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Private cloud evolving as businesses, government agencies prioritize deployments

Government agencies are investing in private clouds

Many organization are still keen to build private clouds. For example, the Social Security Administration recently announced that it wanted to build on-premises infrastructure that would automate many processes that are currently manual. Overall, more than half of enterprises are prioritizing private cloud deployment in 2014, according to a Forrester Research survey. Given these trends, how will private cloud services evolve to meet business requirements?

The SSA's plans detailed a need for software that could be integrated with its existing VMware virtualization infrastructure. Ultimately, the setup allows users to request resources, such as cloud storage, RAM and virtual CPUs, without having to go through administrators.

This move demonstrates the progress of U.S. government agencies toward meeting the goals set out in a 2010 memo from the Obama Administration, which encouraged them to turn to the cloud as a first resort. The Department of the Interior already intends to spend at least $10 billion migrating operations to the cloud, and the SSA's plan is in the same vein.

Still, the DOI and SSA may be exception to the status quo. Less than one-third of agencies are in the process of deploying private clouds, and the numbers are even lower for public clouds. The slow public sector adoption rate may be due to lack of communication between parts of the organization.

"Agencies are typically approaching cloud computing procurements as just another IT buy. This is a huge mistake," stated GovCloud Network founder Kevin Jackson, according to InformationWeek. "Successful cloud computing deployments require close collaboration between IT and business/mission owners."

At the same time, the definition of "private cloud" may be changing. Forrester Research predicted that in 2014, enhanced virtualization will become more differentiated from private infrastructure. Solutions may also add more IT service management features, and OpenStack APIs could become a standard within the enterprise.