Government and Business Agrees on Private Cloud

Many enterprises are turning away from the public cloud and toward a private one, or opting for a hybrid cloud to take advantage of public and private features.

A recent survey of more than 2000 CIOs of large organizations found that growth of the private cloud outpaces that of the public cloud now, a trend expected to continue for half a decade. While public cloud revenue has increased 20% YOY (year over year), the private cloud is expected to expand between 40 and 50% through 2018. Allan Krans, the analyst responsible for the study, said that the private cloud will continue growing faster than the public one “at least for the next five years.”

Similarly, a Gartner report released in 2013 suggested that the hybrid cloud is increasing in popularity, with more than 50% of businesses expected to have one in place by 2017. Perhaps needless to say, the reason that hybrid clouds are becoming more prevalent is that businesses want some of their data to be in a private environment rather than “the cloud” as it’s typically understood, the public cloud.

Despite the reasonable argument that one day – once public clouds have been integrated with open standards and security has become more universally robust – the private and hybrid models will become obsolete, at this point the non-public offerings are booming. Enterprises in both the public and private sectors are adapting private cloud strategies. The State of Ohio and Honda are two examples of organizations that have deployed private clouds within the last 18 months. Their stories help illustrate enterprise needs met by this type of infrastructure.

Buckeye State Goes Private

The State of Ohio streamlined its IT systems, cutting some of its technology personnel and reducing its overhead, as outlined in an August InformationWeek report.

The sheer numbers give you a sense why those familiar with the Ohio system saw a need to downsize. At its height, the state’s various agencies were using 32 data centers and 9000 servers running through 14 different networks.

The shift toward a private cloud started 12 years ago, when Governor Bob Taft found out that it was impossible to email all department chiefs simultaneously because there were almost 20 independent email systems. Although the problem was obvious in 2002, it wasn’t until 2011 that state officials started discussing an overhaul. At that point, the CIO for the state, Stuart Davis, recommended to Gov. John Kasich that Ohio’s IT underpinnings would need to be completely rebuilt.

In March 2013, Ohio started a complete redesign of its primary datacenter (DC) in its capital city, Columbus. The DC had been built for the IT machines of the 80s. Housed in a five-story building, it had hit a ceiling on its power capabilities due to the climate-control needs of various cyber condominiums operated by individual agencies. Thousands of square feet remained completely unused other than, absurdly, as storage for holiday decorations.

Twelve months later, the State of Ohio Computing Center (SOCC) was unveiled. The SOCC would serve as the headquarters for Ohio’s private cloud. The Technology Board, a committee formed to manage IT for the state, was charged with migrating applications from the old data centers and introducing the shared services model to agency directors.

By deploying a private cloud, the State of Ohio was able to become much more efficient with its infrastructure, organizing all its disparate systems into one cohesive whole.

Cars in the Cloud

Beyond organization, private cloud is also appreciated by many for its collaborative potential. That benefit was the key selling point for Honda when they chose a private cloud to integrate their network of suppliers in 2013. As seen with Ohio, it also offered the carmaker a chance to cut costs.

The Honda supply network is massive and spread across the globe, including over 10,000 suppliers in more than 50 nations. The decision to move to the private cloud originated in 2011, when the firm started revising the way that it develops, procures, and manufactures to foster better communication and improve consistency. In order for that communication be meaningful, it’s necessary to share computer-aided design (CAD) files, which can be enormous.

The use of a private cloud allowed Honda to create a uniform worldwide environment that seamlessly met its security needs. It was able to significantly increase the rate at which large systems were deployed, in some cases by as much as 90%. Meanwhile, the cost of operation for the supplier network was reduced approximately 30%.

Private Cloud for a Competitive Edge

Mikiya Fujita, the head of system service for Honda globally, noted that the positive impact of migrating the supplier network to the cloud was seen not just in collaboration but in process standardization, “while slashing the cost and time of new system deployment.” Ohio benefited in the same ways with its private cloud. What about you? At Superb, we guarantee better cloud performance than the competition.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: DC Group Inc.