One of the advantages that Amazon's AWS has held is the ability to massively
scale its elastic compute cloud (EC2) with nearly hands-free automation.
Amazon, of course, has always been very private about how it does this, but
it seems clear that one of the keys has been their substantially customized
version of the Xen hypervisor which (among other things) likely has
implemented a form of software defined networking (SDN) for a pretty long
while. Capabilities such as AWS CloudFormation, security zones, Elastic
Load Balancer, and others have clearly shown that much of what used to be
network hardware is implemented in their software stack. With VPC, AWS has
been a leader in SDN, with strong network isolation (including overlapping IP
ranges) that are obviously embedded in the hypervisor and supported by a
custom hardware stack. There's little argument that this h... (more)
Not long ago, Forrester analyst James Staten wrote a report with the
compelling title: You're Not Ready for Internal Cloud. What Staten meant, of
course, by the term "internal cloud" is what we have been referring to in
this blog as a private cloud. Whether you're ready or not probably depends a
lot on where you are on the project path.
For those just starting on the private cloud journey, it might be useful to
get the lay of the land and discuss the essential elements of any private
cloud project, and point out areas where my definition diverges from
Staten's, as a recognized e... (more)
If you're like a lot of IT pros, you probably are tired of arguing with
business units about service issues. The beauty of the private cloud approach
is it lets you run IT like an external business. That means you set up a
service-level agreement (SLA) with your business units just like any vendor
in the public cloud, setting expectations and outlining responsibilities.
What this approach does is provide a process for defining the interface
between IT and the business units in your company. The SLA should include
several key components:
It lists the components necessary for a giv... (more)
End users like to live in a comfort zone. For many that means their work
applications should resemble the ones they use at home or the ones on their
mobile phones. These programs tend to be simple, consistent and easy to use.
And more and more, end users are demanding the same simplicity they find in
these consumer tools in the tools they use at work. What's an IT pro to do?
One of the basic tenets of private cloud computing is keeping it simple for
end users. That means when they access your resource selection tool on the
Web, users will find it as friendly to use as, say iTunes.... (more)
The public cloud definitely has its place. Services like Gmail and
Salesforce.com, to name just a couple, can provide a valuable service to any
large enterprise. But let's face it: Most large, publicly traded companies
probably aren't going to feel comfortable farming out every aspect of their
computing infrastructure. Yet in today's tight economic environment, they may
be looking for the same kind of efficiencies while still remaining in the
relative safety of their own data centers.
That's where the private cloud comes into play. You can begin to take
advantage of the economie... (more)