Demystifying private cloud for SMBs


Much of the public debate about cloud focuses on public cloud, and with good reason: most of us are consumers of cloud services in our private lives, and the ever-expanding ranks of SaaS products and vendors ensures that there is purpose-built, niche-specific software available to businesspeople in nearly any function – IT, sales, marketing, finance, operations, customer service, HR…

With the visibility of everything from Office 365 to Facebook, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of private cloud. However, recent findings from research conducted by Techaisle (published in 360° on Cloud in the U.S. SMB market – 2014, March 2014) highlight the importance of private cloud to the IT operations of small and mid-sized businesses. One-third of U.S.-based businesses with 1-999 employees that are current cloud users rely on private cloud, and another 54% have delivery approaches (hybrid cloud, or a combination of private and public or hybrid) that incorporate private cloud infrastructure. Looking forward, the proportion of all cloud users relying exclusively on private cloud systems is expected to drop to just less than 25%, but the anticipated explosion in hybrid deployments means that private infrastructure will be a nearly-ubiquitous feature of cloud delivery systems. With the projected increase in overall cloud use by SMBs, we are currently forecasting deployment of private cloud (on its own, or as a feature of multi-platform delivery) in 56% of all U.S.-based SMBs, up from 34% today.

Private cloud in US SMBs for demystifyingAgainst this backdrop, InsightaaS reached out to HP – which provides a wide range of cloud-related products and services, including converged infrastructure products used in creating private clouds – for research demonstrating the ‘hows and whys’ of private cloud. HP responded by forwarding us three reports/whitepapers:

  • The Forrester Wave™: Private Cloud Solutions, Q4 2013 (published in November 2013 by Forrester Research) – read our review
  • Virtualization and Cloud Management (published by Ovum in August, 2013) – read our review
  • Six Barriers to Cloud – and How a Converged System Helps Overcome Them (sponsored by HP, published by Frost & Sullivan in 2013) – read our review

InsightaaS has posted reviews of each of these documents in the Compute section of our site. The reviews are linked in the list above; each review includes a further link to the source document, for readers who want to explore the materials in greater depth. And while this information is of interest to enterprise accounts, we believe that it is most critical to the SMB community – SMBs often lack the scope required to do extensive pilot projects, meaning that the bridge between ‘decision’ and ‘commitment’ can be short, requiring that no missteps be taken along the way.

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