Private cloud mania drives data center expansion, survey says

Lots of large companies in North America are expanding their data centers this year or next, and the desire to run internal private clouds is a major motivating factor, according to the results of a new¬†survey of IT decision makers. Despite all the flak private clouds have taken, it’s clear they have a piece of the cloud market, and that piece appears to be growing.

Of the 300 IT executives surveyed, 98 percent expect to expand their data centers in 2013 or 2014, and 61 percent cited establishing internal clouds as an extremely important reason, according to the study, commissioned by data center builder Digital Realty Trust(s dlr) and conducted by Campos Research and Analysis. Better security, energy efficiency and new applications and services are among the other stated reasons for expansion.

The hankering for private clouds is fascinating. It shows that objections to the concept could be fading. Critics say private cloud can’t replicate the cost savings that can derive from going with massively scaled shared-resource public clouds exemplified by Amazon (s amzn) Web Services. Others see private cloud deployments as unduly influenced by vendors trying to parlay their dominance in the current server and software realm into cloud. But, then again, regulatory or compliance concerns still rule out the use of public clouds, as GigaOM Research analyst David Linthicum wrote in February (subscription required).

The wider availability of the OpenStack cloud platform has surely made a difference in the rise of private clouds. It’s helped plenty of companies build private clouds, including eBay, (s ebay) Intel (s intc) and Yahoo. (s yhoo) That trend could keep up, but so could the rise in the adoption of public clouds.