StorageMojo Blog votes for Emotions drive Private Cloud, commenting on James Hamilton’s post

I wrote on Mike Manos’s comment regarding James Hamilton’s post that Private Clouds are not the future.

Jan 25, 2010

Private Clouds Dead or Alive, views from James Hamilton and Mike Manos, logic vs. emotional

I’ve been thinking about what to write as a response to James Hamilton’s blog post on Private Clouds are not the Future.  It is well written and logical in its efficiency.

Last week Alistair Croll wrote an excellent InformationWeek article arguing that “the true cloud operators will have an unavoidable cost advantage because it's all they worry about. They'll also be closer to consumers (because they have POPs everywhere and partnerships with content delivery systems), and connecting with consumers and partners will become an increasingly essential part of any enterprise IT strategy.” Have a look at Private Clouds are a Fix, Not the Future.

Private clouds are better than nothing but an investment in a private cloud is an investment in a temporary fix that will only slow the path to the final destination: shared clouds. A decision to go with a private cloud is a decision to run lower utilization levels, consume more power, be less efficient environmentally, and to run higher costs.

StorageMojo’s Robin Harris also votes for emotions keeping private clouds future bright.

Why private clouds are part of the future


James Hamilton, Amazon architect and a very smart guy, recently blogged about private clouds. In Private Clouds Are Not The Future he argues that economies of scale make public clouds much more efficient than private clouds.

I think we agree that several effects make web scale public clouds more efficient

Robin adds his view it isn’t all about economics.

It isn’t all about the Benjamins
Economics is not the driver many assume. Individuals and companies often select less economic choices. Some people buy cars that cost $200,000 and get 12 miles to the gallon. Some companies buy $6/GB storage and then utilize just 1/3rd of that costly capacity.

Often perceived benefits are not well measured in dollars. Convenience, availability, consistency and control often relate to emotional needs and wants that are rarely quantified or questioned.

But we don’t have to invoke those to understand why private clouds will be part of the computing landscape. Just a quick look at one of the large Internet data centers will tell us what we need to know.

As much as people talk about Cloud Computing it is rare to hear someone talk about power.  Robin is the exception to the rule.

Show me the power
All the advantages of public clouds have analogs in the world of power generation and distribution. Power generation is cheapest when centralized and large-scale distribution systems move power at the lowest cost per watt.

Electrical power generation and distribution is over 125 years old. The technology is well understood, the industry is mature, and a massive infrastructure — including mile-long coal-hauling trains — supports production and distribution.

And yet, Google’s massive Dalles, Oregon data centers, built next to a substation a few miles from the nation’s largest hydropower system – one of the world’s most reliable power sources – flanks each data center with generators. I expect Amazon does the same.