Like every other department within a company, costs and budgeting will always be a big issue for enterprise-class cloud computing. Organizations now realize just how important the cloud is to what they do, but CloudPro's Rene Millman said potential costs must be measured and weighed before any decisions regarding adoption of the technology are made. Dr. Owen Rogers, digital economist at analyst firm 451 Research, spoke with Millman, noting that costs and capacity measurements are tied together and are two of the most important factors in the adoption of a private cloud computing solution.
"A private cloud is ultimately a fixed capacity, and its utilization will vary depending on the behavior of its applications and the end-users using it," he says. "From a cost-efficiency point of view, the best situation is when the entire capacity of the private cloud is utilized, so the unit cost per virtual machine is the smallest. … Sometimes the private cloud will be significantly under-utilized, pushing up the unit cost per virtual machine; at other times, the private cloud will be oversubscribed, and some end-users won't be able to gain access."
Executives who are in charge of enterprise cloud adoption will need to break down costs by looking at areas like migration, consolidation, adoption, management and compliance. Millman said platforms may also need an upgrade, or a move to a new platform may be necessary to better match up with the cloud services being used by the organization. Cloud professional Brian Gentile said when it is done correctly, the cloud environment should help organizations more easily acclimate to new applications instead of having to retrofit, which would likely reduce reliability.
Cost benefits to switching to a private cloud
TechTarget published an excerpt from "Visible Ops Private Cloud: From Virtualization to Private Cloud in Four Practical Steps" by Andi Mann, Kurt Milne and Jeanne Morain, which said the cost efficiency of private cloud depends largely on the workload, but utilizing this technology should help management strategies become more dynamic and automated. Enterprises must make sure these benefits measure up, however.
"There are fixed and ongoing costs associated with deploying and maintaining the automation and tools that manage dynamic resources in a high-density computing environment," the excerpt said. "The benefits, which include lower cap-ex and op-ex, must exceed the costs of monitoring, automation, and tooling to justify moving to the private cloud."
Private enterprise cloud computing should be about 40 percent less expensive than the public cloud would be for those organizations that already have IT resources in place, according to Mann, Milne and Morain.
Custom designed services should be tested regularly to be sure the company is still getting what they would like out of the technology, as agility and application targeting are some of the biggest benefits these organizations will get from the private cloud. If a company is not correctly targeting which apps should move to the private cloud, it may end up becoming filled with those that may be better and more cost effective elsewhere.