The Great Cloud Computing Pricing Debate

Public cloud vs. private cloud: which model is cheaper for enterprises? In an environment where the future pricing of public cloud providers is uncertain and the reliability of internal private cloud deployments is far from guaranteed, CIOs need guidance. CIO.com blogger Bernard Golden offers four tips for determining which deployment is right for your organization.

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In a piece published over two years ago addressing the turmoil going on in the newspaper industry, Clay Shirky, using the rise of movable type printing as an example, noted that while in retrospect the outcome of revolutions seem obvious and neatly implemented, during the revolution, everything seems chaotic; the outcomes are completely unknown (and many times not even considered part of the predicted outcomes); the criteria by which success (or failure) will be judged are not clear; and the experience of the participants is disconcerting and disorienting.

I hear many people who are heavily involved in cloud computing voice the opinion that they wish the discussions regarding private vs. public, cloud security, SLAs, and so on would just go away. Each of them regards the questions as settled. What they fail to recognize is that for all participants in IT, cloud computing is this generation's movable type. It's clear that a revolution is underway, but the impact and outcome, for these participants, are far from established—even while the dislocation and disorientation are completely obvious. In such circumstances, the controversy is bound to continue. Following steps such as those outlined above give IT organizations practices that will stand them in good stead no matter how the times buffet them.

Bernard Golden is CEO of consulting firm HyperStratus, which specializes in virtualization, cloud computing and related issues. He is also the author of "Virtualization for Dummies," the best-selling book on virtualization to date.

Follow Bernard Golden on Twitter @bernardgolden. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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