While this is not strictly a storage blog, I thought you might find some thoughts on cloud computing interesting.
If we look at the individual parts of the private cloud it can be broken down as follows
1. The Orchestration Layer: This is the software that provides the workspace and smarts to provision your servers in the private cloud.
2. Server Infrastructure: This is usually in the form of a Blade Chassis or two with a number of Server Blades.
3. Hypervisor: The Virtual Layer that runs on the the servers. Usually VMWare ESX or Xen (there is probably a flavor somewhere also running with Microsoft’s hypervisor).
4. SAN and Storage: Most of the Blade Chassis will have inbuilt Fibre Switches that connect to the back-end storage.
5. Network: Most of the Blade Chassis also have inbuilt Network Switches
Does this sound familiar? Apart from the orchestration layer most data centres already have all the layers listed. Most organizations already have the orchestration layer, too, which is the IT staff and current provisioning tools used to deploy servers.
Admittedly the orchestration layer will provide you a faster way to provision your servers but why do we have to use the vendors hardware as well, this is just a way for the vendors to get their hardware products into your organization where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
Other points to consider when implementing private cloud on a total vendor package
1. Will they meet the SLA’s that are already established with the business units as you will now be reliant on the vendor to support the whole cloud environment.
2. How do you report for charge back on the end-to-end solution ( Storage and CPU )
3. Do your current reporting tools work with the private cloud solutions or do you need to use yet another tool
4. Can you plug it into your security model, Active Directory or LDAP
4. Will your Standard Operating Image work on the Virtual Machine’s. Some Private Cloud implementations have storage allocation limitations to the Virtual Machines
When deciding to get on the Private Cloud bandwagon check that you are not already doing it and you may find that you can provide a better solution with your own IT staff rather than outsourcing to another vendor in your own data center.