The ABC of Private Clouds

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Although many organizations have adopted the cloud and are reaping the …

Although many organizations have adopted the cloud and are reaping the
benefits of a cloud computing platform, there are still concerns with the
handling of sensitive information on a public cloud platform. For such
organizations an alternate option is available, and it means having their own
private cloud.

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  • 1. Whitepaper The ABC of Private Clouds A viable option or another cloud gimmick?Although many organizations have adopted the cloud and are reaping thebenefits of a cloud computing platform, there are still concerns with thehandling of sensitive information on a public cloud platform. For suchorganizations an alternate option is available, and it means having their ownprivate cloud.The IT Landscape today has found its nirvana in the concept of the cloud.Cloud Computing has moved from a concept to a reality. It has followed theoriginal concept of providing convenient on demand resources andconsolidation across IT workloads in enterprise-wide (Private) or World-wide(Public) deployments. The CIO today is harnessing the concept of on demandIT for his workloads and balancing the same on a consolidated platform. Thebroad form of cloud has followed the NIST definition since inception: "Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand networkaccess to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks,servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisionedand released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction"Traditionally IT systems have been built on initial predicted sizing supported bymature forms of capturing data and sizing right from an ERP system to Mailingsystem. These inputs formed the basis for investing in the capex for the ITLandscape under design, investing into workload spikes during peak usages.The CIO was increasingly forced to adopt known and mature technologies in
  • 2. WHITEPAPER the form of Compute, Storage and usage. This led to them losing their agility application stacks and increasingly paying and response to the business needs for premiums for the projected loads as well varied unpredictable surges and need of as saddled with non-performing the hour. inventories. This led to a widening gap in the business needs and the way IT CtrlS intends to bring the concept of responded to their need as depicted scalable private clouds to the CIO, which below: would help him address requirements as brought out by the following statements: Growing Gap The mould was broken with the advent of Imagine a scenario where your open source technologies and adoption of organization could rapidly access and these technologies by the IT world, based analyze information and make on collaboration as a central theme. These decisions? led to the birth of the concept of cloud, Innovate and launch new business which disrupted the traditional way of capabilities faster? predicting and stocking to just in time Scale business operations up or down availability for the compute elements as needed? initially. Today this has grown from IAAS Tap into new information and expertise (infrastructure as a service) to PAAS - both inside the company and in the (Platform as a Service) and moving to marketplace - on demand? SAAS (Software as a Service). And do all this while safeguarding sensitive information and other As clouds were formed, they were either business assets? labeled as Private (Enterprise-wide) or Private cloud offers you this and much Public (world-wide) with the single largest more adding up to genuine business differentiator being the security agility. component. This slowed the adoption of cloud in the security conscious enterprise What is a Private Cloud anyway? domain and led to deployment of private The private cloud offers an opportunity to clouds in the traditional method of CAPEX a business enterprise to create a investments for projected work-loads and virtualized IT architecture on its own terms once again the CIOs being saddled with with the internet as a backbone for extra compute capacity than the average facilitation. The applications reside on the2
  • 3. WHITEPAPERorganizations hardware, within its network Controlalong with the data. The IT infrastructure is A private cloud infrastructure provides andistributed across the enterprise LANs and organization with total control of the cloudWANs. A private cloud offers the same services. An in-house informationbenefits as that of a public cloud - cost technology (IT) department will be able toreduction, asset utilization, information handle every aspect of the administration.availability, rapid deployment of newservices, and business agility - sans the Locationsecurity risks. In the future as the need A private cloud is located in a nearbymay be, a private cloud can also serve as facility, making it practical for the IT teama gateway to the public cloud, enabling a to go on-site and resolve problems andbusiness to make use of the growing array issues as they arise.of services available on a public cloud,while keeping business-critical information Securitysystems inside the private cloud. The organization with a private cloud has the flexibility and freedom to establish itsIDC, a premier IT research firm, views own security policies i.e., the organizationprivate cloud computing as maturization of decides on the level of security for eachthe evolution of the IT datacenter, and area of the cloud platform.sees virtualization as the necessarystepping stone to the private cloud Hosted Private Cloudenvironment. While public cloud Hosted private cloud is another form ofcomputing raises issues of reliability, data private cloud where the infrastructure issecurity, system protection, compliance hosted at the providers location ratherand governance, none of these concerns than at the organizations own premises.are as prominent with the private cloud. In a hosted private cloud, physical infrastructure is provisioned andThe main benefits of having a private cloud dedicated to a single customer thatinfrastructure are as follows: ensures no sharing of data, applications, user credentials, or other sensitive information. This dedicated infrastructure 3
  • 4. WHITEPAPER is secured in state of the art datacenters provision that service or retire it as and is often locked within a cage, further needed. limiting physical access to a select few individuals. Hosted private clouds have all Key elements of a Private Cloud infrastructure the benefits of shared clouds that are The key elements of a private cloud typically associated with cloud computing. include the following: Hosted private clouds also have many additional benefits, mostly in the areas of Self-service portals: access to a Web- enhanced security, privacy, control, and based system that enables on-demand configurability. consumption of IT services; Policy-based controls: rules, policies The building blocks of a Private Cloud and other mechanisms that govern the Infrastructure Automation, Virtualization, terms and conditions of IT resource and Service Management are fundamental consumption; building blocks for Private Cloud. Standardized hardware: servers and other hardware resources that are under IT Automation the centralized control of the IT supply Automation of even complex processes chain and lifecycle; for deployment and management allows Automated deployment and network-accessible IT components maintenance: software and other (servers, applications, storage, networks, management tools that eliminate etc.) to be rapidly deployed and manual administration as well as reduce repurposed, as required. cost and variability of IT resource maintenance; Virtualization Targeted independence: the ability to The flexibility and agility of a well- move services dynamically between managed virtual system eliminates the internal and external deployment roadblocks of the racking and stacking environments based on price, physical systems, providing the basis for performance or policy; and rapid elasticity and resource pooling. Elasticity: the ability to provision, de- provision, and scale resources up and Cloud Service Management down on demand. By providing a set of business focused and policy-driven services, this delivers Another key element of a private cloud is the on-demand self-service and automating server management and measurement that rounds out the essential maintenance - as well as management of characteristics of a private cloud. other resources, including networks, and storage. A critical and indispensible component of a private cloud is the Service Catalog, Cloud characteristics and advantages providing a menu of standard cloud The resources in a cloud have three service offerings and a self-service essential characteristics: storefront for IT. The Service Catalog provides visibility into ITs offerings for the Pooled enterprise - what services are being All the resources in the cloud are offered, what costs are associated with a organized and managed as a common given service level, and the ability to shared pool. Pooling usually begins with4
  • 5. WHITEPAPERservers and storage and then come data usage levels and thus can understand howand applications. Common methods for much they have been charged. Throughstructuring, connecting, and accessing the the cloud resources can be made availableresources are used for pooling. on an on-demand model, often via self provisioning as per the customersVirtualized requirements. The cloud enables well-All the resources in the pool are packaged defined services, simple interfaces, andin electronic shipping containers. Each automated provisioning so that thecontains not only the resource itself, but customers can find and use services onalso the business rules governing its their own or with minimal intervention andaccess, use, and management. assistance from IT staff.Networked With a private cloud, one can change theAll these modular resources are accessible unit of consumption itself. Instead ofover a network using standard interfaces. consuming and being charged for basicIn more technical terms, they are available technology resources (e.g., servers, CPUas "Web services." cycles, gigabytes of storage, and bandwidth), business people andCloud computing changes the way in processes can consume relevant andwhich the technology resources are easy-to-understand business servicesconsumed by the business. As the activity (e.g., business transactions, e-mail, andin a cloud is measured and metered, information analyses).customers who avail of cloud-basedservices are charged on a pay-per-use Cost and Cost Structurebasis. This gives enhanced visibility to the This includes not only direct costcustomer as they can measure their actual reduction, but also cost avoidance andBenefits of the cloud approach 5
  • 6. WHITEPAPER Benefits include: Private Clouds vs. Public Clouds Expanded access to information and THE distinction between public and applications private clouds is based on whether Rapid scaling of business operations up the IT resources are shared between and down many distinct organizations (a public Rapid business innovation cloud) or dedicated to a single Rapid deployment of new business organization (a private cloud). Private capabilities clouds can be external to your Expanded coordination and companys data center, such as collaboration Amazons Virtual Private Cloud Better compliance, security, and service, which securely walls off a continuity section of its public cloud infrastructure for a unique customer. IT performance and agility Compared with traditional virtualized With a private cloud, IT can collaborate data centers, both private and public and innovate better, develop and deploy clouds benefit from automated applications faster, and provision management (to save on manual technology and services more efficiently labor) and homogenous hardware (for and flexibly. The work mix changes lower cost and more flexibility). dramatically. Less time and effort are spent for commodity activities in the data improving cost structure. Through center as the virtualized environment is consolidation of hardware andmore automated and dynamically self- virtualization of the digital assets, adjusting, thus, increasing the amount of organizations can reduce their short term time and effort needed for business costs. This leads to an overall reduction of innovation and improvement projects. In 40% in data center costs, including a 30 addition to meeting individual business percent reduction in power consumption needs as they arise, IT is much better able and cooling costs. Virtualization enables to look across the computing environment organizations to resize the data center and optimize its performance and cost on closer to average capacity. Accordingly behalf of the business at large. when the need arises, resources can be automatically channeled to the most The roadmap to the Private Cloud important business activities. A private cloud helps an organization to organize and manage the technology By pooling and centrally managing assets, better. Before embarking on this journey a private cloud delivers economies of carefully evaluate what you want to scale, better resource utilization, achieve through a Private Cloud, is it: reductions in capital outlay, ongoing operational efficiencies, and the Consolidating servers, storage, conversion of fixed costs to variable. networks, and other technology resources Business performance and agility Virtualizing technology resources, Private cloud can enable all technology- including information and applications dependent business processes of an Organizing and provisioning IT offerings organization to operate more efficiently, as business services with faster cycle time and at a lower cost. Structuring and managing IT as a6
  • 7. WHITEPAPER shared services organization Automating technology resource and The Private Cloud Model security management The following elements comprise a Building standard interfaces with private cloud computing, or compatible service providers Infrastructure as a Service, model. Making effective use of selected public cloud services Virtualization By virtualizing physical resources,A private cloud roadmap can be the then placing a management layer onmeans of integrating all the above top, applications, servers and othermentioned activities and enhancing their resources can be dynamically moved,business benefits. managed and offered up to end users.Private cloud represents a more Multi-tenancyproductive way for technology services to Multiple end users share the samebe provided, consumed, and managed. resources (hardware, applications,For example, technology assets may be etc.). Multi-tenancy enables thedefined and packaged differently, through centralization of infrastructure wheremethods like metadata management and resources can be priced at lower cost.virtualization. ITs work may be structuredand provisioned differently, as a catalog of Self-servicebusiness services. Business people may Customers can request and provisionconsume many services differently, using cloud resources as they need them.a self-service browser interface, and payfor them differently, if a pay-by-use Automationmethod is implemented for selected Automated processes ensure timelyservices. And IT and the business can service delivery to customers.manage the technology environment andits services differently, with greater Dynamic, on-demand scalabilitytransparency into business performance Computing resources can beand value. dynamically increased or decreased based on user demand.Key issues to be looked at before starting yourjourney to Private Cloud Chargeback modelFollowing considerations must be Users resource consumption isevaluated before embarking on a journey measured and billed for by the ITto the private cloud: department.Review IT infrastructure complexity the information and insights that can beOrganizations can derive the value of IT gained from the data the organisationfrom three basic factors. These are: retains. the business specific applications and IT infrastructure of most organisations is data that are used to run their unnecessarily complex. This is because of operation; many varied business decisions taken the business process improvements over the years, with little thought given to that can be implemented more their effect impact on the organizations effectively through using IT; and overall IT infrastructure. Complexity of IT 7
  • 8. WHITEPAPER infrastructure leads to deployment of a application virtualization will help an vast amount of internal resources and organisation meet several other key increased costs whilst delivering very little objectives that include application and real business benefit. What more, it limits service standardization; central control performance, scalability and particularly and management of desktop; simplified agility, reducing the ability to implement and cheaper licensing; and most change quickly to meet the changing importantly the capability to deliver business requirements. All these issues location independent flexible working. can be addressed through cloud computing. Need for internal IT control Effective use of any form of cloud requires It has been observed that organisations that all the traditional IT disciplines as that optimize their infrastructure through defined by ITIL and other best practice concepts such as resource pooling, frameworks should ideally be automated. virtualization and dynamic provisioning If these are not already in place cloud can improve operational performance and computing will not provide the shortcut to realize significant savings. By optimizing delivering them. However, most their infrastructure, they can then easily organisations already have most of the create a private cloud. A private cloud required elements, which may just need to offers flexible capacity, together with be re-architected or enhanced for cloud. scalability, flexibility and resilience, and These include: can provide applications to users wherever they are. The use of private On-demand self-service: This can be cloud, rather than public cloud, enables provided through standard web portals, organisations to maintain a higher level of with packaged and streamed control and conserve their existing applications, services and complete investment and develop support and desktops published through the portal. management skills. In future, should the Access to these is linked to user need arise to move to an external service authentication mechanisms that define provider, they can do so without any which users will have access to what all hassles. applications and services. New users can be set up directly from the portal Application delivery with appropriate security capabilities, The ubiquity of the Internet has led to and new services can be published and cloud computing. Internet provides the accessed on demand. standard interface for cloud: the browser. Resource pooling: Most organizations Not all applications yet run natively in a have already implemented virtualization browser but most are heading that way. or are in the process of doing so. Studies indicate that every mainstream Virtualization provides the capability of commercial application can be published resource pooling for servers, storage, to a Web portal and accessed through a desktops and more recently networks. browser. Except where specific device Rapid elasticity: This is one of the key drivers are required that negate the capabilities of virtualization; additional application being ported to a cloud resources can be added quickly and service, applications can be centrally easily as per specific needs. With a streamed from datacenters. private or hybrid cloud servicing a defined set of users this is less of an Flexibility, delivered through desktop and issue.8
  • 9. WHITEPAPER Measured Service: If organisations virtualized desktop environment is that no have effective Capacity Management data ever leaves the datacenter unless the and Service Level Management in place organizations security policy specifically then two of the most important allows mapping of local drives, USB requirements for moving to private memory sticks or other external storage. cloud and eventually provider Also, on private cloud, the existing user independent cloud are already met. directory infrastructure can be reused whereas most public cloud servicesService level require this to be recreated from scratch.One of the primary benefits of the privatecloud is cost effective delivery of high Resilience and disaster recoveryquality and guaranteed service levels that Resilient hardware and disaster recoveryusually meet the requirements of an processes should be an embedded and aorganisation. The first step in this direction fundamental part of the private cloud. Theis a review of the organizations business key elements to making failover fast, costand IT alignment. This review is necessary effective and efficient are virtualization ofto ensure that the organisation has all elements and standardization.accurately defined the service levels it Virtualization makes automated, scriptedrequires for the key operational processes failover and full service recovery betweenthat IT supports, and has a full datacenters achievable in minutes,understanding of the cost, performance potentially seconds.and availability implications of therequested service levels. Effectively private cloud provides datacenter clustering. StandardizationThe second step is to ensure that best ensures that each datacenter is identical,practice frameworks such as allowing active/active and active/standbyITIL/ISO20000 for IT Service Delivery, datacenter operation, with the addedISO27000 for Information Security and BCI benefit that the organization can replicatebest practice for Business Continuity are its entire datacenter to any organisationrefined and optimized to suit the that offers comparable facilities, savingrequirements of your organisation. the investment cost and management overhead of running a separate disasterThirdly, private cloud infrastructure is by recovery environment.definition a fully resilient, virtualizedenvironment that allows applications and How to get to private cloudservices to be dynamically reassigned. If The steps most organisations will need toproperly designed, implemented and undertake to get to an initially private ormanaged, downtime from hardware hybrid clouds, and potentially public cloudfailures should be non-existent. in future, are as follows:Information security Understand what services yourFor a private cloud every aspect can be business requires from your IT function.audited against ISO27000 or PCI DSS Define your Service Catalogue basedbest practice information security on this.standards. Effective security processes Review the required service levelscan be embedded into the portal and the needed for each of the defined services,platform. One of the key advantages of include resilience and data security.using a private cloud to deliver a Define and agree the services you want 9
  • 10. WHITEPAPER Key business drivers of Private Cloud to provide internally and those that can cloud providers can offer for the same be hosted or provided by a third party. level of service. Measure the current resources you Monitor every service provided whether require to deliver the internally provided in house delivered or externally to services to the require service levels. ensure it meets agreed service levels. Review your current infrastructure and look for all opportunities to simplify, A unique offer from CtrlS: the on-demand rationalize and standardize what you Private Cloud support and how you manage it. Although organizations are excited about Virtualize every element you have not using cloud technologies to bring in IT already done so where it is technically spend efficiency in the organization, they and commercially appropriate to do so; are still apprehensive about data security this includes desktops. when migrating to the public cloud, but Implement a common user portal where while Private clouds are really secure, they all users access all services whether are also expensive. CtrlS offers a solution provided internally or by a third party. that cuts mid-way. Refine and improve your operational processes to take advantage of the new With CtrlSs on-demand Private cloud environment. framework, organizations can now avail Implement suitable internal charging the benefits of a Private Cloud and also mechanisms so all users/departments scale up and down as per need as you can can understand the costs of the in a Public Cloud solution. The costs too services they are using. are scaled down without any significant Review cost of internal service additional CAPEX or OPEX, making it an provision against what commercial ideal solution for organizations who want10
  • 11. WHITEPAPERthe Private Cloud, yet also have the reduction, business agility, and customerflexibility of scale and at costs that are satisfaction that no IT organization shoulddefinitely not prohibitive. pass up.On-demand Private Cloud is a never-see- About CtrlS Datacenters Limitedbefore concept and an extremely With over 20,000 racks planned acrossinnovative framework that will bring cloud India, CtrlS is the countrys first and onlycomputing solutions close to certified Tier 4 datacenter and is offeringorganizations. It is also the ideal solution cutting-edge DR solutions to over a 100for small and mid-sized organizations who large enterprises across verticals. CtrlSare eagerly considering a cloud solution, has invested a lot of time and effort inbut with robust security features, provision creating a fault tolerant datacenter whichto scale up or down and with costs that fitcan guarantee an uptime of 99.995%, thewell into their budgets. On-demand highest in datacenter industry. To knowPrivate Cloud offers the best of both more about On-Demand Private Cloud,Public and Private Clouds. and our Cloud Computing solutions send us an email to mycloud@ctrls.in or visitCtrlS believes that this is an opportunity www.CtrlS.infor efficiency improvement, cost www.ctrls.in Please feel free to send your feedback/suggestions to response@ctrls.in ‘This document is for informational purpose only. Ctrls makes no warranties, expressed or implied in this document. Copyright 2010 CtrlS Datacenters Ltd. All rights reserved.’