The Coming World of Private Cloud Computing
Recent research has indicated that the adoption of private cloud computing is proceeding at a greater pace than many industry analysts had foreseen. According to some studies, more than a third of all companies will adopt some aspect of the private cloud during 2012. This figure represents an increase of approximately 75 percent over 2011 adoption figures.
The widespread adoption of private cloud computing among SMBs will mean that these businesses will begin to move into a computing world that in some ways can make physical on-site networks somewhat counter-productive. The issue, according to Dell Computing, is that "some aspects of networking are fundamentally hostile to….private cloud computing concepts." In large part, this is because the organization of physical networks relies on a physical address to serve as a device identifier.
In contrast, private clouds rely on a dynamic system characterized by rapid shifts in allocations that can much more closely match the resource needs of an organization. In order to offer the benefits associated with dynamic allocation of resources effectively, a private cloud must provide shared resources that can be provisioned on demand in elastic ways. This is essential for several reasons including the need to manage power consumption effectively and in order to allow for needed maintenance at times. When this ‘superstructure’ is imposed on a network that is still fundamentally married to a physical relationship between locations and identifications, the result may be unable to deliver the true promise inherent to the private cloud.
Many in-house IT support operations attempt to run their private clouds on a virtual LAN in an attempt to bridge this divide. It is true the VLANs can make it possible for ‘multi-tenants’ to inhabit the private cloud so that two departments can share resources such as server and storage while remaining isolated from one another in fundamental ways. VLANs have a strong disadvantage in this context, however. VLANs that live in the physical world depend on physical switches while those that are virtual depend on virtual switches. The two sorts of switches must be perfectly aligned and coordinated for the system to function correctly, and the more VLANs that come online, the more complex management becomes for in-house IT staff much more attuned to the needs of physical servers.
A better solution for the private cloud is to rely on outsourced IT provided by a specialist firm with expertise and experience in providing virtual resources remotely to SMBs.