Internal and hosted private cloud adoption in 2013

Over the past couple months, I've published adoption profiles on both internal and hosted private cloud in North America and Europe. If you haven't read them, they can be found at the following links: 

 

Keeping this short and sweet, here's my top takeaways on internal private cloud: 

  1. Private cloud adoption and interest continues to rise. 
  2. Europe is starting to get serious about private cloud with a large spike in adoption and interest in 2013.
  3. Despite increased adoption, private clouds are still falling short of basic definition. 
  4. Improved IT management is still the focus which shows a mix of enhanced virtualization centric private clouds and early stages of transformational cloud
  5. Most popular vendor in Europe? IBM.
  6. Most popular vendor in the US? VMware.
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Predictions For 2014: Private Cloud Management

Every year Forrester publishes our overall cloud computing predictions which occasionally includes one or two private cloud predictions. With current private cloud self-reported adoption at 33% and 55% prioritizing building an internal private cloud in 2014, we thought it was time to create a report that focuses just on this deployment type. This year we published a separate report that features our private cloud predictions across pricate cloud management and infrastructure. The report covers the full descriptions and what I&O professionals should do about it. I covered the management predictions, while my colleague Rich Fichera, covered the infrastructure trends. This year we predict: 

1. Enhanced Virtualization Becomes A Separate Initiative From Private Cloud. Forrester predicts that in 2014, CIOs will bless the separation of these initiatives such that the firm can both use private cloud to embrace the age of the customer and work to advance back-end systems. 

2. OpenStack Becomes A Standard. Forrester predicts that by the end of 2014, OpenStack APIs will become the fourth standard. Over the past few years, OpenStack has grown in functionality and deployments.

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Overview of Healthcare.gov's Tech Challenges

Before jumping into the Healthcare.gov case study, I wanted to highlight an announcement that was overshadowed by the press surrounding the Healthcare.gov story: Verizon Compute Cloud & Verizon Storage Cloud. Verizon made a signifcant announcement regarding its new public cloud solution that veered away from its original "enterprise cloud" messaging and towards a commodity based approach. With this approach Verizon looks to compete more directly with the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) by providing the same low cost for baseline products but with higher levels of performance. Rackspace recently announced its Rackspace Cloud Servers product with this same goal, although this was likely motivated by CloudSpectator's report published earlier in 2013. Rackspace used this opportunity to step up to the plate. Performance is a rising complex issue that makes "Let's just move it to the cloud" beyond an overly simplified statement. With that said, here's the overview from what I've seen this far: 

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Three Vendors Rise To The Top Of The Private Cloud Market

In Q2 2011, Forrester wrote one of the market's first private cloud vendor evaluations which scored vendors on ten criteria. Over the past two years private cloud has shifted from concept to reality with 55% of enterprise hardware decision makers planning to build an internal private cloud in 2014 (up from 29% in 2011) according to our Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2013. Due to popular demand, Forrester decided to update this report with a full Forrester Wave evaluation composed of 61 criteria. Vendors evaluated in this report represent today's top software-only private cloud vendors -- ASG Software Solutions, BMC Software, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and VMware. After many long hours on weekends and holidays, this report is finally complete, with three vendors rising to the top -- HP, Cisco, and Microsoft. For the full details of the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor, see The Forrester Wave™: Private Cloud Solutions, Q4 2013

How did Forrester select and evaluate vendors? Each vendor met the following qualifiers: 

  • Self-service portal and role-based access.
  • Infrastructure provisioning capabilities.
  • Management capabilities.
  • Monitoring and tracking of resources.
  • API-based.
  • Generally available by April 1, 2013.
  • More than 100 unique customers. 
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Four Common Approaches To Private Cloud

In 2012, I wrote a blog titled Private Cloud: 'Everyone's Got One, Where's Yours?' which looked at the perception of private cloud versus the reality of the environments that carry this name. Although reported interest and adoption were high, most environments fell short of the basic characteristics of cloud. Almost 1.5 years later, Forrester continues to see interest in and reported adoption of private cloud -- according to Forrester's Hardware Survey, in 2014, 55% of North American and European enterprises plan to prioritize building an internal private cloud, and 33% already having adopted private cloud. Despite the increased awareness in private cloud shortcomings, Forrester found that only 1/4 of these "private cloud" environments establish self-service access for its users. What's most interesting is that most of these enterprises aren't looking to private cloud for cloud-specific benefits. 

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Four Common Approaches To Private Cloud

In 2012, I wrote a blog titled Private Cloud: 'Everyone's Got One, Where's Yours?' which looked at the perception of private cloud versus the reality of the environments that carry this name. Although reported interest and adoption were high, most environments fell short of the basic characteristics of cloud. Almost 1.5 years later, Forrester continues to see interest in and reported adoption of private cloud -- according to Forrester's Hardware Survey, in 2014, 55% of North American and European enterprises plan to prioritize building an internal private cloud, and 33% already having adopted private cloud. Despite the increased awareness in private cloud shortcomings, Forrester found that only 1/4 of these "private cloud" environments establish self-service access for its users. What's most interesting is that most of these enterprises aren't looking to private cloud for cloud-specific benefits. 

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Hosted private cloud Wave complete but no leaders identified

In 2011, my colleague James Staten and I published two light-weight vendor assessments on the private cloud and public cloud market. These solutions sit at the extremes of the IaaS market. To kick off 2013, I published a full vendor evaluation of a market that sits in between these two IaaS deployment types — hosted private cloud. Forrester's Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2012 showed that 46% of enterprises are prioritizing investments in private clouds in 2013. While slightly more than half plan to build a private cloud in their own data center, more than 25% said they prefer to rent one. Hosted private cloud opens the door to a variety of benefits: 1) You reach cloud from day one. 2) Compute is dedicated from other clients. 3) It can enable future hybrid scenarios. 4) Easier-to-meet licensing and compliancy requirements. 5) Outsourcing the setup of the cloud and management of the infrastructure to focus on support and utilization. 

Overall this report revealed no leaders, but it did show some strengths and weaknesses across the market and provide framework and sample criteria to assess vendors within this space. This research process also revealed some unexpected nuances within this space: 

  •   Hosted private cloud and virtual private cloud are often used interchangeably within the market — despite being distinct deployment types. 
  •   Level and method of dedication varies greatly by solution. 
  •   Layers managed differ greatly by solution. 
  •   Although agility is a benefit, few enable self-service access to resources to its end users. Ticket-based request systems are common.
  •   Many enterprises are using hosted private cloud for some unexpected advantages:
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CIMI v1.0 Is Here!

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) is best known in the cloud standards world for its Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification that’s been highly adopted by cloud vendors today and is considered the first and only true standard in the IaaS space. But as of late, the focus has been solving the interoperability challenges in the cloud space. In July 2010, after releasing a series of white papers, the DMTF Open Cloud Standards Incubator group transitioned into the Cloud Management Working Group (CMWG) and has been working on interoperability standards ever since. For the past year, the main focus has been the Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface (CIMI) specification for a self-service portal that would enable easy interoperability between solutions. And today the DMTF CMWG released CIMI v1.0.

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Working On A Hosted Private Cloud Wave

Last year, my colleague, James Staten, and I published evaluations of the (internal) private cloud and public cloud markets — this year we’re going to fill in the remaining gap in the IaaS space, by publishing a Forrester Wave evaluation on Hosted Private Cloud Solutions. Vendors participating in this report will be evaluated on key criteria, a demo following a mandatory script, and customer references for validation of the solution. Throughout the research process I’ll be providing some updates and interesting findings before it goes live in early Q4 2012.

So, what is hosted private cloud? Like almost every product in the cloud space, there’s a lot of ambiguity about what you’ll be getting if you sign on to use a hosted private cloud solution. Today, NIST defines private cloud as:

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Hosted private cloud refers to a variation of this where the solution lives off-premises in a hosted environment while still incorporating NIST's IaaS service definition, particularly where “[t]he consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications.” But there’s a great deal of variation in today’s hosted private cloud arena. Usually solutions differ in the following ways:

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Private Cloud: 'Everyone’s Got One. Where’s Yours?'

Sound familiar? Executives across the globe feel peer and competitive pressure to “get to yes” on private cloud. This burden falls on IT to provide a cloud solution — oh, and by the way, we need it by the end of the year. With this clock ticking, it’s hard to think about private cloud strategically. In fact, why not to just cloudwash your virtual environment and buy your team time? Many enterprises (yes, even those presenting at events) have gone down this road. And some vendors will suggest this as a short-term fix. DON’T DO IT.

You’re cutting yourself short on what you could achieve with this environment while losing credibility with the business and your peers. Sound overdramatic? The consumerization of IT is forcing IT to connect with the business or risk circumvention. For many, the existing relationship isn't great. And each future interaction could either improve or worsen that relationship. Promising the business a cloud delivered within your own data center, and then failing to provide basic functionality of a cloud will just make future initiatives and interactions even harder. In the meantime, the business will continue to circumvent your department. If you're going to invest the resources/time to build this environment and rope in rogue cloud users — make sure you get to cloud.

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