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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Meanwhile in the forest / In a parliament of trees, The ink will crack and dry all up, But the compass will swing anyways. And we don't need mathematics / And we don't need submarines
— Rheostatics, Northern Wish
July 2, 2010
Private Cloud Computing

Twitter sent me in the direction of an article about companies setting up their own private cloud computing environments. It’s a rather short article with not much in the way of content, but the tweet got the concept rolling around in my mind.

Firstly, I need to say I’ve never been comfortable with the term cloud computing. It’s a marketing term without much definition. Having caught on it’s easier to embrace the term than to fight it at this point.

The major issue facing cloud computing providers is security: with data from multiple companies on shared servers, customers need to be sure that only they can access their data. Protection from business failure is equally important: if your cloud provider goes out of business, you want to make sure that your data doesn’t get lost with them. Backup is always a concern, but the entire theory of cloud computing is that smaller companies gain better more reliable backup by being in the cloud. The bigger issue around backup is restoring your data which could conceivably take forever.

All of these things mean that the notion of a “private cloud” is perfectly reasonable, and the problem might be with the language. To me the central idea of cloud computing has never been the “shared” aspect—though that can be a key advantage for small businesses—but the “access” aspect. A cloud strategy should give your employees the ability to access their data from wherever they are, using any reasonably modern computing device. Chances are if you’re not doing this now, your staff is working around the limits anyway: USB Thumb Drives are probably the single largest security hole in most organizations.

Private clouds are a good thing for companies that can afford it. Smaller companies should look at a shared solution as a way of increasing functionality with a lower cost of access.

Companies start talking about their private clouds
By Joe McKendrick | June 25, 2010, 7:55am PDT

It’s such a classic enterprise solution to the cloud computing phenomenon. Build one yourself.

That’s the approach being taken by some leading names in the corporate world, and a new article in Information Age discusses some of these initiatives, based on presentations at a recent Forrester confab.

For example, Charles Newhouse, chief IT strategist for BAE Systems, a defense and aerospace manufacturer, now operates its entire IT department as an internal cloud provider — managed from the outside by CSC. “We began seeing our infrastructure as a commodity service and not a strategic asset,” he is quoted as saying. BAE’s IT services are now provisioned through a web portal, and each department receives a bill for their usage at the end of the month.

Posted by skooter at 5:40 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
This entry is tagged: Cloud Computing, Internet Access, Small Business

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