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E-Guide Tips for Building a Private Cloud Start Slowly


Many IT professionals are intrigued by the idea of a private cloud to reduce performance bottlenecks and simplify management. But shifting today's server-based applications to a new platform requires …

Many IT professionals are intrigued by the idea of a private cloud to reduce performance bottlenecks and simplify management. But shifting today's server-based applications to a new platform requires a huge level of development and expensive man hours. This expert e-guide from provides insight into what you need to consider before investing in a private cloud strategy. Discover a four-step plan that enables you to successfully implement a private cloud in your IT infrastructure.

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  • 1. E-GuideTips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyMany IT professionals are intrigued by the idea of a private cloud toreduce performance bottlenecks and simplify management. Butshifting todays server-based applications to a new platform requires ahuge level of development and expensive man hours. This expert e-guide from provides insight into what youneed to consider before investing in a private cloud strategy. Discovera four-step plan that enables you to successfully implement a privatecloud in your IT infrastructure. Sponsored By:
  • 2. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowly E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowly Table of Contents Answers for the private cloud curious Private cloud strategy: A four-step plan for success Resources from Dell and IntelSponsored By: Page 2 of 10
  • 3. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyAnswers for the private cloud curiousBy Steve Cimino, Site EditorFew things intrigue a forward-thinking IT department more than private cloud. No morejam-packed server rooms, fewer performance bottlenecks; the improved economics andenhanced practicality promised by the cloud computing revolution. Thats the idea, anyway.But of course, there is a gulf between the concept and whats real. Enterprises mustcontend with legacy gear, so shifting todays server-based applications to a new platformrequires a huge level of development and expensive man hours. Even if its a secure, moretrustworthy option than public cloud, many organizations would still safely dub private cloudas "on the horizon."If you are planning for a private cloud, make sure to ask a lot of fundamental questions.What is private cloud? Who uses it? What will I get in return, and what is the risk? You needthese answers, even if youre already equipped with some variation of an in-house cloud.What is private cloud, and who wants it?A common question is "Whats the difference between virtualization and private cloud?" Thesimple answer is that private clouds feature metered usage, chargeback and on-demandself-service, all of which take it a step beyond the common virtualized server. Moving fromvirtualization to private cloud, however, is a logical progression for those intrigued by cloudcomputing.Who exactly is intrigued by cloud, at least enough to allocate precious IT budget towards it,remains to be seen. In a TechTarget survey, nearly two-thirds of few small and mediumbusinesses that responded said "no thanks" when asked about their private cloud ambitions.But a more recent survey noted that 60% of respondents claimed to have at least a partialprivate cloud infrastructure in place. In actuality, its probably a combination of the two:Few organizations are ready to adopt a private cloud, but many have something they like tocall "private cloud" in their data centers.Sponsored By: Page 3 of 10
  • 4. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyWhat are the major private cloud risks?While private cloud can be enticing, there are still roadblocks. Sometimes its money. Howmany organizations will drop a quarter of a million dollars for a private cloud system? Evenif private cloud can cut IT spending, thats a huge up-front investment at a time when ITspending remains low.Some concerns are focused on IT. Organizations have noted that application delivery in thecloud can be technically difficult. Merging cloud and in-house processes is rarely simple, andsome work is necessary to enable the kind of automation and orchestration features thatmake private cloud something special. IT shops will probably need to turn to cloud-orientedthird-party tools.Will private offerings rule the cloud computing market?Some say that the real future is in the hybrid cloud. Want all the benefits of public andprivate cloud, combined in an extremely scalable, flexible model? Hybrid may be for you,and some are already available for use in the real world. But its also a lot of work tomonitor the flow of data between two different cloud systems, especially since hybrid cloudsare still immature. Unless you have a really good reason to choose hybrid cloud, it can be adifficult decision to justify.Until hybrid cloud technology advances, IT managers will continue to look to private cloud.And the big IT vendors know this, with many of them already presenting private cloud astheir primary cloud offering. Dell is selling do-it-yourself in-house clouds, IBM is updating itsTivoli software with VMware capabilities and CSC will install and integrate VCE in 10 weeksthrough its BizCloud offering.As cloud computing technology progresses, its important for IT managers to assess wherethey reside on a scale from "one" to "private cloud." Some CIOs think that private clouds afad, going as far as to say "if you wait long enough, whats out will be back in again."Others continue to voice the same old spiel about security risks. That may be what it reallycomes down to: How risk averse is your enterprise? Are they willing to dive headfirst into aSponsored By: Page 4 of 10
  • 5. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlynew technology in the hope of reaping its benefits, or would they prefer to play it safe andwait out this initial surge of cloud intrigue?Either way, make sure you understand what youre getting into. If youre ready to shell outfor the latest and greatest, prepare to build the private cloud of your dreams. If youvealready got a private cloud, see if its time to take it to the next level. And if youre stillwaiting, make certain that your cloud strategy is in tip-top shape. Researching the marketand choosing the best pieces for your private offering will pay dividends when you begincrafting a cloud computing architecture.Sponsored By: Page 5 of 10
  • 6. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyPrivate cloud strategy: A four-step plan for successBy Greg ShieldsIt seems like cloud is all anyone can talk about these days. But virtualization is an importantstep toward developing a private cloud strategy. If you’ve already virtualized part of your ITinfrastructure, you’re probably closer to private cloud computing than you think.Cloud’s getting all the attention these days because of the benefits of cloud computing andthe inherent limitations of virtualization. Virtualization concerns itself with the virtualmachine (VM), how well that VM performs and what can be done once a physical server isvirtualized. Private cloud computing takes a wider view, focusing not on the VM itself butinstead on the entire infrastructure in which VMs are hosted.Why develop a private cloud strategy?Looking past the hype, are the benefits of cloud computing worth attaining? Most assuredly.For a solid private cloud strategy, start by embracing the concept of the virtual data center.That approach will introduce the benefits of cloud computing -- further-optimized resources,better ability to deliver services and improved visibility into resource usage -- to your ITinfrastructure.So how do you get there? The following four steps can help you develop a private cloudstrategy and reap the benefits of cloud computing.Step 1: Recognize what private cloud computing isThe IT industry has done itself a disservice by referring to this whole concept as “cloud.”Too many people see vaporware in what is really a powerful new mindset for managing ITworkloads. At its core, private cloud computing represents the collection of assets that youalready own -- the aggregation of which creates a pool of resources. Out of that pool, you --and your end users -- can create VMs in any configuration that your supply of resources willsupport.Sponsored By: Page 6 of 10
  • 7. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlySelf service is the most important functionality of that resource pool. You can set up a cloudof resources, dole out a portion to specific individuals, teams or projects, and allow them touse the resources in whatever way they see fit.More and more self-service tools are becoming available, some from virtualization platformvendors and others from third parties or customized from public cloud vendors.If you define private cloud computing using VMware’s suite of management tools, it’s littlemore than a cluster of hosts that have VMware High Availability and Distributed ResourceScheduler enabled, integrated with the self-service tools mentioned above. With theseassets, along with the storage and networking that accompanies them, you’re able toflexibly create VMs up to the level of your supply of physical resources.So with what you’ve already got today, you’re well on your way to developing a completeprivate cloud strategy.Step 2: Recognize the private cloud computing components you don’t haveMany IT professionals don’t actively manage system performance, even after virtualizing.But to get the benefits of cloud computing, performance monitoring should be a critical partof your private cloud strategy.Private cloud computing represents an abstraction of the entire data center. Thatabstraction consolidates hardware into a set of numbers that measure capacity. Network,storage, processing and memory all are abstracted into numbers that quantify resourcesupply and demand.You see evidence of this abstraction today. For example, pull up the VMware vCenterClient’s Virtual Machines tab for a cluster and you’ll find a long list of VMs with theirprocessing and memory demand values. Advanced tools such as VMware vCloud Directorand System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (currently in beta) bring furthervisualization of these resource values.Sponsored By: Page 7 of 10
  • 8. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyBecause of the abstraction, it’s important to embrace performance and capacitymanagement at a data-center level when adopting private cloud computing. You’ll needmore tools than what your virtualization platform alone can provide, but you’ll also need anevolved approach to IT resource management that regards your assets as contributions to awhole.Step 3: Cease and desist the virtual white boxingThere’s a new class of hardware now available from major manufacturers: convergedinfrastructure. This hardware is modular, making it easy to add computing power, storageor networking throughput by simply snapping in additional capacity. And manufacturersbundle in management tools to govern this hardware for virtualization.That handshake between hardware manufacturer and virtualization platform is the reallinchpin of private cloud computing. It’s the connection that enables admins to furtheroptimize how VMs consume resources in their private cloud strategy. Storage works withservers, which communicate across networks, which combine to create a seamlessexperience for virtual workloads.These technologies are available today, but you won’t always be able to make them part ofyour cloud strategy overnight. With hardware refresh cycles the way they are, it may take afew years for this new equipment to make its way into your data center. What you can dofor now is plan for its arrival.Here’s why: You learned a decade ago that building white-box servers from scratch mightbe loads of fun, but these dissimilar servers and their configurations grow unmanageable asthe infrastructure scales upward. Unless you begin planning for converged infrastructurenow, you’re doomed to relearn a similar lesson with your entire data center, and yourhomemade virtualization hardware won’t scale to meet your needs.Step 4: Right-size services to their delivery platformTo really achieve the benefits of cloud computing, you need to get over your fears aboutsecurity and loss of control.Sponsored By: Page 8 of 10
  • 9. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyPrivate cloud computing is the first step toward a future where IT services can be flexiblyhosted wherever they make sense. Sometimes it makes sense to host those services in yourlocal data center. Other times, it makes more sense to let someone else do the hosting in apublic cloud.Bridging these two methods are an evolving series of technologies that secure theconnection, protect the information and create the hybrid cloud experience. Both your cloudservices vendor and your virtualization platform vendor can now share with you the currentand future vision for these products, because they are today -- finally -- products that youcan actually see and feel.Private cloud computing: Closer than you thinkNot long ago, there was the notion that a thin wafer of plastic could never be a securemechanism for purchasing goods and services. The credit card, with little more than a seriesof numbers and a magnetic strip, was a commerce vehicle that people weren’t ready totrust.Today, we have a level of trust that’s become so engrained we don’t think twice when wepurchase something. It’s a perfect metaphor for the evolution of trust we’re seeing in ITtoday. Private cloud computing is one part of that trust, and its bigger brother, public cloudcomputing, isn’t far behind.Sponsored By: Page 9 of 10
  • 10. E-Guide Tips for building a private cloud-Start slowlyResources from Dell and IntelAn Enterprise Private Cloud Architecture and Implementation RoadmapPresentation Transcript: SMB Server School: Considerations for IntegratingWindows Server into a Cloud Computing EnvironmentLayered Tech sees 22% performance increase by building new infrastructure usingDell servers that takes managed hosting and cloud services to a new levelAbout Dell and IntelDell and Intel have worked together for years to bring you end-to-end solutions thatimprove business productivity, increase performance and reduce your total cost ofownership (TCO) across the enterprise.Sponsored By: Page 10 of 10