Enterprises of all types and sizes have embraced Cloud computing to further business technology agendas. In the face of this, public Cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have received the most attention. However, many input and output (I&O) professionals sought their own Cloud infrastructure through private Cloud services.
The first private Clouds hit the market seven years ago according to Forrester Research (Forrester Wave: Private Cloud Software Suites, Q1 2016 evaluation). Many of these solutions met with little success in the early years due to the immaturity of the technology. In its research, Forrester found these deployments rarely met return on investment (ROI) expectations and lacked the basic characteristics of a Cloud solution such as standardisation, automation, and self-service access.
What began as replicating the public Cloud concept internally, quickly became an overhaul of the entire virtual environment. This endeavor was time and resource intensive says Forrester.
The survey showed that 67 per cent of enterprise hardware decision-makers considered building an internal private Cloud a high priority, and 43 per cent report adoption of the technology.
The research firm also said enterprise adopters primarily make software-only investments to build out private Clouds (51 per cent). However, 12 per cent exclusively leverage open source software, 18 per cent use existing infrastructure and automation tools, and 13 per cent purchase converged infrastructure solutions.
It added that building out new, custom applications that help redefine the customer or public experience is key to the future success of every enterprise and government entity. Forrester predicts, this development will be fast, constant, and massively growing over time.
“Cloud is a fundamental technology approach to enable this development,” the report said.
“With this in mind, enterprises understand the urgency of self-service access to resources for developers. They acknowledge that a technology management overhaul directly conflicts with the speed to deliver this initiative.”
How do private Cloud Providers stack up?
In its Forrester Wave: Private Cloud Software Suites, Q1 2016 evaluation, the firm named Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure as a leader in private Cloud software suites, receiving the highest score for Strategy and second-highest for Current Offering.
"Red Hat–with its powerful Cloud Infrastructure 6 [RHCI] and CloudForms solutions – leads the evaluation with its powerful portal, top governance capabilities, and a strategy built around integration, open source, and interoperability.”
“Red Hat provides a very composable package by leveraging a mix of market standards and open source in addition to its own development. Its API exposure and ability to swap out core functionalities for a long list of pre–integrated market tooling sets it apart from others in the evaluation," (Forrester Wave: Private Cloud Software Suites, Q1 2016 evaluation).
How the channel can benefit
Red Hat director AppDev solutions APAC, Ben Henshall, told ARN [link] channel partners need to become more innovative in their thinking and strive to improve the experience client’s get from as-a-service offerings and private Cloud deployments.
“There is a gap in understanding in the channel and in appreciation of the nuance of open source,” he added.
“The market is shifting from the traditional consumption model of box dropping towards as-a-service. That’s what the Cloud, on-demand and the consumption model is bringing. The mechanism by which that is being done is largely being driven by open source technologies."
Red Hat A/NZ director of consulting and training, Colin McCabe, said the wide acceptance of as-a-service models as the new form of IT meant that it was no longer enough for partners to change to the consumption model, they also need to innovate.
“Tin is now going to the Cloud and packaged software is moving to be a complete Cloud offering, that dis-intermediates the channel completely. he said.
“Where we are seeing channel partners succeeding is where they are shifting their business models to move to Cloud and looking at what value-added services they can wrap around that.
“They are looking at where client’s data is sitting and how they can help move that data around. Successful partners are looking to improve the experience clients have with as-a-service offerings," he said.
As an example, McCabe highlighted companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, and basing everything they do on open source.
In the private Cloud world, deploying open source technologies such as Red Hat will give clients scalability in their own environment that mirrors that of public Cloud. Many channel partners have been hesitant to go down an open source route due to this lack of understanding.
Companies like Red Hat have made it their mission to make open source accessible to channel partners at all levels of maturity.
“The rate of innovation that everyone is getting out of open source and the way they are open sourcing their code as well is allowing them to almost exceed the normal expectations of a traditional smokestack type of company," McCabe added.
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Private Cloud Software Suite click here
Hybrid Cloud Management click here