Q: How do I implement a private cloud using System Center 2012?

A: A private cloud consists of attributes that are built on virtualization but really focus on management infrastructure, hence the use of System Center 2012. A private cloud solution typically includes the following:

  • Pooling of resources
  • Scalability, which is enabled through the pooling of resources
  • User self-service
  • Charge-back and show-back to users
  • Focus on the application and service

Considering those items,many of the management infrastructure requirements can be covered by System Center 2012:

  • Virtual machine (VM) creation and management through templates (Virtual Machine Manager)
  • Insight and abstraction of the virtualization host, storage, and network (Virtual Machine Manager)
  • Self-service portal through a central software catalog (Service Manager)
  • Reporting on usage of clouds and cost assignment (Service Manager)
  • Orchestration of the provisioning and modification of VMs and other components (Orchestrator)
  • Monitoring of the environment and application (Operations Manager)

It would be possible to manually implement a private cloud using these four main components of System Center 2012. However, Microsoft provides a process pack that simplifies the deployment and configuration of the private cloud, if all four of the above components are already deployed.

The System Center Cloud Service Process Management Pack, which is available at the Microsoft download site,   includes run books to import into System Center Orchestrator and Management Packs for System Center Service Manager, in addition to detailed installation and operational instructions to fully implement a private cloud using System Center.

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