Lately it's starting to seem like private clouds are a lot like beauty – in the eye of the beholder. Or more accurately, in the eye of the builder. Sadly, unlike art and beauty, the value that comes from your private cloud isn’t as fluid, and the closer you get in your design to a public cloud, the greater the value. While it may be tempting to paint your VMware environment as a cloud or to automate a few tasks such as provisioning and then declare “cloud,”organizations that fall short of achieving true cloud value may find their investments miss the mark. But how do you get your private cloud right?

For the most part, enterprises understand that virtualization and automation are key components of a private cloud, but at what point does a virtualized environment become a private cloud? What can a private cloud offer that a virtualized environment can’t? How do you sell this idea internally? And how do you deliver a true private cloud in 2011?

In London, this March, I am facilitating a meeting of the Forrester Leadership Board Infrastructure & Operations Council, where we will tackle these very questions. If you are considering building a private cloud, there are changes you will need to make in your organization to get it right and our I&O council meeting will give you the opportunity to discuss this with other I&O leaders facing the same challenge.

If you’re interested in being among the first to talk through this idea with me and other members of the I&O Council, please consider joining us on March 16 in London. To attend, you must be a senior-level infrastructure and/or operations executive in a $1B+ organization. Click here for more details on Forrester’s I&O Council. Are you working on a private cloud initiative in your organization, and if so, how are you defining it? Do you find that using the word “cloud” actually helps or hinders your ability to get support within IT for the project?