Private cloud: ironing out the confusion

I made a presentation at yesterday’s conference on Developments with the Digital Oilfield in London.

The title of my talk: “Why private cloud is a cul-de-sac of doom”. It was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and intended to be mildly provocative. However, I had a serious purpose, in that the words and terms we use to describe things are important in creating clarity and driving ideas. Misusing them dilutes their power and ultimately diminishes opportunities. In that context, the term “private cloud” is one that has minimal value and causes confusion.

In my talk, I referenced the NIST definition of cloud computing. My version of the three key elements that embody the transformational impact of the cloud:

  • A usage-based payment model, whether that’s per user, per cycle, per cpu, or whatever
  • Rapid elasticity, or the ability to seamlessly grow and shrink your demand without needing to stop to add new hardware or software
  • No barrier to exit or entry

Given these criteria, it is hard to imagine having the need or resources to build a private cloud. The NIST document states that private cloud applies when “the cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units)”. This is somewhat poor. It masks the reality of the situation and simply causes confusion. It also provides the opportunity for vendors to wrap up their existing technology and sell it under the new “private cloud” banner.

That confusion was already clear during the conference. One presenter claimed that they had built their own private cloud, and another claimed to have definitely seen one in the wild. What was being described in the first case was simply a data center built using cloud technologies. I suspect the latter was something similar.

I have no doubt that the use of cloud technologies can significantly improve many current data centres. There’s tremendous value in reserving the term “cloud” for services that meet the criteria I’ve outlined above. When we talk about moving a customer to the cloud, we can be sure that they are benefiting from the massive improvements that such a move can deliver, instead of the incremental improvements that arise from applying cloud technologies in their own data centres.

Latest Resources

Green-house-Gas-emissions

Empowering the Energy Transition with Low-Code Software

Low code software is assisting the energy transition for oil and gas producers across the globe. Solutions like EnergySys enable automation, forecasting and planning to help reduce loss and improve sustainability.

Complex problems made simple

Energy businesses are turning to low-code to support fast decision making, quick change management and improve competitive advantage through agility. In this paper we demonstrate how easy it is to configure an application in EnergySys. Using a pipeline network as an example, understand the process of configuring EnergySys to support the business in finding the most ‘efficient’ route across a network.

Download

Ancala Midstream Unlocks Scalability and Agility for Its Oil and Gas Operations

Independent operator Ancala Midstream Acquisitions Limited streamlined asset management for its complex North Sea business by adopting EnergySys’ low code software. Since implementing this cloud-native solution, the oil and gas company is better managing its diverse operations and has achieved newfound business agility.