Brandon Butler writes "The line between virtualization and a private cloud can be a fuzzy one, and according to a new report by Forrester Research, up to 70% of what IT administrators claim are private clouds are not. "It's a huge problem," says Forrester cloud expert James Staten. "It's cloud-washing."
If an enterprise data center has a highly virtualized environment, a web portal for business users to request and access virtual machines and a method for tracking how many of those resources are being used... that's not quite a private cloud. If there is enough capacity to supply employees with almost any amount of compute resources they need, and scale that capacity up and down dynamically, but it requires IT workers to provision the systems, then sorry that's not a private cloud either.
Why's it such a big deal? Staten says if you call a highly virtualized environment a cloud, but it doesn't have one or more of the key characteristics of a private cloud, then the IT department is setting an unrealistic expectation for users. If users are disappointed when they find out the environment doesn't have self-provisioning, or an elastic resources pool, they can get discouraged. The next time they need a VM on the fly, where will they turn? The pseudo-private cloud IT has set up, or Amazon Web Services, which IT could have no control over."
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