2011 tech priorities: Private cloud beckons

By , Network World |  Hardware, private cloud

The final stage calls for active marketing of virtualization to divisions of the business and convincing them it's best for the organization as a whole to share resources. The most effective means is to show the dramatic difference in time it takes to authorize and turn on a physical server (a matter of weeks) vs. turning on a new virtual machine in the data center (a day to a week) vs. turning up a VM in the cloud using a standard template (immediately). When a central store of servers can be shared among business units, the business is ready for adopting a private cloud, he says.

For businesses that haven't climbed very high yet on the maturity curve, there are faster ways, Boehme says. For example, a group within IT can be created to set up a relationship with a cloud service provider to carve out a dedicated cloud for the business customer within its service cloud infrastructure. That relieves many of the burdens of creating a business owned and maintained cloud.

But there's more to preparing for private cloud than just virtualization, Boehme says, and training is critical. IT staff needs to break out of their narrow-focused tasks to become more generalists. Rather than having a storage specialist, a broader group should pick up necessary storage skills, for instance. "Let people out of their box," he says. "A lot of people you have already can transition OK if the proper management is in place," to encourage and facilitate the change, he says.

Also, if businesses are hiring while they're making the transition to a private cloud, they should consider younger candidates because they have grown up with virtualization and aren't locked into traditional thinking about how provisioning IT services ought to be done. "They don't know what you can't do," he says.

In addition to developing in-house skills, businesses need to create centralized software development life cycle (SDLC) rules on how the business as a whole builds and tests applications. Existing rules were created to slow the process. "They were put in place to stop a lot of change and make the environment predictable and stable," Boehme says.

With virtualization within cloud architectures, users can provision their own space, with governance aiming more at overarching rules to make sure individuals don't overprovision, so that live migration of virtual machines happens smoothly and that corporate risk policies aren't violated, he says.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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