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Christopher Keene

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For Private Cloud, No Pain Means Big Gains By @CKeene | @CloudExpo #Cloud

When virtualization took the data center, it offered huge cost savings for IT ops

When virtualization took the data center, it offered huge cost savings for IT ops and zero migration pain for developers. Coming at a time when IT was being pressed by the business for savings, vSphere took the data center by storm.

This example is instructive when trying to consider why private cloud has had a slower adoption. The short answer is that cloud offers fuzzier benefits for IT ops while forcing a lot of pain on developers.

The lack of a smooth migration path for existing workloads to the cloud goes a long way to explain the relatively bumpy growth of the private cloud market itself.

For example, the latest craze for "cloud native" apps seems like an explicit acknowledgement that vendors are giving up on minimizing cloud migration pain. Rather than focusing on simplicity, the cloud native initiative seems to make a virtue needing to rebuild existing apps for the cloud.

Of course, for greenfield apps, cloud native and 12 factorapps make great sense. But for the enterprise, greenfield is a small part of what they do (like less than 10%). There is still a big white space in the market for a vendor who can provide cloud benefits for existing workloads.

This may be the reason for the buzz behind next generation cloud companies like Apcer,  Mesosphere and Google's Kubernetes who offer ways to support existing Windows and vSphere workloads. The idea of getting improved automation and security while having a migration to new technologies like Docker gives enterprise the best of both worlds.

Of course it is early days for these new cloud technologies, but my bet is on whichever vendor can duplicate the original VMware offer of  max cloud ops gain for minimum dev pain.

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More Stories By Christopher Keene

Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.