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Why private clouds will suffer a long, slow death

Bernard Golden | Aug. 16, 2016
While private cloud proponents have spent the last five years focusing on getting their IaaS offerings working, Amazon, Microsoft and Google have moved way beyond core computing services. And you don’t have to strain to hear the death knell sounding for the private cloud.

The core problem for private cloud is that the providers are focused on delivering what solves their problem — pushing more hardware. This blinds them to the importance of top of stack services and causes them to spend endless energy on tweaking the infrastructure software to incorporate their latest switch. Or server. Or storage array. This is textbook Clayton Christensen material — and we all know how that story turns out.

Enterprise IT groups trying to solve the pressing business problems of their companies have to use these innovative “top of stack” cloud provider services — there’s no other way to access them. Certainly a few racks of a private IaaS cloud cluster can’t hope to deliver the same functionality. It’s impossible.

There’s no question we’ve reached peak data center. The only question is how steep the decline will be. Five or ten years from now private cloud will seem like a mirage that once fooled the industry into believing water lay just up ahead.


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