Submitted by Yoram Heller on June 07, 2012
Today I had the pleasure of moderating a panel featuring James Staten, VP and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research, and Winston Damarillo, CEO of Morphlabs. The presentation was a comprehensive review of how to get private cloud right – from the definition of what a private cloud is to successful deployment models. For an industry that is afflicted by “cloudwashing,” the discussion was refreshingly useful and thorough.
James began by reviewing the results of some of Forrester’s recent research – as we’ve seen in our brisk business, adoption of private cloud is growing in urgency. He tempered the excitement by explaining that most enterprises today still think of cloud as virtualization. It’s easy for Enterprises to forget what cloud characteristics actually are, namely:
The reason that Enterprise developers actually want a cloud is not as obvious as pointing to cost. Ultimately, and as a poll that we ran confirmed, developers are most interested in the agility and flexibility that cloud promises. Having faster access to resources means more productivity. It also means that they have the freedom to deploy whatever is necessary to get the job done and do it without relying on Ops availability. Less important factors were temporary capacity and elasticity.
From an Ops perspective, James explained that successful cloud implementations aren’t as simple as just building the infrastructure and then having the devs flock to it. More realistically, they have to be incented to come – and to leave. Metering, monitoring usage, and enforcing policy are all requirements of successful cloud implementations.
So, how do you get there?
You have to create a “desired state” – or a small greenfield implementation. Leave legacy behind, buy a small base and start anew with tools and processes intended for cloud. Winston echoeed James’ assertion and began by describing the Morphlabs products and mission. mCloud Solutions take their architectural cues from the massive webscale companies and best public clouds in the world, in order to bring the innovation and advances to the Enterprise in efficient implementations. Winston explained that in deploying cloud solutions for the last several years, Morphlabs realized that cloud is, in fact, a systems problem and not just a software or hardware conundrum. To have a successful cloud deployment, a modern architecture is required. Utilizing hyperscale hardware and SSDs to replace the expensive SAN of outdated configurations is the first step towards leveraging this updated architecture.
Once a hyperscale architecture is firmly in place, we use the Dell PowerEdge C-series, then best-of-breed open source components can deliver the full promise of speed, scale and cost that cloud affords. Winston went into more detail on the software architecture of our mCloud solutions, including the use of OpenStack Compute (Nova), Nexenta (block storage), Puppet (automation and configuration management), as well as Sensu and Graphite for VM-level management.
Once a private cloud solutionis successfully deployed, there are several features required to best take advantage of optimized virtual resources:
Winston also advised Enterprises to think about more than just public or private cloud – think hybrid. What’s a hybrid cloud, though? When utilizing a cloud based on open standards, it means having access to public clouds (Amazon, Rackspace, Etc) via VPN, regional cloud providers via carrier ethernet, or even a burstable on-premise pool.
The lesson: buy the base, rent the spike.
But what is most important to understand when deploying your solution is your workload. Morphlabs has seen several workloads consistently excelling in private cloud deployments, including Enterprise dev and test environments, HPC tasks that require programmatic execution, and web facing applications that demand rapid scale and automation.
Winston summed up the lessons of the day:
For more check out the video or better yet, sign up for a free trial of a private cloud done right.
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