Preparing For Your Private Cloud — Part One

Cloud Computing3 minutes readJul 25th, 2011

You’ve decided to implement a Private Cloud – a cloud you will host and manage internally on your own IT infrastructure. You’re thinking its first use will be to support Development and Test so you can quickly and easily provision resources for developers, reduce costs, management overhead and data center footprint through shared resources, and help enforce a consistent set of testing procedures. Have you ever been impacted by developers stopping a test run when they discover a bug? The developer logs into the test system, fixes the bug, and then continues (but doesn’t restart) the test. The result? Your support staff is inundated when untested code hits Production. Sound familiar?

This is just one of the issues you might encounter in a shared infrastructure environment like a private cloud. Other issues to address may include Regulatory compliance. Managing SLAs would certainly be another. You’re probably navigating through the plethora of cloud technology stacks, deployment architectures and hype surrounding how easy it is to implement a private cloud.  Unfortunately it’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

So what areas do you need to pay attention to when you’re planning and building your private cloud? First, you’ll want to take an holistic approach and look at:

  • Physical and virtual architecture design
  • Financial policies, models and approaches
  • Infrastructure / cloud management tools
  • Security
  • Storage
  • Network engineering
  • IT service management and governance
  • Support services

Cost pressures are driving you to consolidate, virtualize and implement a private cloud that gives you elasticity and self-provisioning. You’ll want to make sure your cloud infrastructure is used efficiently and that resources are allocated fairly. That takes policy management across all the areas above to do effectively. In particular, you may find that financial polices – IT budgeting, chargeback, show-back – will be a challenge. You’ll have to get all the departments that’ll be using the private cloud to agree to a common set of principles. We found with one public sector client that the first agency to use the private cloud had to pay the lion’s share of the acquisition costs. They needed to change their financial model before the agencies would actually agree to use the shared resource.

So what steps should you take to prepare for implementing a private cloud?

  1. Know what you already have
  2. Determine if a private cloud is the right answer and how you will architect an holistic solution
  3. Decide how you will Measure, Monitor, Mitigate and Secure
  4. Decide how you will Manage
  5. Create a Private Cloud “Factory”

In my next blog post, I’ll begin to discuss in greater detail the steps you can take to prepare for your private cloud.

Tags-   Cloud computing IT delivery IT infrastructure Security