The private cloud can often be used by an IT department as an intermediate step to public cloud adoption. Data and servers are kept within the confines of the company firewall, but those resources are provisioned much like public cloud services.

During his cloud computing keynote this morning at Cloud Connections 2011, Ric Telford, IBM vice president of cloud computing services, predicted that the private cloud will go through a period of growth and transformation as enterprises adapt the model to best fit their own needs.

Telford pointed out that early private cloud attempts often had relatively low hardware utilization, and operated on heavily customized hardware. Current private cloud models rely on shared hardware and virtualization, increased utilization of resources, and support location-independent deployments.

Despite the advances over previous cloud efforts, Telford said that today's private cloud solutions present a number of challenges for IT managers, ranging from managing virtual machine image sprawl to creating composite applications and connecting to legacy and off-premise apps and services.

In Telford's view, the solution to this problem is a more integrated approach with standardized middleware, increased utilization of software, improved deployment speed, and simplified applications management.

Read: Exploring HP's Private Cloud

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