Clearing up Confusion: Virtualization and Private Cloud

Even IT veterans sometimes get confused about whether or not they have a private cloud infrastructure. Just because an organization has made the effort to virtualize their onsite bare metal servers, without orchestration and automation, their datacenter is nothing more than a room full of racks and servers that are working under the discretion of a systems administrator. Contrary to popular belief, this setup is not representative of a private cloud.

Automation and orchestration is what causes a virtualized environment to function as a private cloud. Unfortunately, many IT veterans have missed out on this key piece of information because they think virtualized servers in an onsite facility equates to operating a private cloud. Since many systems administrators are used to being in control of every function in their environment, they often funnel requests through themselves instead of setting up a self-service portal that automates much of IT’s processes.
Information Technology is certainly going to revolve around the cloud for the next few decades. That being said, the last department to fully embrace the private cloud is an organization’s IT department themselves. This has resulted in IT departments beginning to act like 3rd party vendors even if they are directly employed by their organization. The evidence for this can be seen in the way that IT departments have recently evolved. Intradepartmental Service Level Agreements are becoming more commonplace between business groups and IT. With the implementation of a true private cloud solution, system administrator’s roles will begin to shift from being a hands-on technician to an onsite cloud consultant.
Orchestration and automation of the private cloud has many far reaching benefits that are even overlooked by some IT decision makers. When an environment is virtualized but not working as a true private cloud, the organization not only wastes computing power, the organization also loses out on valuable business intelligence.