Private Clouds Come Down To Earth

By | September 24, 2014

Intrigued by the concept of a converged infrastructure but worry you lack the expertise to DIY? Big IT vendors see big business building insta-cloud infrastructure 

IW Report Cover

IW Report Cover

For IT organizations wondering how to actually build a private cloud, my latest report is for you. Plenty of CIOs like the idea of a converged data center but get headaches thinking about the complexity. Even given wide support for open standards, stitching discrete server and storage systems into a software-abstracted cloud is not for the faint of heart. Enter preassembled private cloud stacks, such as Dell’s PowerEdge C-series, Hewlett-Packard’s ProLiant SL Scalable Systems,  IBM’s NeXtScale System, Nutanix and now VMware with its EVO RAIL reference design. These systems, which either bundle or are qualified on popular cloud stacks, can cost-effectively deliver scale-out cloud functionality, high density, and manageability without significant compromise on features.

VMware EVO RAIL chassis  Source: SuperMicro

VMware EVO RAIL chassis
Source: SuperMicro

As my summary article points out in the full report downloadable here, InformationWeek survey data shows CIOs and IT leaders have the will to build private and hybrid clouds, it’s the execution that’s problematic for many. One reason is that there is no standard blueprint for building a next-generation software-defined infrastructure.

EVO RAIL server module Source: author

EVO RAIL server module
Source: author

The term “private cloud” describes everything from automated virtual machine system administration to fully orchestrated and self-service compute, storage, and network resources that end users and developers can provision themselves. Given this uncertainty and complexity, the pioneers tend to be businesses that began on public cloud infrastructure and are comfortable living on the bleeding edge of technology.

Download the full report for some concrete recommendations, but the choice of insta-cloud platforms will largely depend on your existing virtualization environment, desire for cloud stack heterogeneity and openness, use of public IaaS services like AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, and whether branch office servers and remote users are in the mix.