Building a Private Cloud: Considerations to Maximize Success
Many enterprises today want to build a private cloud to gain efficiencies such as on-demand service delivery and pay-as-you-go use of IT infrastructure services, all while maintaining control, accountability, and data sovereignty. There are two ways an organization can realize the benefits of cloud. One is to build and maintain a private cloud. The other is to have a trusted service provider host and manage your private cloud. The first step in making the decision is to gain a full understanding of business and application requirements.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions:
1. Do you have the right in-house resources to build and maintain a private cloud?
2. Is your company in a position to spend the capex necessary to build your own cloud, or is a pay-as you go model more beneficial?
3. What (if any) regulatory compliance issues does your company need to address regarding security, privacy, and data sovereignty?
Some companies have strict compliance and data sovereignty rules—they need to know where their data is and who can access it. Others may need to be able to show that they can physically inspect their equipment whenever they need to for legal reasons. All of these considerations can prompt businesses to build private clouds.
If building a private cloud is the best option, rest assured that the technologies required are much more accessible to enterprises today than in the past. Many vendors offer standards-based technologies that will work “off-the-shelf.” These technologies can be easily deployed and customized to meet unique business needs. And they don’t require IT staff to have exceptionally specialized expertise.
When building a private cloud, it’s important to consider not only your current needs, but to ensure that your cloud design offers the flexibility to adapt with your changing business needs. Future requirements can include adapting new services, capacity planning, and the ability to work with the vendors of your choice. As your cloud needs grow, managing the system can become quite complex; standardize as much as possible to facilitate automation and rapid solution delivery.
The infrastructure has to offer the performance and reliability necessary to successfully run the applications and meet processing, performance, and reliability requirements. Your cloud should support automation to ensure the most efficient application delivery for your company. Consider this: many applications live in as many as 30 environments in their lifecycles as they evolve from development and testing to staging and production. Moving applications manually through these phases can result in failures and inefficiencies that cost your company money. On the other hand, automating these changes across the application lifecycle lowers costs, speeds IT service delivery, and results in faster time to market.
Finally, make room for flexibility and choice, especially at the application layer. True workload portability means any workload should run any time, on any hypervisor. Implement a solution such as Cisco Intercloud Fabric that allows you to manage your public and private cloud infrastructure from a single pane of glass.
It’s also important to have choice in vendors for cloud service delivered by vetted partners you know you can rely on to support your business needs for the long term. Cisco’s global ecosystem of Intercloud partners has gone through a rigorous evaluation process and are audited for customer satisfaction. Application developers increasingly make choices about the infrastructure. Give them a variety of selections in terms of software, hypervisors, and other application-dependent components. As they make decisions about the software stack, your private cloud should be able to accommodate their decisions.
To learn more about why and how best to build a private cloud, view the full video here.