Enterprise VoIP Market Prefers Private Cloud Over Public Cloud (Pt 1)

When you hear about virtualized business environments, remote-hosted network solutions and IP telephony services, you might think that all of these terms represent a single monolithic technology. While it’s clear the qualities of these services vary from vendor to vendor, not everyone is aware of the fact there are plenty of different deployment methods for each of these. In fact, the differences between one remote-hosted network deployment and another can be rather dramatic.

One of the biggest divides in the world remote-hosted networks lies between private and public cloud deployment. And while public clouds may be getting all the press, private clouds appear to be the deployment method the enterprise market is jumping to.

Vested Interests

News of enterprise preference for private clouds over public clouds came out of a panel at the Interop conference held in Las Vegas last week, where panel guest El Almog (CTO of CSC Cloud Services) made the remark that many enterprise clients…

“…are doing business in the private cloud, which is still your network that connects directly to the providers, it is your data that is secure, and don’t share the hardware with anybody. That is the first stage of cloud adoption.”

While the news that enterprises seem to prefer the private cloud over the public cloud as Almog stated, it isn’t clear whether he was being completely accurate when he spoke down to private clouds as nothing more than the “first stage of cloud adoption.”

Almog followed this statement up with a threat to Chief Informaiton Officers at enterprise-level organizations, explaining that…

“If they don’t change, you will see that most of the decisions will be made by CFO or CMOs… The CIO who do not adapt to changes probably won’t be there in the future.”

Big words, but is it possible Almog wasn’t making a friendly suggestion, but is it possible Almog was trying to intimidate decision-makers in the enterprise market into purchasing the products and services he wants them to purchase?

Public vs Private: Not So Clear Cut

While Almog’s statement wants to paint the private cloud as nothing more than an inferior, outdated version of the public cloud, when it comes down to it the progression from private to public isn’t so clear cut. In fact, it’s much more accurate to say the public cloud and the private cloud are actually two separate, parallel services.

We’ll get to the user-end differences between the public and the private cloud a little later, but for the moment let’s evaluate why Almog and some of his peers are such strong proponents of the public over the private.

When it comes down to it Almog and his peers may be pushing the public cloud over the private cloud because that’s where they bet their own money. Plenty of large-scale network and communications providers invested in a massive amount of infrastructure to build and sell space on their own public clouds, and now that enterprise-level clients aren’t hopping on board in droves those investments might not look so great.

These companies aren’t only using intimidating and evolutionary language to try to get enterprise-level clients to hop on board their services, they’re also spending oodles of cash on advertising to make “The Cloud,” i.e. the public cloud, as second nature in the public’s vocabulary as “e-mail.” This is the reason why the public cloud is better known than the private cloud, and why it’s understandable so many people don’t know there’s even such as a thing as the private cloud. The people who bet on the public cloud are just plain making the most noise right now.

But no matter how much, or how loud, they shout about it, when it comes down to brass tacks even CTO’s like Almog have to openly admit that enterprise-level clients seem to prefer the private cloud. And while we acknowledge the benefits the public cloud offers and while we admit the public cloud is appropriate for some deployments, ultimately we have to agree that private, personally designed and implemented network services tend to work better for businesses than simply plugging into the great mass of shared-storage and software-as-service applications out there.