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Building a Private Cloud

FAQ
Whats the first step IT organizations should put in place when getting ready to deploy a private cloud? What IT challenges does the combination of virtualization and private cloud architecture address? Does adopting a private cloud approach mean wholesale replacement of existing infrastructure, applications and processes? What are some of the challenges IT organizations need to keep in mind when moving to a private cloud architecture? What capabilities should IT organizations look for in a third-party service provider when preparing to plan, build and deploy a private cloud?

Cloud computing no longer is simply the most dominant topic of conversation among the IT community and its business stakeholders: It is now a gigantic marketplace that is reshaping how IT services are provided and, more important, is helping organizations become more agile, responsive and efficient. Now, instead of debating the benefits of cloud computing, small and large organizations alike are focusing on choosing the best cloud computing approach for their needs. Whether youre talking about public, private or hybrid cloud architectures, theres mounting pressure on IT and business teams to agree on the key business goals that must be met before deciding on the ideal cloud approach. For a variety of reasons, theres a growing movement toward private cloud computing. Many organizations see private clouds as an important step in a long-term strategy to use enterprise computings assets for maximum benefit. Although public clouds offer real-time access to on-demand capacity, the inherent challenges of security, scalability and business continuity make the exclusive use of public clouds far less attractive to business organizations, and especially to IT teams that need to ensure that they can fully leverage cloud computing for business benefit. Over time, more and more companies are likely to migrate to some type of hybrid solution, combining traditional on-premises IT, public cloud services and private cloud architecture as needed based on factors such as applications, platforms, infrastructure and business processes. But for many companies, building a private cloud is an essential component in a long-term plan designed to improve organizational business performance. Its also important to think of cloud computing in a nontechnical way, experts agree. Cloud is not a destination or singular path, but a transformation that places IT squarely at the center of the enterprise as both a leader and enabler of value creation, noted Michael Dell, chief executive and chairman of Dell Inc. Simply put, cloud computing isnt about technology, but about unleashing latent business potential. IT and business leaders alike must look at private cloud solutions whether deployed in-house or with the help of a savvy third-party service provider as a logical extension of well-established approaches like virtualization.

Sponsored by:

2012 Dell

FAQ
Whats the first step IT organizations should put in place when getting ready to deploy a private cloud? What IT challenges does the combination of virtualization and private cloud architecture address? Does adopting a private cloud approach mean wholesale replacement of existing infrastructure, applications and processes? What are some of the challenges IT organizations need to keep in mind when moving to a private cloud architecture? What capabilities should IT organizations look for in a third-party service provider when preparing to plan, build and deploy a private cloud?

Whats the first step IT organizations should put in place when getting ready to deploy a private cloud?
Fortunately, the vast majority of large enterprises and an increasing number of small businesses have already made the first move by adopting some form of virtualization. It is widely agreed that virtualization be it for servers, desktops, storage or network fabric puts in place many of the key processes and practices necessary to build and get the most out of a private cloud. In essence, a private cloud is the most logical extension of a virtualized infrastructure for organizations that want to deploy and manage IT services more easily, provision new users more quickly, and operate more cost-effectively. Virtualization puts in place the groundwork for cloud-based functionality like self-provisioning of applications, heterogeneous management, governance and user-group chargebacks. Most important, private clouds extend the control afforded by virtualization to a much wider extent while remaining responsive to user needs.

From a cost standpoint, private clouds and virtualization help control runaway infrastructure spending and provide important cost predictability by treating IT services as an operating expense rather than a capital expenditure. It also addresses the critical element of manageability by controlling infrastructure sprawl and integrating a higher level of automation that is aligned with welldefined business rules. Deployment and onboarding of new applications at the centralized data center or in remote centers is done more quickly, easily and costefficiently than with traditional on-premisesonly solutions. These and other capabilities combine to let IT organizations spend less time and money on technical tasks and focus more energy on working with the business groups to accomplish their goals.

Does adopting a private cloud approach mean wholesale replacement of existing infrastructure, applications and processes?
No, because the beauty of a well-designed and intelligently deployed private cloud is the flexibility to cloud-enable only where it makes the most sense, now or in the future. As a general rule, larger enterprises may find it difficult to move everything to a private cloud for a variety of reasons, such as legacy applications not designed or optimized for virtual infrastructure, or database machines with large cached memory. In many cases certainly for larger organizations building a private cloud from the ground up isnt a viable option. Instead, the private cloud buildout tends to be evolutionary, leveraging existing infrastructure and building on virtualized servers, storage and networks rather than taking a rip-and-replace approach. This strategy also optimizes tight IT budgets by building on whats already in place particularly if the organizations infrastructure has already been virtualized to at least some degree.

What IT challenges does the combination of virtualization and private cloud architecture address?
Theres no denying that life for IT teams becomes more challenging every year. Budgets are tighter, demands are greater, the pace of change is faster, and the cost of failing to become more agile and responsive is skyrocketing for businesses. By collaborating from the start on a private cloud philosophy and solution, IT and business teams can address these and other challenges.
2012 Dell

FAQ
Whats the first step IT organizations should put in place when getting ready to deploy a private cloud? What IT challenges does the combination of virtualization and private cloud architecture address? Does adopting a private cloud approach mean wholesale replacement of existing infrastructure, applications and processes? What are some of the challenges IT organizations need to keep in mind when moving to a private cloud architecture? What capabilities should IT organizations look for in a third-party service provider when preparing to plan, build and deploy a private cloud?

What are some of the challenges IT organizations need to keep in mind when moving to a private cloud architecture?
Although organizations considering a private cloud approach are well positioned if they have already moved aggressively down the virtualization path, building a private cloud isnt simply a matter of adding more virtual machines to your servers. Transitioning the data center to be more cloudlike could be great for the business, but it causes you to make some difficult architecture decisions, said Gartner Inc. analyst Chris Wolf, speaking at a recent industry conference. He noted that companies should consider centralizing IT operations in order to improve manageability in a private cloud; focus upon industry-standard solutions for infrastructure and virtualization hypervisors; and map security, applications, identity management and information management to an overall cloud strategy. Additionally, IT leaders need to address the lingering concerns of some business executives about security and return on investment even though those issues are far less prominent today than they were in the recent past. But its important to confront such concerns (and more than an occasional misconception) in an upfront manner, since no private cloud strategy can succeed without support from business stakeholders. And finally, be sure that your private cloud solution takes into account the increasingly mobile workforce; BYOD (bring your own device) is a fact of life in many companies, so private clouds must account for ultramobility and anticipate issues such as

network performance, service-level agreements, endpoint security, single sign-on and business continuity.

What capabilities should IT organizations look for in a third-party service provider when preparing to plan, build and deploy a private cloud?
More and more organizations are turning to experienced, reliable service providers to help build private clouds because of tight internal resources, the need to deploy quickly, or the desire to leverage the collective experience and expertise of organizations that have already built private clouds. Ideally, IT decision-makers should seek out companies with experience in both infrastructure and services in order to build a comprehensive solution that delivers fine-tuned infrastructure performance and reliability with architectural agility. Such capabilities will help business groups respond to opportunities and threats more quickly and develop new products and services for their customers. Organizations should look for service providers that understand how to evolve the cloud solution over time, in accordance with the realities of budget constraints, staff limitations, and existing infrastructure and application investments. Its also important to work with providers that have well-established relationships with key technology partners whose products and services act as the glue for smoothly running private cloud networks. For instance, Dell approaches private cloud buildouts with a flexible model, so it can adapt to each customers unique requirements. This approach offers organizations a range of possibilities, such as simply adopting Dells cloud-enabled servers, storage and networking to build their own private clouds; OEM bundles, with greater collaboration between Dell and the organizations IT department for design and implementation;

2012 Dell

FAQ
Whats the first step IT organizations should put in place when getting ready to deploy a private cloud? What IT challenges does the combination of virtualization and private cloud architecture address? Does adopting a private cloud approach mean wholesale replacement of existing infrastructure, applications and processes? What are some of the challenges IT organizations need to keep in mind when moving to a private cloud architecture? What capabilities should IT organizations look for in a third-party service provider when preparing to plan, build and deploy a private cloud?

or a full custom architecture, where Dells cloud consultants take the lead but adapt their reference architectures to meet the customers specific IT requirements. By Michael Elliott Enterprise Cloud Solutions Dell Michael Elliott is an Enterprise Cloud Evangelist at Dell with over 20 years of enterprise technology experience. In this capacity, he consults with companies throughout North America on their cloud architecture. View his blog at http://elliottmichael.com/.

Sponsored by:

2012 Dell

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