Healing the public vs private cloud feature gap

By jgottschlich18. August 2017

Bridge over gap between public and private cloud

I ran into an interesting article by David Linthicum on InfoWorld. He describes the functional deficiencies of private cloud solutions compared to public cloud platforms:

The feature gap between public and private clouds has grown so wide that the private cloud demos that I attend are laughable considering the subsystems that enterprises need, such as security, governance, databases, IoT, and management, versus what private clouds actually deliver.

In addition, he refers to the upfront effort necessary to put a private cloud solution in place. In total he concludes that companies should try to avoid private clouds until absolutely necessary.

I think he is right looking at the current solutions in the market where you have to choose which side you’re on. Opting for the public cloud gives you an abundant bunch of out-of-the-box services ready to be deployed, but locking you into the ecosphere of a specific vendor like AWS. Also, total costs are not always easy to estimate, but can surge unexpectedly if load increases – not always covered by compensating increases in revenue. Private Clouds require a larger (fixed) upfront investment, but give you total control over every aspect of the stack – for the price of having to pay extra for every piece of functionality.

Economies of scale can explain the observed effect: Rolling out a service in the public cloud immediately serves a very large user base, while private cloud solutions usually are long-running projects and need to consider very specific requirements and customized software stacks – after all, there is probably a reason to have a private cloud.

To overcome those limitations, we apply a "one stack everywhere" approach at meshcloud. We deploy the meshStack – consisting of OpenStack for IaaS and Cloud Foundry for PaaS – in our partner data centers for public cloud usage, but also provide the same stack to operate in private data centers. This ensures, functionality developed and distributed to public cloud users is also available for private cloud usage. This enables users to build their infrastructure on well-established open source platforms and hence keep their investments safe without vendor lock-in. Companies need only one skill set and have the freedom to choose if they run their deployments public or private. Therefore, we enable users to reap the benefits of a hybrid approach without compromise.

What is your experience with private vs. public cloud deployments? Share your thoughts.