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The Private Cloud: Why it Now Makes More Sense


VMworld marked a point in time when we finally saw some clarity around the concept of the private cloud.

We did not hear the term overused and abused. The context has shifted. We are shedding the conception that private means something that is exclusively internal.

We care a lot about metaphors. They help us define who we are. But they also have the tendency to hinder innovation as their meanings lead to behaviors that we instill and imprint, no matter how wrong they may actually be.

How we use metaphors can make a difference in how we innovate. For instance, the desktop is a metaphor for a personal computer. And the desktop is directly related to the concept of documents.

Foe years, the Web has been encumbered by the document metaphor. It leads people to think of the Web as a network of documents. It ignores the reality that hypertext and the HTTP protocol make the Web come to life.

Now, as cloud computing becomes more accepted, we begin to see how it, too, can be encumbered when we try to provide it with conceptual metaphors that confuse matters so much that the references make little sense at all.

At Vmworld last week, the discussion turned to the concept of cloud computing as a way to connect the data center to a public cloud environment. The conversations emphasized how a private cloud can extend into a public cloud environment.

Chris Hoff pointed out last year that some people will argue private cloud means the cloud is in-house. He’s right when he says that notion is ridiculous. The enterprise does not have a line in the sand. It is more fluid than ever. Connection points are physical but increasingly virtual, too. The enterprise exists both in and outside the data center.

That concept of the private cloud serves as the context for how cloud environments are evolving. That was clear at VMworld.

The discussion at the event validated that an enterprise infrastructure is not surrounded by four walls. It extends into multiple spaces where it can take advantage of all that the cloud has to offer.

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