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Corporate America, You're Not Ready for Internal Clouds!

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Most companies that want the scalability and cost advantages of running an internal cloud aren’t prepared to make the shift, according to a report issued by Forrester Research (s forr). James Staten, an analyst at Forrester, an independent business and technology research company, notes that the lure of the cloud is strong. Despite the draw, only 5 percent of companies are ready for cloud deployments as most lack the ability to deliver a standardized and automated computing environment to all of their business units on demand.

The report begins by telling enterprises who want to deploy private clouds to assess the maturity of their virtualization efforts. Prospective enterprises must be fairly mature and should be measuring their virtual machines as a pool, rather than on a VM by VM basis, the report says. It ends with a threat that if enterprise IT shops don’t adopt the cloud, their developers will likely build their own projects outside of the corporate firewall and leave IT with a mess to clean up if the project becomes a success.

While the report notes that it will take years for a company to move from no virtualization, or even limited virtualization, to running a cost-effective private cloud, Staten offers some ways to get moving on cloud computing in the near term. He suggests making test and development a small internal cloud, and working with a willing business unit to build a project on a public cloud. He also suggests finding an Infrastructure-as-a-service provider partner to host a private cloud on top of its infrastructure (although he notes that your partner should be willing to teach you how to operate the cloud, not just run it). So, the report may not be what IT wants to hear, but at least it offers a pathway for the 95 percent of companies that aren’t ready to build their own clouds.

Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d): Report: The Evolution of the Private Cloud

3 Responses to “Corporate America, You're Not Ready for Internal Clouds!”

  1. ranjitn

    This is a very interesting observation. At a conference earlier this year the speaker asked how many of the attendees had adopted some form of virtualization in the enterprise and almost 50% raised their hand. Granted this was a cloud computing conference and perhaps we had some of the early adopters. I still walked away with the impression that Enterprises have embraced virtualization.

    It is strange that Forrester expects Enterprise IT departments to partner with Service Providers for education. Should an electric utility company invest in teaching its customer how to build and operate electric generators or invest in making its own generators efficient?

    • Ranjit
    • Ranjit, the report distinguishes between four levels of virtualization maturity, and recommends that enterprises be at level 3 or 4 before attempting to build and support a private cloud. So it could be some of that 50 percent still wouldn’t be ready based on this assessment.