By guest author Shaloo Shalini
SM: What you are saying is true, and it applies very well to a technology company like Amazon, which is effectively a cloud vendor. Does it apply as well to, say, people in other businesses and industries?
NS: Absolutely. Let me give you a small example from my organization, GigaSpaces. At the time we moved from an in-house e-mail setup to a hosted exchange, the IT people were concerned about moving and believed that their job would be taken away because most of their work was based around Exchange. We experienced a bit of resistance. What happened after the change was that they could focus on delivering true services that we did not have previously, such as managing a lab, enabling us to monitor more issues, and providing the ability to deploy certain services that we don’t and can’t manage within our organization. This allows us to interact with them at a higher level than before. Back then, we were locked in in terms of resources and time because the IT team was spending so much time on e-mail and Exchange issues. They were busy with low-level stuff. Now they give much better service that is much more valuable to the business.
They even enjoy it much more – who wants to run and update a database on a daily basis rather than doing something that he or she knows is appreciated much more in business.
SM: Moving on to private clouds, what role do you see for the private clouds in the data center world?
NS: Well, the private clouds concept is very popular in the enterprises as it enables people to talk about clouds without necessarily moving to clouds. I see private clouds as a natural bridge to more public clouds. Private clouds aim to make an organization’s data center more efficient than what it is today. The caveat there is that to build a private cloud, you need a large investment. You can’t really do that without replacing almost your entire stack. At the end of the day, most of the investment you may have in a cloud service will compete against an average cloud service and a private cloud service. That will take them through the cycles for the next few years until the public clouds will become more secure, vast and they can handle things that they can’t really deal with right now. Therefore, I see private cloud as a transition – something that is right for a transition period but not for the long term.
SM: You see the private cloud as an intermediate step for enterprises to go to the fully functional public cloud?
NS: Yes, exactly. I don’t think that business will make sense doing it the private cloud way. It is like electricity. Doing it on a large scale is almost always better than doing it on a small scale. Economies of scale yield cost benefits for someone who is hangle a process for, say, thousands of customers. For example, Wal-Mart or those kinds of vendors that can handle high loads in different industries. The scale will make such providers much more efficient than anyone else. In local data centers, right now, there is a gap between what I can get from the cloud and what an enterprise requires. There is not a complete match, but that gap is going to be bridged eventually. Once it is bridged, it will not make sense or be efficient or cost effective to run applications in the local data center as a private cloud.