The challenges of moving to a private cloud

By Bill Claybrook, Computerworld |  On-demand Software, private cloud

No, we don't have any type of

chargeback or pay-per-use planned: 52%

Source: Computerworld online survey; 54 respondents

For example, the way in which firewalls are handled in traditional data centers is not going to always work in cloud environments where workloads can be moved around. The reason: In a virtualized environment, servers may be organized into different security groups, and the security of the target host may not be satisfactory for a virtual machine (VM) being migrated to it.

Suncorp is now well advanced in virtualizing its firewalls. Virtualized firewalls are important because multiple VMs may be connected using virtualized network switches and other virtualized components, as opposed to a network running entirely over physical hardware and cabling.

Bottom line is that the security issues in virtual environments are not always the same as those in non-virtual environments.

Managing the storage piece

Storage isn't always as big an issue as some would have you think. If storage problems exist in your virtualized environment, there are some ways of dealing with them, including deduplication, thin provisioning and becoming more savvy about the way you purchase storage.

"All we needed to do was to move storage up a tier" -- from Serial ATA to Integrated Drive Electronics -- "to resolve some initial performance issues," says Craig Baughn, vice president of hosting services at Concur. At first, the company had "slightly underestimated" the I/O requirements of the virtualized environment, he explains. "We found that it's critical to profile the storage demand of a given server/application before moving it to a VM so we can place it on the correct storage tier out of the gate."

The architecture that Concur deployed "allowed us to leverage deduplication wisely," Baughn says, and achieve greater than 40x compression without sacrificing performance. Deduplication is a storage-based means of eliminating duplicate or redundant information. One benefit of doing this, he explains, is that the VM reboot time is twice as fast, on average, when compared to that of physical servers.

To help manage your private cloud,are you using:

Some combination of new and old tools: 63%

The same tools we use for our physical server infrastructure: 22%

A different set of tools entirely: 11%

Other: 4%

Source: Computerworld online survey; 54 respondents

Baughn says, "We are focused on making the capacity in our private cloud elastic, expanding dynamically when the needs of our clients and employees require more capacity." Concur chose VMware for its virtualization software, CA's Service Assurance Suite for monitoring and BMC's BladeLogic Server Automation Suite to help manage its private cloud.

The case for management tools


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