Five building blocks of private cloud
By Lynn Haber, Contributor, SearchCloudComputing.com 17-Jun-2010
The importance of automation
Any company that has reached virtualization maturity understands that manual management processes don't jive with striving for operational efficiencies. At this stage, pooling and automation of the virtual environment is essential to gaining optimal efficiencies.
"Automation is crucial for enabling rapid provisioning and deployment," said James Staten, analyst at Forrester Research, and a critical component of cloud computing.
Automation refers to systems management—deployment, patching and monitoring—both of the physical devices and virtual infrastructure. "The key is to make sure that products are virtualization aware," Brasen said.
For automated systems management, expect to look at products from the usual suspects: Hewlett-Packard (HP) Business Service Automation Suite; IBM Tivoli IT & Service Management Solutions; CA Cloud Solutions; Microsoft System Center Suite; and BMC Software Cloud Computing Solutions, to name several. Additional offerings are Kbox, a systems management appliance from Dell Kace; Landesk, from Landesk Software; and Altiris service-oriented management solutions from Symantec.
When considering a service management product for metering the environment and monitoring the cloud infrastructure to ensure that SLAs are being met, industry experts again point to system management vendors, who they report are at various degrees of adding product components.
VMware, in particular, offers the vCenter family of management solutions for the automated administration of data center operations for its vSphere cloud platform.
Considering 'cloud in a box'
More than a dozen vendors tout 'cloud in a box' products. "Some are software-only, and others offer both hardware and software," Staten said.
A sample of software-only offerings:
- Through its purchase of 3Tera, CA offers AppLogic, reportedly a turn-key cloud computing platform that includes workload distribution, metering, and management that sits atop any x86 hardware and hypervisor layer.
- To test the private cloud waters with a development/test environment, VMware offers vCenter Lab Manager for self-service provisioning and automated management capabilities of internal teams.
- A third software cloud option is Eucalyptus Systems' Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition (Eucalyptus EE). Eucalyptus is an open source private cloud platform.
On the forefront with hardware/software 'cloud in a box' products are vendors such as HP with its BladeSystem Matrix; IBM's CloudBurst 1.2 (built on the IBM System x BladeCenter platform); Dell's Cloud Infrastructure Solutions; and VBlock Infrastructure Packages from the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition, formed jointly by Cisco and EMC with VMware.
Private cloud has legs
The product landscape for building a private cloud is dynamic, with frequent new entrants and offerings.
"Private cloud is a long-term bet and CEOs have to look closely at what they're trading off by going with leading vendors with pricier products or smaller vendors that may have better technology but it's unknown if they'll be a rock solid player," said Bernard Golden, CEO of HyperStratus, a cloud computing consulting firm.