While public cloud adoption continues to grow at a rapid pace, organizations, especially those in regulated industries such as finance and health care, are continuing to take advantage of private clouds as part of their journey to public cloud environments that will enable them to quickly launch and update applications.
Private cloud is a cloud computing model that offers similar benefits to a public cloud, but is dedicated to a single organization, allowing customization of the environment to meet unique needs and security requirements. Private clouds also give organizations greater control, increased performance, predictable costs, tighter security and flexible management options.
Global IT investment in private clouds is expected to accelerate and reach $24 billion annually by 2021, an almost 70 percent increase from 2016 levels, according to IDC’s new Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker.
The reason for the shift is a desire to retain complete control over core data and apps behind an organization’s firewall, while making the experience for developers and IT staff identical as on a public cloud. In other words, a private cloud is like a fenced-in backyard with a gate to surrounding properties and public spaces. It can provide organizations with many of the benefits of a public cloud, while at the same time, offer the additional control and security of dedicated resources.
To support this transition, IBM announced a new IBM Cloud Private software platform to help companies unlock billions of dollars in technology investment in core data and applications and to extend cloud-native tools across public and private clouds. IBM Cloud Private software is designed to enable companies to create on-premises cloud capabilities similar to public clouds to accelerate app development.
Innovations used in IBM Cloud Private are designed to simplify cloud management, accelerate app development and maintain security across cloud environments. Examples include:
- Extending Existing Apps to Mobile: An international airline might have a frequent flyer program with customers’ details that it wants to reside on its core systems. With IBM Cloud Private, the airline could transition this application to a cloud-native environment, breaking apart pieces of the application into microservices and securely connecting it via APIs to a mobile app. Flight attendants could use the mobile app to identify frequent flyers on the flight and make sure they get proper attention. The task of bringing the core application in the cloud and breaking it into microservices could be done within a couple of months, instead of almost a year currently.
- Rapid Modeling for New Insights: A financial services firm may want to speed analysis of client data to recommend investment options more quickly. The firm could do modeling with anonymous data in the public cloud to rapidly test new models. Then it could bring the models into IBM Cloud Private to analyze client data running securely behind the firewall. In each of the environments — public and private cloud — developers can produce all of the supporting services to run the apps in minutes. Normally, the process would take months.
IBM Cloud Private is designed to help companies bring the massive investments they’ve made in existing applications into the cloud era and lays the foundation for a cross-organizational cloud environment, including multiple public and private clouds from different vendors.
(The author is a Software Group Director, IBM East Africa)