Last year, NYSE Euronext (NYSE) launched their Capital Markets Community Platform (Community Platform, as abbreviated by NYSE) for financial institutions doing business with and on the exchange. This week, VMware announced on its blog that the platform was rolled out in a data centre located near London to service customers in Europe. VMware has dubbed this a public cloud, but it seems that the characteristics of this deployment more closely resemble those of a community cloud.
Let's ignore, for the moment, that the service's name also includes the word "platform" and focus on VMware's assertion that the Capital Markets Community Platform is a public cloud.
A review of the features of the offering on NYSE's website indicates that its characteristics are more closely aligned to a community cloud as they address specific requirements of a subset of cloud computing customers, let's call them a "community", and are not suitable for consumption by the general public.
Recall that, according to the NIST, a public cloud is "...provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider," whereas a community cloud is "provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns... It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises."
Clearly, both definitions apply. However, because a public cloud is for use by the public at large and a community cloud is specifically designed for use by users with similar needs, such as security or some other concern, the Capital Markets Community Platform is definitely a community cloud, and not a public cloud. The product information page also goes so far as to specify target customers (Agency Broker, Investment bank, Low-latency Hedge Fund, All sizes of Financial Services Firms), their specific needs, and how the Community Platform addresses them.
NYSE Euronext is right to bet on a community cloud because its importance will only grow in the coming years. Government and the healthcare verticals represent other important sectors that can benefit from a community cloud as they have multiple users with specific legal and regulatory requirements that must be met.
More generally, community clouds are not only for verticals with rigid requirements. Rather, the private sector can benefit from integrating vertical operations into a community cloud environment as this would open up many opportunities for investment and innovation. For example, the retail sector's value chain is interesting. It includes manufacturers, logistics companies, distributors, and retail outlets, all of which could cooperate to improve just-in-time stocking or manage returns more efficiently, just to pick a couple of possible opportunities.