Companies start talking about their private clouds

'We began seeing our infrastructure as a commodity service, and not a strategic asset'

It's such a classic enterprise solution to the cloud computing phenomenon. Build one yourself.

That's the approach being taken by some leading names in the corporate world, and a new article in Information Age discusses some of these initiatives, based on presentations at a recent Forrester confab.

For example, Charles Newhouse, chief IT strategist for BAE Systems, a defense and aerospace manufacturer, now operates its entire IT department as an internal cloud provider -- managed from the outside by CSC. "We began seeing our infrastructure as a commodity service and not a strategic asset," he is quoted as saying. BAE's IT services are now provisioned through a web portal, and each department receives a bill for their usage at the end of the month.

Newhouse said there was resistance from the IT department -- "with one IT employee describing the change as 'professional emasculation.'" Ouch.

As discussed here at this blogsite, service-oriented principles lay the groundwork for a private cloud strategy. Not everyone agrees -- VMWare's Paul Maritz says virtualization is the optimal route. "Unlike service oriented architecture, virtualization allows you to provide 'IT as a service' without rewriting your applications," he is quoted as saying in the article. But private clouds, like all good things in enterprise IT, require architecture and governance as well as the technology.