Sneaky.

When IT Pros think of building a Private Cloud, they immediately look at their own, on-premise datacenters to get the job done. Using their own infrastructure, including servers and network owned by the business, they build out the processes that turns simple virtualization into a full-fledged Private Cloud model which includes all the automation, scale, elasticity, performance, and automation of the Public, hosted counterpart.

In Cloud terms, it usually goes like this:

  • Public Cloud = apps and services running in a hosted datacenter, managed by the hosting company
  • Private Cloud = apps and services running in an on-premise datacenter, managed by the local IT group
  • Hybrid Cloud = apps and services split between a hosted and an on-premise datacenter with links between, managed by both IT and the hosting company

Now, a Canadian company, iWeb, is seeking to redefine what a Private Cloud can actually be. iWeb is now offering a Microsoft Private Cloud that is hosted in their own datacenter. In essence, it's a Public Cloud, based on Microsoft's Cloud OS (Windows Server 2012 R2/Windows Azure/System Center), that is managed and maintained by the local IT group. So, when a company wants to create a Private Cloud, they can rent the resources instead of using their own investments in hardware, OS, and software, yet the IT group can continue to manage it completely (well, except for SLAs).

This sounds like a good solution for those companies that would love to build a Private Cloud but haven't already invested in the proper hardware and infrastructure resources. However, for companies who are building Private Clouds on existing investments, this could still cost more, not less. This is definitely a creative way to grab revenue and gives companies the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds. On one hand, IT retains control and on the other, no huge, up front investments in new hardware and infrastructure are needed. It's also more evidence that even vendors are realizing that 2014 is the year of the Customer-Driven Cloud.

You can check out iWeb's Microsoft Private Cloud here: http://iweb.com/cloud/private/microsoft

Personally, I don't believe this still falls under the definition of a Private Cloud and may need its own, brand new definition. HP has the "Converged Cloud," so we can't use that. A Public/Private Cloud is too easy. Let's be creative.

Have any suggestions?