Putting private cloud misconceptions to rest

The rapid growth of the cloud has brought about a number of challenges and benefits to the private sector. While the technology was widely promised to enhance efficiency and reduce costs when it was first introduced, early adopters found the multi-tenant public environments were not necessarily secure. This led to more private cloud deployments.

According to a study by Renub Research, the private cloud market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 21 percent through 2015.

The rapid adoption of the private cloud, however, has also ushered in misconceptions about the technology, according to a new report by Gartner.

Tom Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said the fast growth of the private cloud is largely attributed to the prevalence of virtualization, the abundance of cloud services and the ongoing demand to reduce IT expenses.

"However, in the rush to respond to these pressures, IT organizations need to be careful to avoid the hype and, instead, should focus on a private cloud computing effort that makes the most business sense," Bittman said.

Understanding false private cloud impressions
In today's volatile economy, reducing expenses is a top priority for most businesses. While a private cloud deployment can help achieve this goal, it is not the sole benefit of the technology, Gartner noted.

In most cases, private clouds require automation software, which often dip into the savings a company thought it would achieve through the cloud. Therefore, reducing costs should not be the main objective of implementing a private hosted environment, as these demands are not always met, the research firm said.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the private cloud is that it is located on-site. This is not always the case, however, as many of today's services are outsourced and moved off the premises, Gartner said. A private cloud is more focused on privacy and will be less public than its counterpart model.

"By starting with a private cloud, IT is positioning itself as the broker of all services for the enterprise, whether they are private, public, hybrid or traditional," Bittman said.

As the private cloud evolves and matures, decision-makers need to understand these misconceptions before adopting the technology, as failing to do so will likely end in results that may have not been foreseen.

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