February 22, 2010, 2:29 PM — Virtualization is understood as one of the key building blocks for private clouds. As a dynamic technology that enables IT organizations to reinvent how they think about management, it has the potential to make some things easier or make all things harder. Silo buying, heterogeneity, politics, poor integrations, and immature management tools can inhibit virtualization's full value.
IT leadership must address these challenges in order to set the stage for private cloud deployments, which many pundits forecast as the foundation for business growth in the next decade. Based on many customer conversations, we have compiled the top eight requirements for successful deployments of private clouds. These considerations enable IT to deliver business growth and contain costs, getting more from people, processes, and technologies.
1. Virtual Plus Physical Scalable Management
The integration of physical and virtual management is a key requirement to successfully deploying private clouds. Almost every IT organization is utilizing virtualization increasingly and starting to consider heterogeneous hypervisors. There is a growing need to have both "element" management and end-to-end "value" management that drive the need to use existing root-cause analytics, models-based management, integrated interfaces, and run book automation for both physical and virtual environments. Virtualization does not obviate the need for management; it makes it more critical, especially as cloud computing is based on real time compute pools and dynamic allocation models.
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2. Next Generation Architectures
Next generation data center architectures, such as Cisco Nexus virtual switches and the Cisco Unified Computing System will play a key role in enabling private clouds as they compress network, storage, and server connectivity into a single chassis. These architectures use virtualization and offer customers new management paradigms for configuration, automation, security, and application-aware problem resolution. Management of these systems must enable customers to get more from the virtual layer, delivering dynamic capacity management and business service visibility.
3. Policy-Based Management