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Does private cloud follow virtualisation?

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A general assumption is often made that private cloud is the next logical step after virtualisation. But is this really the case?

Many people got into x86 server virtualisation as part of their efforts to simplify and consolidate their application and hardware landscape. The motivation was primarily to cut costs and overheads rather than dramatically change the way IT services are managed and delivered.

Private cloud, however, represents quite a different proposition. The basic idea is to pool a bunch of servers and other resources (storage and networking) to create a general purpose platform upon which a variety of workload types can be run simultaneously. An important attribute of private cloud is the ability to manage the rapid allocation/de-allocation of resources to/from workloads, which encourages a more service-centric way of delivering IT in response to fluctuating business requirements, and a more dynamic approach to operations. It also offers the potential to minimise the “over-provisioning” of resources common today in IT, with consequential cost benefits.

In the short term it is likely that private clouds will start by largely focussing on running virtual x86-server workloads. But an important question often asked is whether you need to, or even should strive to, complete virtualisation and consolidation activity before moving onto tackling private cloud implementation.

This is essentially the theme of our latest survey, and we would love to get your thoughts. We don't necessarily expect you to have a firm view on the absolute answer to the above question (although it's great if you do), so we are going to be taking our usual approach of exploring a more general set of relevant (and hopefully thought-provoking) questions which we will then analyse to derive some insights.

If you're up to helping us out, you can begin by clicking here.

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