Home > Cloud Computing, Cloud Security, Microsoft > No, Mary Jo, Private Cloud is NOT Just A Euphemism For On-Premise Datacenter…

No, Mary Jo, Private Cloud is NOT Just A Euphemism For On-Premise Datacenter…

Mary Jo Foley asked the question in her blog titled: ‘Private cloud’ = just another buzzword for on-premise datacenter?

What’s really funny is that she’s not really asking.  She’s already made her mind up:

Whether or not they admit it publicly (or just express their misgivings relatively privately), Microsoft officials know the “private cloud” is just the newest way of talking about an on-premise datacenter. Sure, it’s not exactly the same mainframe-centric datacenter IT admins may have found themselves outfitting a few years ago. But, in a nutshell, server + virtualization technology + integrated security/management/billing  = private cloud.

Microsoft’s “official” description of the distinction between private and public clouds basically says as much. From a press release the company issued this morning:

The private cloud: “By employing techniques like virtualization, automated management, and utility-billing models, IT managers can evolve the internal datacenter into a ‘private cloud’ that offers many of the performance, scalability, and cost-saving benefits associated with public clouds. Microsoft provides the foundation for private clouds with infrastructure solutions to match a range of customer sizes, needs and geographies.

The public cloud: “Cloud computing is expanding the traditional web-hosting model to a point where enterprises are able to off-load commodity applications to third-party service providers (hosters) and, in the near future, the Microsoft Azure Services Platform. Using Microsoft infrastructure software and Web-based applications, the public cloud allows companies to move applications between private and public clouds.”

Firstly, Microsoft defines their notion of Public and Private Clouds based upon the limits of their product offerings.  In their terms, Private Clouds = Hyper-V, Public Clouds = Azure.  Never the two shall meet. So using these definitions, sure, Private Clouds are just “on-premise datacenters.”  She ought to know.  She wrote about it here and I responded in a post titled “Incomplete Thought: Looking At An “Open & Interoperable Cloud” Through Azure-Colored Glasses

Private Clouds aren’t just virtualized datacenters with chargeback/billing.

As I’ve said here many, many times, this sort of definition is short-sighted, inaccurate and limiting:

Private Clouds: Even A Blind Squirrel Finds A Nut Once In A While
The Vagaries Of Cloudcabulary: Why Public, Private, Internal & External Definitions Don’t Work…
Internal v. External/Private v. Public/On-Premise v. Off- Premise: It’s all Cloud But How You Get There Is Important.
Private Clouds: Your Definition Sucks
Mixing Metaphors: Private Clouds Aren’t Defined By Their Location…

Can we stop butchering this term now, please?

So no, Private Cloud is NOT just a euphemism for on-premise datacenters.


  1. April 29th, 2009 at 04:57 | #1

    I think you might want to see it from the Microsoft (rose tinted) perspective. By defining 'Cloud Computing' to be what you are already doing, you are much more likely to reach customers. Generally, I find that people just don't want to hear about 'Cloud', but thinking that you already have one by using Microsoft's software makes you feel good about your Microsoft purchases.

    It might actually be clever marketing, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Microsoft is the currently the least likely contender to win in the Cloud era.

  2. April 29th, 2009 at 21:41 | #2

    "Cloud computing" is like "DLP".

    Its a buzzword and "Internal Cloud Computing" is a buzzword built from another buzzword.

    I think that the marketing definition of "Cloud computing" is: "What we offered before as Internet technologies but now with a funkier name".

  1. October 18th, 2013 at 15:19 | #1