher education platform in Amazon Web Services. Brian recently designed and delivered the JD Power and Associates strategic customer facing Next Generation Content Platform, an Alfresco Content Management solution supported by a substantial data warehouse and data mart running in AWS and a batch job that processes over 500M records daily in RDS Oracle.”

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.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Cloud Computing is evolving into a Big Three of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Cloud 360: Multi-Cloud Bootcamp, being held Nov 4–5, 2014, in conjunction with 15th Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA, delivers a real-world demonstration of how to deploy and configure a scalable and available web application on all three platforms. The Cloud 360 Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, an analyst with Gigaom Research, is the first bootcamp that introduces the core concepts of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based on the workings of the Big Three platforms – Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Azure VMs. Bootcamp attendees will get to see the big picture and also receive the knowledge needed to make the best cloud decisions for their business applications and entire enterprise IT organization.
The Internet of Things is a natural complement to the cloud and related technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and mobility. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Joe Weinman will lay out four generic strategies – digital disciplines – to exploit emerging digital technologies for strategic advantage. Joe Weinman has held executive leadership positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Telx, in areas such as corporate strategy, business development, product management, operations, and R&D.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DevOps.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's “DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo,” which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. DevOps.com is where the world meets DevOps. It is the largest collection of original content relating to DevOps on the web today Featuring up-to-the-minute news, feature stories, blogs, bylined articles and more, DevOps.com is where the thought leaders of the DevOps movement make their ideas known.
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that allow marketers to cut through the noise and design their campaigns around strong, predictive signals, rather than arbitrary statistics. SendGrid sends up to half a billion emails a day for customers such as Pinterest and GitHub. All this email adds up to more text than produced in the entire twitterverse. We track events like clicks, opens and deliveries to help improve deliverability for our customers – adding up to over 50 billion useful events every month. While SendGrid data covers only abo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Web Host Industry Review has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 2000, The Web Host Industry Review has made a name for itself as the foremost authority of the Web hosting industry providing reliable, insightful and comprehensive news, reviews and resources to the hosting community. TheWHIR Blogs provides a community of expert industry perspectives. The Web Host Industry Review Magazine also offers a business-minded, issue-driven perspective of interest to executives and decision-makers. WHIR TV offers on demand web hosting video interviews and web hosting video features of the key persons and events of the web hosting industry. WHIR Events brings together like-minded hosting industry professionals and decision-makers in local communities. TheWHIR is an iNET Interactive property.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit verizonenterprise.com to learn more.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business to business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the communications and technology industries.
"In my session I spoke about enterprise cloud analytics and how we can leverage analytics as a service," explained Ajay Budhraja, CTO at the Department of Justice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“We are starting to see people move beyond the commodity cloud and enterprises need to start focusing on additional value added services in order to really drive their adoption," explained Jason Mondanaro, Director of Product Management at MetraTech, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"We are automated capacity control software, which basically looks at all the supply and demand and running a virtual cloud environment and does a deep analysis of that and says where should things go," explained Andrew Hillier, Co-founder & CTO of CiRBA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
All too many discussions about DevOps conclude that the solution is an all-purpose player: developer and operations guru, complete with pager for round-the-clock duty. For most organizations that is not the way forward. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Golden, Vice President of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss how to achieve the agility and speed of end-to-end automation without requiring an organization stocked with Supermen and Superwomen.