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Cloud Computing: Like-Minded Organizations Band Together to Create Semi-Private Clouds — Community Clouds
While public cloud offerings from companies like Amazon and Google have become symbols of cloud computing technology, many organizations worry about the risks involved in storing data in the public cloud. The alternative for many companies is a private cloud. The benefits that a private cloud has over traditional computing is primarily the greater flexibility provided in how computing resources can be allocated. But unless the organization is very large, the cost efficiencies and economy of scale that are possible in a public cloud that has many thousands of customers just can’t be realized with the private cloud.
To achieve a greater economy of scale, the idea many have is to create specialized private clouds that can serve more than one organization. Many like-minded organizations are considering the possibility of banding together creating semi-private clouds. Examples include Federal agencies, state governments, and higher-learning institutes.
A report by Quest Software finds that only 6.9 percent of government agencies think that using the public cloud is a viable option for their operations. 68.1 percent of federal agencies say that they would prefer to pursue some sort of private cloud offering. Reasons cited for moving to the cloud include cost savings (28 percent) and better IT support (21.1 percent). 62 percent of federal agencies say that the federal plan to eliminate and consolidate up to 800 federal data centers is a good one, but a major concern is the lack of IT expertise in the areas of cloud computing and virtualization.
On the state government level, 32 percent are looking for guidance and/or example from the federal government and would like to see the federal government formulate mandates and guidelines around cloud computing. Only 9.4 percent of state governments look favorably on public cloud options while 60 percent think that a private cloud model would offer them benefits.
In the area of higher-learning, 67 percent of organization think that the creation of a federal cloud dedicated to colleges and universities is a good idea. 62.5 percent of academics are very optimistic about the potential uses that can be derived from cloud computing. 60 percent say that a national cloud for education will drive intra-institutional collaboration.