Amazon had built their own Private massive virtualized environment They figured out how to build a massive hypervisor network that spanned all of their data centers It was a key business need for their growth to be able to scale quickly and efficiently on a massive scale Whoa, we could “rent” our computing power to other companies! $$$$$ Amazon EC2 and S3 were born as metered use offerings to the general Public
Private Clouds are aptly named. The model here is that organizations buy or rent a pool of dedicated hardware servers and form them into a Cloud using virtualization technologies like VMware, Citrix, and Hyper-V. Think of it as a pool of resources that are solely yours to allocate as you wish between virtual servers. Private Clouds are most like the “Family Plan” model of the phone companies. You buy a set amount of minutes to use among your own family. No one outside your family can share that pool of minutes, but you don’t get to use more than your total pool of minutes. If you need a “burst capacity” of minutes, you have to pay for them by adding them to your plan. Private Cloud Usage Private Clouds are best used for servers that have stable resource usage. Matching peak resource times of some servers with the low usage times of others will bring significant savings. Optimizing for your overall peak resource load across your Private Cloud is very efficient. It allows you to consistently use the same amount of resources from month to month, with infrequent changes. If you can have a consistent resource usage from day to day, with little if any change, costs will end up being lower on the Private Cloud over time. Having your own Private Cloud allows you to implement stronger disaster recovery and failover plans than in the Public Cloud. It also offers some benefits when it comes to security and compliance. We will talk more about security and compliance in the next section.
If you know how much resources you need (and it is constant), you will pay more for it in a public cloud than in a private cloud. Public Clouds Public Clouds are just that. Large cloud providers like Amazon EC2 and Rackspace Cloud Servers offer computing resources (CPU, Memory, and Storage, just to recap) directly to the public market. When you use a public cloud, your virtual next door neighbor on the hardware could be a senator or it could be a criminal (hopefully not both). While the criminal is unlikely to present any security risk, since the servers are virtually segregated, he can still impact your capacity by being irresponsible with shared resources or bandwidth before the cloud provider catches him and sets it right. A good example of this situation would be a notorious spammer who sends millions of emails and then never uses the server again. You probably do not want to be sharing hardware with the spammer when all of that traffic goes out and then the responses come in. Back to our phone plan analogy, if you could buy into a phone plan and share minutes with your entire city, this would be the “Public Cloud” phone plan. Now, you can see obvious problems with this plan, as in the case of the “criminal” above. The Cloud provider does work to throttle resource usage by your neighbors, so that even if everyone is using resources at the same time, you will still get your fair share. However, if there is a surplus of resources, you and your neighbors can take advantage of them as “Burst Capacity”. Public Cloud Usage Public Clouds work best when you need to scale internet facing servers. Web servers are the best example. Using a Public Cloud, you could set things up so that you have 20 web servers handling your web traffic load during the day, and only five at night, when traffic is lower. Since you only pay for what you use, this option can be significantly cheaper than having 20 dedicated servers that are idle half the day. An excellent use case for Public Cloud usage is handling a problem called “The Oprah Effect.” If Oprah Winfrey featured your product as one of her “favorite things” on her show, your web servers were going to become so overloaded for the next couple of days that they would fail and go down. Obviously, significant opportunity would be lost if that happened. Using Public Clouds, we can create a template of what we want our standard web server and configuration to be, and then start up 100 web servers in less than a couple of hours by cloning the template. Then, we can bask in the sales that result. Thanks, Oprah!
A Hybrid Cloud is the best of both worlds. Essentially, it is creating a network link between both a Public and Private Cloud so they can work together. Let us go back to our phone plans examples. If you could have a “Family Plan” and “Neighborhood Plan” on your phone, you could choose to which plan to charge the minutes. You could be more conservative with your dedicated minutes and more generous with the shared ones. Hybrid Cloud Usage As you can see, Public and Private Clouds have specific use cases. However, your organization, or even your application, might have a need for both of them. As an example, organizations taking donations for natural disasters will have a greater need to scale their fundraising web server than their accounting or donor management servers. It might make sense to use the Public Cloud for the web servers and the Private Cloud for all the database and reporting servers on the back end. Using this method, we can create lots of web servers to handle the load of web visitors, but only moderately increase our database resources. Compare that to buying and implementing 20 new web servers and two database servers in one day. Using the old way of doing things, without the Cloud, this would be either impossible or very sloppy and insecure. This is the power of the Cloud.
Cloud Computing Explained
What You Need To Know About “The
Vice President of R&D
Sage Nonprofit Solutions
15+ years in Software Development
30 years experience with Nonprofits
Boy Scouts of America, Sig Tau Alumni Association
Favorite food: Italian (anything with Alfredo sauce)
@geekbyte if you want to tweet nice things
@darthvader if you want to use the dark side
What Is “The Cloud”?
Where Is My Server?
What Is Virtualization?
What Is Metered Use?
Why Should I Care?
• 1:1 relationship
between servers /
• Memory / disk space /
CPU tied to single
• Lots of servers….
• Lots of waste…
Many:1 relationship between servers / hardware
Memory / disk space / CPU shared across sets of servers
Fewer and bigger servers to manage….
• Dell PowerEdge Blade Enclosure
• 16 Hardware “blades”
• Up to 8 CPU “cores” each
• Its possible to run 128 servers
in several square feet of space…..
What Magic is this?
• How do we fool many servers in to using the same
• How do we assure they play nice and the resources
are allocated appropriately?
• Introducing the magic of the
What is a Hyper-Visor
A thin layer of magic software paint
Fools the operating system (Windows, etc.)
Manages allocation of resources
Manages fault tolerance
Provides a management interface to create and manage
Magic Paint ->
How did we get to Cloud from
Traditional virtualization still required in house servers
People saw the value of having more small servers
We all began buying bigger hardware
But the number of virtual servers skyrocketed….
So we bought more hardware....
• A vicious cycle!
• We have more hardware than ever before to manage
and its even more critical than it used to be.
The Cloud is Born
• Amazon had built their own Private massive
• They figured out how to build a massive hypervisor
network that spanned all of their data centers
• It was a key business need for their growth to be able
to scale quickly and efficiently on a massive scale
• Whoa, we could “rent” our computing power to other
• Amazon EC2 and S3 were born as metered use
offerings to the general Public
• Pool of resources that are solely yours to allocate
• Most like the “Family Plan” we all know
– No one outside your family can share that pool of minutes,
but you don’t get to use more than your total pool of minutes.
• Best for: servers that have stable resource usage
• Can be expensive if not fully utilizing resources
Private Cloud Providers
• Infrastructure as a
• Offer dedicated hardware
• Sage Nonprofit
Rackspace on Sage
• Shared resources and/or bandwidth
• Like a phone plan where you share minutes with your
entire city, a “Neighborhood Plan”
• Best for: when you need to scale internet facing
servers, like web servers
• Pay premium for flexibility and
• Example: “The Oprah Effect”
Public Cloud Providers
• Infrastructure as a service
• Platform as a Service
• Shared hardware only
• Saleslogix and Sage
One hosted on
• Watch for new Sage
offerings on Windows
• Creating a link between both a Public and Private
Cloud so they can work together
• If you could have a “Family Plan” and “Neighborhood
Plan” on your phone and choose to which plan to
charge the minutes
– You could be more conservative with your dedicated minutes
and more generous with the shared ones.
• Best for: when you need to scale some services (web,
fundraising) but not others (reporting, backend
• “Buy the base, rent the spike”
• Connect with Grant via email at Grant (dot) Howe (at) Sage (dot)
com or Twitter @geekbyte
• Connect with Sage
– Email nps <at> sage <dot> com
– Download the presentation and handouts from
– Read a follow up blog, http://www.SageWords.net.