I am beginning to believe that 2012 will be the year in which private cloud adoption moves from primarily Innovators to Early Adopters. One might argue that we're already there since Eucalyptus customers include 20% of the Fortune 100. Still, there are easily tens of thousands of businesses that could reap the benefits of private and hybrid cloud.
So why aren't more businesses putting private cloud to good use? Well, it's not lack of interest. We've seen over 25,000 Eucalyptus clouds start within a year, so clearly there is potential demand building up. It must be something else. My guess (and it's just a guess) is that "the cloud" hasn't been well understood and that private cloud software has been, until recently, difficult to install / configure / manage.
The folks willing to take a chance on private cloud have been the innovators. They, as Geoffrey Moore would tell you, understand the potential value AND have the technical wherewithal to cobble together disparate components to create the first few working versions. The innovators have demonstrated that private and hybrid cloud solutions aren't just technically feasible, but actually provide real value to developers, IT and the business as a whole.
Over the past few years we've worked along side them and learned (the hard way) how to build the kind of software that can transform businesses. We've put that experience into education and certification programs. We've vastly improved the setup and configuration experience. We've made all our code open sourced. What the Innovators helped pioneer has made it easier for nearly anyone to spin up their own private cloud.
If you've ever wished your IT resources could be as easy to provision and use as Amazon Web Services, then this is the right time to check out Eucalyptus.