• Requirements first. Determine what your private cloud must accomplish, based on all the analysis in the previous steps, long before you begin looking at vendors. Most vendors currently have gaps in their capabilities, so you’ll be better positioned to evaluate those gaps when you already know what you need.
• Do you even need a private cloud? Will the public cloud satisfy your requirements today? Will it satisfy your requirements by the time you've build your private cloud?
• The technology isn't the hard part. It sounds obvious to say this, but IT people are more comfortable with technology than with "softer" aspects of the job like processes and culture. That's why they're in IT instead of Human Resources. But the first steps towards building a private cloud are not about picking a technology or a vendor; they're about re-examining the IT organization to discover what it takes to make it more service oriented. Cloud computing isn't revolutionary. It builds on existing advancements like virtualization and resource pooling. What's different about cloud computing is that it add service layers on top of these resource pools in a way that hasn't been done before - and most IT departments aren't ready either organizationally or culturally to deal with it. Do you really understand what your business's needs are? Do you have service level agreements that really meet business requirements? Can your IT culture adapt to a service-oriented approach? If your IT organization isn’t ready for a services culture, your private cloud projects will fail.
• Create a service portfolio. Once you really understand what your businesses need, build an inventory and catalog of services they’ll want to use. This will be the content of your private cloud’s self-service user interface.
• Discover the service’s costs. You need to understand the costs before you can effectively charge for the service. Remember, without chargeback there’s no incentive for customers to limit their use and costs will spiral out of control.
• What kind of a private cloud? Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type. A private cloud can be either on premises or off premises, but most companies will choose on-premises private clouds for their security advantages. You can build your on-premises solution by yourself, based on your existing virtualization infrastructure, or you can engage with partners that will help you. If you do consider an off-premises private cloud from a cloud service provider, they will offer you solutions with varying degrees of completeness and automation – far from perfect, but more than if you built your private cloud from scratch.
• Choose your service model on a per-service basis. Gartner says that, through 2015, more than 90% of companies building a private cloud will make it infrastructure as a service (IaaS). This is because, as the simplest of the three service models, it’s the easiest to create based on an existing virtualization infrastructure. However, you should examine your service catalog strategically and decide on a per-service basis whether a service should be simply ported to a VM in an IaaS cloud or rewritten on a platform as a service (PaaS) cloud. Static, legacy apps may be best suited to IaaS, but new and strategically important apps need to be built on PaaS – which transforms the apps into software as a service (SaaS) - to take full advantage of the cloud computing model.
• Understand that virtualization is not a private cloud. Cloud computing is about the layers of automation, orchestration, and workflow between the compute/network/storage resource pool at the bottom and the self-service portal at the top that allows a user to pick a service and have it magically provisioned soon after. A solid, automated virtualization infrastructure is a fundamental building block of a cloud instance – but you still need to apply intelligence to it.
• Where are you today? How mature is your IT organization? Do you have a high degree of automation already, or are you doing everything manually? Where are you on the virtualization curve? You can’t implement a private cloud any time soon if you’re still performing most operations by hand. Look at the Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization model to evaluate how mature your organization’s processes are. This model doesn’t include virtualization, but its general principles still apply.
Building your own private cloud is not about saving money; you’ve already extracted the most savings (and built a private cloud foundation) by building a virtualization infrastructure. The advantage of a private cloud is speed and agility – the ability to turn your business on a dime as conditions change. But building a private cloud is not easy. Automation, processes, the funding model, building a service catalog, the culture, and certainly politics are all hard. In the end you will have a world-class mechanism for supporting your business.
Related: Planning for the Private Cloud
EMC’s Window to the Private Cloud Partner Post:
By Eyal Sharon
Hi folks. In this blog post I have decided to share our best practices material for SharePoint. Yes, I know, some of you SharePoint savvies would question its meaning as SharePoint is SOOO broad and infrastructure is just one pillar. TRUE! However, it is the foundation, and as such you have to invest in that first before building your service consisting of Web applications, sites, Web parts, workflows, dashboards and…. you get the idea.
The following blog post is a summary of the presentation that James Baldwin and I presented at EMC World 2011 in Las Vegas. I’ve also added a lot of links and references for you to find the technical material necessary to accomplish plan and deployment activities.
Please feel free to comment, as I would love to get your feedback as for what works/doesn’t work in your environment.... Read More