Private Cloud Build-Out: 4 Prerequisites
Savings is a key reason to move to a private cloud, but shorter development cycles and faster time to market are more significant. Learn from early adopters.
As we've discussed previously, software-as-a-service, engineered stacks and private cloud will be the biggest IT winners in the next five to ten years. Private clouds hold the most potential -- in fact, early adopters such as JP Morgan Chase and Fidelity are seeing larger savings and greater benefits than initially anticipated.
While savings is a key reason to move to a private cloud, shorter development cycles and faster time to market are more significant. Organizations can test risky ideas more easily as small, low-cost projects, quickly dispensing with those projects that fail and accelerating those that show more promise.
Meantime, early implementations at scale are producing savings well in excess of 50%. This is well beyond my earlier estimate of 30% savings, occurring in large part because of the vastly reduced labor requirements to build and administer a private cloud versus traditional IT infrastructure.
Given those potential benefits, how should an IT department go about building a private cloud? The building blocks are virtualized servers running on commodity hardware. There's also a strong early trend toward leveraging open source software for private clouds, from the Linux operating system to OpenNebula and Eucalyptus for infrastructure management. And of course, you need server engineering and administration expertise to support the platform. But having just a virtualized server platform doesn't a private cloud make.
First, establish a set of standardized images that constitute most of the stack. Preferably, that stack will go from the hardware layer to the operating system to the application server layer, and it will include systems management, security, middleware and database. Ideally, go with a dozen or fewer server images and certainly no more than 20. Consider everything else to be custom and treated separately and differently from the cloud. Read full story on InformationWeek
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