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Forrester report rp-storage-architectures


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Forrester report rp-storage-architectures

  1. 1. A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By NetAppPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key ToMaximizing EfficienciesFebruary 2011
  2. 2. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing EfficienciesTable Of ContentsExecutive Summary .............................................................................................................................................................. 2Understanding The Private Cloud Concept .......................................................................................................................... 2Conclusions And Best Practices ........................................................................................................................................... 7Appendix A: Survey Methodology And Demographics ...................................................................................................... 9Appendix B: Supplemental Material And Endnotes .......................................................................................................... 10© 2011, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best availableresources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar,and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Foradditional information, go to [1-BF4HJE]About Forrester ConsultingForrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging inscope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester’s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who applyexpert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit 1
  3. 3. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing EfficienciesExecutive SummaryToday, enterprises across the world are crafting cloud strategies and starting to invest in private clouds to takeadvantage of the economic benefits that cloud models offer. In fact, Forrester found that 29% of enterprisesconsider building a private cloud a high or critical priority.1 The more interesting finding, however, is that althoughenterprises greatly desire the economic benefits from a cloud model, those who have implemented a private cloudare not taking full advantage of those benefits. Why? Well, we discovered that it’s primarily due to two reasons: 1)lack of understanding about what a true cloud model consists of, and 2) underestimation of the critical componentsthat make up a true private cloud (i.e., storage).In fall 2010, NetApp commissioned Forrester Consulting to scientifically qualify the notion that companies lackclear understanding about clouds and hence underestimate the key components that are required to achievemaximum benefit from a cloud strategy. This paper reflects the results from a study of 150 US enterprise ITdecision-makers who were surveyed about their private cloud interests and implementations. You will find that ourstudy yielded three key findings:  Decision-makers are, in fact, confused about private clouds and traditional virtualized environments. Private clouds are shared, highly standardized, and automated environments with self-service access to these resources. Of the 150 IT decision-makers surveyed, 27% said they were running a private cloud; however, the majority did not recognize these key characteristics and described their clouds like their traditional virtualization environments. For example, 54% anticipated providing the same tiers of service for different applications deployed within the cloud and the full breadth of storage options with little standardization or automation. In fact, only 17% of cloud users thought a private cloud would affect their traditional architecture deployments or environment options at all, showing a clear disconnect.  Storage is treated as “business as usual.” Most survey respondents (73%) expected their cloud to save them money, but only 37% expected their cloud storage to be more efficient. Why the disconnect? The respondents showed little understanding of how the storage in their private cloud would (or should) differ from traditional storage implementations. We know this because only 20% of cloud users said they offer standardized cloud storage options. We also found that 66% of cloud users planned to build their private clouds atop their existing storage assets, and for 50% of respondents, this means their existing, high-cost SAN infrastructures. Taking a “business as usual” approach to storage will limit your benefits from a cloud model and cost you more money in the long run.  Storage is not a key consideration in the decision-making process. It’s not surprising most cloud administrators (73%) have server/virtual server experience, whereas only 29% have core experience in storage administration. But what’s alarming is that storage administrators aren’t included in the upfront cloud architecture and design decisions. When it came to the decision-making, only 14% of respondents included storage administrators in private cloud platform selection, and only 21% included them in storage equipment and storage management software selections. Neglecting to involve storage administrators in key decision- making processes is a red flag for cloud inefficiency.Understanding The Private Cloud ConceptBuilding a private cloud has to start with a basic understanding of how a cloud differs from a traditional virtualizedenvironment. Forrester defines cloud computing as:Page 2
  4. 4. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing Efficiencies A standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered in a pay-per-use, self- service way.In most cases, a private cloud is a shared IT infrastructure set up in your corporate data center and dedicated to justyour company. Let’s break down the cloud computing definition to better understand its implications to IToperations:  Standardized capability. The value of a cloud comes in the flexibility it brings to the business — how rapidly and predictably you can deploy applications to this infrastructure. That value comes from provisioning and managing the environment in a consistent manner every time. You do that by standardizing what you deploy — which means prioritizing user options — and by automating as many processes as possible. It’s not customized or configured uniquely for each client, each time — that raises complexity, slows down processes, and is much harder to make repeatable. There may be options for consumers to choose some lightweight customizations they can apply atop the service, but the capability delivered is repeated, religiously.  Pay-per-use. A second core tenet is that the cloud is a shared environment where customers “pay” for the resources they use only when they use them. Efficiencies come from how much sharing takes place and how high you can drive the utilization of cloud resources as often as possible. A big reason clouds invoke pay- per-use costing is to keep the cloud efficient by incenting resource efficiency from the customer themselves. While many enterprises won’t implement this model the same way public clouds do, they should account for and either show back or chargeback cloud consumption to maximize the overall cloud investment.  Self-service. For cloud services, self-service doesn’t mean a web page where you request the service. Self- service is about providing self-service access through a portal to request services that have been defined in a service catalog. Thus it provides automation that requires minimal IT interaction so that the IT team can focus on more strategic business needs rather than routine tasks.The Storage Infrastructure For The Cloud Must Be Standardized And EfficientNearly every successful cloud is built atop standardized, virtualized server infrastructures tightly integrated withconsistent network and storage architectures that help achieve holistic economic advantage. This meansstandardization and automation don’t stop at the server. Storage must be provisioned with each new virtualmachine and shared volumes must be easily integrated into the configuration. Standardization of the storage alsomeans creating a service catalog of storage services attached to service-level agreements (SLAs) that satisfy themajority of infrastructure requests from your internal customers, introduce consistency, and streamline the ITrequest and delivery process. This is critical to delivering the time-to-market and economic advantages of thecloud.This study and other Forrester research show that most IT organizations focus on the server parts of their privatecloud instead of optimizing each component to achieve maximum cost benefits. The storage architecture iscommonly overlooked, leaving lots of efficiencies out of reach. Ideally, cloud storage should handle both latency-sensitive and latency-insensitive applications at minimal cost, while taking advantage of thin provisioning, lifecycle management, automated tiering, and live migration.Cost efficiency of storage comes from reducing your total storage requirements; this translates into directreductions in expenditures on storage and maintenance costs as well as additional savings on power, cooling, andfloor space. Efficient storage allows you to offer higher SLAs to your internal customers at a lower price. Fifty-sixPage 3
  5. 5. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing Efficienciespercent of cloud users surveyed were planning to stick to the status quo with their storage options — expecting tohave several tiers of service levels for different applications deployed in the cloud. Only 20% were choosing thecloud best practice of offering single-block and file-shared storage options with a single SLA.Figure 1Most Plan To Use High-Cost SAN As Storage Architecture Rather Than Direct- Or Network- Attached Storage “Which storage architecture do you plan to use for your private cloud?" Non-user (n=109) Cloud user (n=41) Storage-area Network or SAN 40% 46% Network-attached storage 25% 22% Fibre Channel over Ethernet SAN 10% 2% Storage-as-a-service (external cloud storage provider) 6% 10% iSCSI SAN 5% 7% Direct-attached storage 4% 10% Other 1% 0% Don’t know 9% 2% Base: 150 IT infrastructure decision-makers in the USSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of NetApp, November 2010To achieve optimum cloud efficiency with your storage architecture, you should consider the following keycapabilities:  Efficient storage is the starting point. Whether a cloud is public or private, the key to success is creating an appropriate storage infrastructure in which all resources can be efficiently utilized and shared. Because data storage becomes even more crucial in a shared infrastructure model, efficiency becomes paramount. Software efficiencies rely on built-in storage virtualization capabilities of advanced storage arrays and include capabilities such as thin provisioning, deduplication, and file cloning.  Data mobility within a shared resource pool. In a dynamic cloud environment, you need to be able to move data without interrupting running applications. Seamless data mobility helps you avoid the need for planned downtime as well as optimize operations by moving virtual storage controllers to balance load or achieve other objectives.  Standardize storage resources offered through a portal. By standardizing, customers enable their environment to become more uniform as they add new storage resources and retire aging devices. To make functions such as self-service efficient and ensure that operations of the cloud are as predictable as possible, you will want to guide your customers to a defined set of storage service procedures and repeatable processes that are defined in a service catalog. Creating a catalog of storage services that satisfy the majorityPage 4
  6. 6. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing Efficiencies of infrastructure requests from your internal customers will provide consistency and streamline the IT request and delivery process.  Rationalize the prioritization of data in order to ensure efficiency. When data is widely dispersed across a cloud-based infrastructure, it becomes more difficult to efficiently identify and retrieve “hot” data. Your customers always think all their data is the most important data in the company. But we know that there are classes of priority and that the value of data declines with time. Rather than explicitly exposing this to the customer as options that impede efficiency, solve for this on the back end using automated tiering, tierless solutions, intelligent caching, or other solutions that automate this process based on use patterns and relevancy. The method used depends on the type of workload. In some cases, reducing the number of tiers creates better efficiencies. Whichever method you choose, it’s more efficient than doing it manually. In most cases, the manual default leads to everything being placed in the highest-performing level of capacity, which is never the cost-efficient choice.  Secure multitenancy is important to consider for shared storage architecture. Only 14% of survey respondents felt multitenant security was of critical importance to their private cloud efforts. While private clouds have fewer security concerns than public clouds, enterprises will need to securely separate business units and applications from one another and from sub-administrators. For example, you’ll want to ensure financial applications can safely share your cloud without being accessible to non-financial employees. On the storage front, this requires a solution that can create multiple, separate virtual storage controllers on a single system.Importance Of Storage For Cloud EconomicsCloud economics relies upon running a large pool of resources as efficiently as possible. These benefits quicklydecrease as standardization gives way to increasing customization, configuration, and options. Just as consolidatingand virtualizing the server environment is key for running an efficient architecture, the same is true for storage.Cost efficiency of storage comes from satisfying the majority of infrastructure requests as broadly and consistentlyas possible. Ignoring the cloud implications on storage or simply assuming it is the same as traditional storagekeeps efficiencies at bay. Your cloud storage architecture should deliver:  Increased storage utilization. For years IT departments purchased new machines to support new applications and storage needs despite additional unused space in existing infrastructure. Consolidation, virtualization, and thin provisioning have begun the process of eliminating this unused space. Your private cloud environment relies on these concepts of higher utilization to achieve maximum cost reductions.  Reduction in provisioning time. Provisioning storage volumes is a highly repeatable task, and if it requires time from infrastructure and operations professionals, that represents cost to your cloud, time to deploy, and time away from higher-value actions that require the brainpower of these administrators. Standardization and automation are key to cloud economics, and the optimum storage architecture is one that integrates seamlessly with your cloud automation platform of choice. Storage is a key component of this architecture and should not be an afterthought, as you may end up having to retrofit your storage to your cloud to achieve predictable, efficient integration.  Consistent storage management automation. You want to provide different storage services to your cloud customers, but they shouldn’t come at the cost of consistent management or the ability to easily automate these functions. This requires a storage system that unifies the key storage functions for both assignment and protection of data. A single storage automation system that can assign volumes across different storagePage 5
  7. 7. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing Efficiencies types, migrate data according to life cycle management policies, and centrally back up and take snapshots of data volumes will allow multiple storage tiers and SLAs to be managed as one. A storage solution that can adhere to higher-level cloud policies can dramatically improve cloud management efficiencies.Page 6
  8. 8. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing EfficienciesCONCLUSIONS AND BEST PRACTICESDesign Your Private Cloud As An Integrated, Automated EnvironmentThe productivity and economic benefits of cloud computing are too compelling to ignore. You need to start investigatinghow to get this right the first time to best leverage it in the years to come. Developers within your company want to takeadvantage of these benefits as soon as possible but won’t change their behavior for an inferior experience — you mustmeet their time-to-market demands. They will accept compromises in configuration and resource choice to get fasterdeployment — public clouds have proven this. Successfully meeting these demands means standardizing, automating,tightly integrating the infrastructure, and empowering developers through a self-service portal or service catalog. Don’twaste time trying to bend your existing server virtualization environment into a cloud if you are too far from deliveringthese capabilities. Instead, start with an architecture built for the cloud and composed of compatible infrastructureelements that are cost-optimized and designed to deliver cloud values. Forrester recommends starting with these steps:  Create an integrated enterprise cloud strategy. Gather your IT leaders across the key infrastructure silos and application development and work together on a common cloud strategy. Start by defining the goals and expectations and determine which deployment options are optimal for achieving those results — help reset unrealistic expectations where necessary. Ensure that your network and storage architects are involved from the beginning so these elements will deliver the efficiencies you are seeking and will integrate seamlessly with your cloud management platform.  Start with noncritical workloads. Gain credibility with lower-visibility applications or testing and development where you can set proper expectations for the cloud environment, prove the model for cloud management, and ensure that your vision for the cloud actually maps to what the business wants from it. This will also develop your own cloud knowledge before adding higher-profile projects into it.  Baseline the costs and benefits. To persuade developers to share the pool, show them that the tradeoffs that come with it deliver outsized benefits. Time-to-market will be the most important to them, and if your cloud cant deliver dramatically faster deployment, then it will be a nonstarter. After you prove the benefits, the focus will shift to cost: "Is our private cloud really saving us money?" You will have to demonstrate this with hard numbers. This means comparing the cloud with traditional IT costs in their entirety. Capturing the capital costs will be easy; utilization and operational efficiency gains, though, will dwarf hard costs, so model 2 these using Forrester’s relative cost of operations (RCO) methodology.  Choose enabling technologies that already have service capabilities built in. To optimize a private cloud solution, IT professionals should reduce the risk of integration and simplify the service architecture by choosing technologies that come with services built in. Further, since service architectures are likely to have long service intervals, best practice is to choose capable technologies from companies that have a track record of working well with other technology venders. The goals of the architecture should include: o Capability for the infrastructure to share resources between multiple tenants to reduce overhead. o Capability to deliver multiple policies and SLA commitments from shared infrastructure. o Tune-ability for tenant workloads internally while also being capable of scaling out.  Secure business unit executive support. The biggest challenge most IT shops face with their private clouds is getting business units to share the pool. Most developers have historically been spoiled by having their own hardware and will demand the same from you. Cloud economics dont work if everyone has their own silo, and you will need a top-down mandate to overcome this culture — something that can be discussed when creating the enterprise cloud strategy.  Embrace public clouds in a hybrid fashion. Public clouds should be part of your strategy and will enhance the value and economics of your private cloud investments. Their value is complementary to your private cloud, as that environment will never be large enough to meet all your companys needs. Scalability testing,Page 7
  9. 9. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing Efficiencies high-performance computing applications, and highly volatile web applications need on-demand capacity at times, and building out your private cloud for these peaks is a quick way to destroy the ROI of a private cloud. So plan to link your private cloud to a public cloud resource for these purposes. Seek out public clouds that meet the needs of your developers and provide compatibility with your private cloud management platform and infrastructure elements. Similar storage volumes in both services will make data protection that much easier.Page 8
  10. 10. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing EfficienciesAppendix A: Survey Methodology And DemographicsIn this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 150 US enterprise IT decision-makers with an interest inprivate clouds in order to highlight misconceptions of private cloud architectures and expectations — particularlyin regard to storage. Survey participants included IT decision-makers in horizontal representation across allindustries and enterprise sizes. Questions provided to the participants asked respondents about their existinginfrastructure and their private cloud experience, plans, and expectations. The study began in early October 2010and was completed in November 2010.Figure A1Respondents From A Variety Of Enterprise Sizes “Approximately how many people work for your company worldwide, including all branches and locations (not including seasonal or temporary employees)?” Cloud users (n = 41) Nonusers (n = 109) 1,000 to 4,999 20% 27% 5,000 to 19,999 22% 28% 20,000 to 49,999 22% 18% 50,000 or more 37% 27% Base: 150 IT infrastructure decision-makers in the US (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding)Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of NetApp, November 2010Page 9
  11. 11. Forrester ConsultingPrivate Clouds: Storage Architectures Are Key To Maximizing EfficienciesFigure A2Respondents From A Variety Of Industries “Which of the following most closely describes your industry?” Financial services and insurance 20% Manufacturing 18% Business/professional services 13% Public sector (government, etc.) 11% Utilities and telecommunications 11% Transportation and logistics 4% Retail and wholesale trade 6% Media, entertainment, and leisure 3% Other 14% Base: 150 IT infrastructure decision-makers in the USSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of NetApp, November 2010Appendix B: Supplemental Material And EndnotesRelated Forrester Research“You’re Not Ready For Internal Cloud,” Forrester Research, Inc., July 26, 2010Endnotes1 Source: Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2010, Forrester Research, Inc.,2 Total cost of operations (TCO)-based financial analysis is held up as the gold standard for technology investmentjustification, but most firms dont have the rigor to apply the discipline to their environment. To really implementTCO-based analysis it takes a comprehensive and continuously updated catalog of asset inventory, in-service dates,agreed-upon operating cost rates for activities, and a scheme to divide shared costs among the constituent businessprocesses that use them. Source: "TCO Is Overrated," Forrester Research, Inc., August 26, 2008.Page 10