Private Vs. Public Vs. Hybrid: My Cloud's Better Than Yours

Private Clouds On The Rise

As enterprises implement plans to move their IT assets to the cloud, most are turning first to private cloud models, according to a new survey from research firm IDC.

Rather than commit to much-heralded public clouds that promise fully hosted, off-premise management of data center resources, enterprises are taking baby steps by releasing noncore applications to the public cloud, according to the IDC study, which surveyed 326 large companies in the U.S. and the U.K and was commissioned technology services company Infosys.

Continue on to read more about what the survey revealed about cloud deployments.

Most Companies Favor Private Clouds

The private cloud is the preferred approach for most companies, with 69 percent of respondents deploying such a cloud setup. In contrast, about 40 percent of companies are using public and hybrid clouds.

"Organizations are 'dipping their toes' into public cloud for some specific areas, but when it comes to the core IT environments, they are starting out with private cloud," IDC analyst Marianne Kolding wrote in a white paper accompanying the report.

Cloud Vendors Bring Private Cloud Services Forward

There was no shortage of private cloud offerings available to business in 2012.

VMware extended its virtualization expertise into the private cloud and became a market leader.

In another example, IBM joined with AT&T to offer businesses a full-service private cloud. In addition, Rackspace gave customers an option to use a private cloud.

Amazon Web Services Disses Private Clouds

The market leader in public cloud infrastructure services, Amazon Web Services, has extolled public clouds and said private clouds are behind the times.

In a keynote speecth at the recent Amazon re: Invent conference in Las Vegas, Andy Jassy, AWS senior vice president, criticized private clouds and companies that promote them.

"When we launched AWS, we waited for reaction from the old guard," Jassy said. "First they said, 'This is nothing new. It's just virtualization in the cloud.' Then they said, 'OK, it's not virtualization.' Now they say, 'You can get the benefits of the cloud in your own private data center.' "

But, Jassy said, "If you go to a private cloud, you have none of these benefits."

Hybrids Are Coming

Companies are increasingly using a mixture of private and public clouds to host their data center assets, with more than 40 percent of the survey's respondents using or planning their use, IDC said. Cloud providers are recognizing this trend and are coming forward with hybrid cloud offerings.

Among them are Hewlett-Packard, with its Converged Cloud (pictured), and Rackspace, which offers private, public and hybrid cloud services.

Companies Need Help Deploying To The Cloud

Many businesses moving from one type of cloud service to another may need help in handling the complexity involved, IDC said.

Approximately 30 percent of respondents in the survey said they would use systems integrators to help develop their cloud strategies and road maps. In addition, about 30 percent said they would engage systems integrators to help them implement their cloud program.

"As organizations increase their investments in cloud and get more experience in adopting different types of clouds for different purposes, the result will be more complex cloud environments," Kolding wrote. "With the increased complexity, it becomes critical for organizations to keep a solid, holistic view of the services available as well as the resources that are required across the full cloud ecosystem, and to control the different vendors and parts of the cloud."

What Integrators Can Offer

Companies moving to the cloud list identifying the best cloud providers for different tasks and processes while ensuring integration as their top concern.

Also of high concern was the need for correct integration and automation of the orchestration of applications and data securely between private cloud, public cloud, and on-premise IT environments.

What Are Cloud Customers Looking For?

When asked what capabilities they are looking for in systems integrators, 67 percent of respondents said they wanted flexibility to choose best-in-class cloud service providers to avoid vendor lock-in, while 66 percent said they wanted support to help them determine the right cloud services for enterprise workloads.

Another 64 percent said they wanted a unified self-service catalog for IT resource provisioning, IT process automation and orchestration across a hybrid ecosystem, while 62 percent said they wanted one window of access to manage a hybrid cloud ecosystem.