Going PrivateBy Raymond J. Sun | Posted 2010-06-28 Email Print
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There are clear benefits to using the cloud model to facilitate the rapid availability of IT resources, but it’s not for every enterprise.
Many corporations are looking to benefit from cloud computing. However, since a number of them are concerned about availability and security issues, they are looking to private clouds, which provide an ideal situation for enterprise servers and mainframes. These environments are known for flexibility, scalability, security and high utilization, as well as for optimizing delivery of IT resources to mixed workloads.
These companies have enterprise IT expertise and experience that can create dynamic virtualized environments that are ideally situated for success in the private cloud model. The combination of skilled staff and attractive software pricing models for virtual systems on enterprise servers provides an appealing setting that serves as an inexpensive, value-added host for private cloud offerings.
The most common initial use for the private cloud is to provide test and development environments for enterprise applications. Developers are able to request resources and almost immediately get access to an environment on which to build and test their applications. When the development is complete, the resources can be returned for use by others.
While cloud computing insulates the IT user from the management of the infrastructure, someone still has to manage the IT resources. Private clouds clearly have a major impact on IT departments, since these organizations will need to provide clouds with additional capabilities to handle dynamic provisioning and automated request processes.
Those requests for service will be handled automatically without the IT organization’s intervention. Thus, monitoring and balancing workloads will need to be an ongoing focus. Also, fair chargeback algorithms will have to be developed and implemented to provide incentives for appropriate usage behavior.
Head in the Cloud
Cloud computing is still an emerging capability, and many enterprise IT organizations are just starting to poke their heads in the cloud. For many, there are more questions than answers. That’s why we continue to examine some of the early cloud implementations and look to develop much-needed requirements for IT providers, as well as best practices for managing cloud environments.
The enterprise IT community is evaluating emerging cloud computing concerns regarding service levels, the best workloads, disaster recovery, help desks, change-control issues, approval and audit issues, and the management of rapidly changing environments.
There are some very down-to-earth benefits to using the cloud model to facilitate rapid availability of IT resources, whether public or private. What is necessary now is a way to document the needs of enterprise IT managers to make both public and private cloud computing more secure, reliable, resilient and suitable for mission-critical uses. Create that, and they will be nothing but blue skies ahead.
Raymond J. Sun serves on the SHARE board of directors and has been involved with the organization for more than 25 years. He is a frequent speaker on topics such as service management, virtualization and cloud computing.