Private Cloud - Great! Now I’m a meteorologist!

568i950D6892CF535F84Written by Mark Shoemaker

Mark Shoemaker is an HP Cloud Advisor and a 20-year industry veteran with experience covering the scope of cloud service management, cloud automation, visibility and control, bringing virtualization into the data center, standards, and public cloud versus private cloud considerations.

 

 

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Cloud computing is not conceptually new to IT. The term “Cloud” is new courtesy of some smart marketing guy (not me) who came up with it relatively recently. But cloud is really about all of the great things that IT has been promising the business for years: Fast, flexible, pay for what you use and don’t pay for what you don’t, reliable services.  It has been IT’s intent to deliver this all along.  It’s just been a lot tougher to pull it off.  Luckily, things are changing for IT and if you look beyond the hype, cloud computing offers a good chance to move IT into the business partner category.

 

Cloud computing is not a silver bullet.

I have a confession to make. I’m lazy by nature and always looking for a way to get something for next to nothing. If I could figure out a way to generate electricity in my house by pouring grape Kool-aid in the fuse box and not having to worry about it, I’d be in the private utility electricity provider business tomorrow. Unfortunately, life’s not that easy and neither is Private Cloud. No matter what you are told, you still own all of the moving parts in the data center, both physical and virtual; you are responsible for all the services that are now living in that fluid infrastructure, and you have to maintain, manage, control and assure their performance. If you think you had problems managing the old physical data centers just wait until you try to keep track of the complexity Cloud computing can generate.

 

Henry Ford got it right.

Private cloud computing promises to deliver quite a bit but is predicated on standard, repeatable processes. There is a reason that GM doesn’t build all of its cars and trucks on a single assembly line. It would be so complex they wouldn’t be able to build enough inventory to keep the lights on. Most of the IT organizations will be focused on providing a cloud platform for business applications.  Simply put, a private cloud platform that runs like a vending machine.  One filled with key IT services that the business can use to build their applications.  It takes infrastructure that can be converged to build and rebuild; the network elements; servers configured with the software building blocks for business applications and storage for all of it to live on.  Each element must be mapped and configured to allow for maximum flexibility within a matrix of rules that can be converted into a service catalog and necessary automation to configure and deliver the desired platform for the application to run on when the end-user needs it. Great for new services but what about all the legacy applications you been tending to?  If you were thinking of cloud computing as an easy way of taking all those hairy, non-standard servers you’ve been packing in the data center over the last few years via the wonders of Physical-to-Virtual transformation and shoving them into the cloud, think again.  You are still going to need a plan to transform the old stuff but we’ll save that discussion for another time.

 

So why all the doom and gloom? 

Actually, I think it is a great time to adopt cloud at whatever rate or capacity you can handle as long as you realize the right answer is to make sure you are actually solving your problems with cloud computing not just applying a small Band-Aid over a large wound or worse yet, opening another door for more data center sprawl.  Some organizations that have had more success in defining their service offerings and standardizing how works get done will be better poised to take advantage of the larger cloud transformation. A plan to deal with new business services will keep you from continuing to dig the hole you find yourself in.  So get a plan and get moving.

 

And finally…

Whether you’re thinking of building a solution that gets you moving forward, looking to gain a foothold in transforming your data center, or simply delivering a comprehensive solution that you can live with, we’d love to talk to you about how HP can help.

Got a comment? Got your own version of a story you want to tell? We’d love to hear from you.  And if you want to tell me I’m wrong, that’s okay too. My wife does it all the time.

 

Cloudguy@hp.com

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