Enterprises launch their own private clouds
Scrappy online startups were among the first to realize that renting computing power from cloud providers like Amazon Web Services was an excellent deal. For some, it was the only way they'd get off the ground. What investor would pay millions to build a data center for a new game or service that might not take off?
Now, enterprises are following the little guys' lead and embracing cloud computing. But because of security concerns, custom requirements, and in some cases, sheer scale, a number of big organizations are doing it with a twist: They're creating their own private clouds.
PayPal, the U.S. National Security Agency, Samsung, BestBuy.com, Comcast, Bloomberg and even a group of particle physicists are among those that have launched their own isolated networks.
A private cloud is built on hardware that a business controls itself (sometimes through a contract with an outside vendor), rather than sharing it with others. Clouds are different than traditional data centers in several ways, a key one being that users can call up new computing resources on demand. That's a major improvement for many enterprises, where a developer might have to wait months to get access to an IT department server.