The decision has been made to move to private cloud. All reasons for or against have been heard, and now it’s time to implement. With this in mind, what options are available for doing so, and how do they affect the design of an organization’s IT?
Private clouds come in flavors, and while each vendor will tell you that their specific flavor is very clearly distinct from the next, it’s more accurate to think of them a bit like sports drinks. Nobody’s entirely sure what flavor “blue” is supposed to be, but “blue” from one vendor tastes more or less like “blue” from another vendor.
The nitty-gritty technical differences do matter, but not as much as the broad categories into which the various private clouds can be lumped: you have to pick what color suits you before worrying over who does that color best.
Spectrum of Choice
The four broad categories of private cloud are:
- Extreme Do It Yourself (DIY), usually with open source
- Guided DIY, where one combines multiple products from a single vendor to build a cloud solution
- A fully-managed Private-Cloud-as-a-Service
- Cloud platforms, which are sold as a single product, but owned by the customer
For the purposes of this blog, we’ll discount the extreme DIY approach. If you have an IT team with knowledge, experience and free time to be considering anything labelled “extreme DIY IT,” you probably should be asking them about private clouds instead of reading about it on the Internet.
At the opposite end of that spectrum is the fully-managed Private-Cloud-as-a-Service. This category does what it says: you pay a vendor some money, the vendor then installs a cloud on your premises, and manages every (or nearly every) aspect of it. The caveat, of course, is that these tend to be available only for the “if you have to ask how much it costs, you’re not the right customer for this approach” types.
Remember: Ease of Use Is the Goal
The above leaves us with two mainstream approaches to private cloud: guided DIY, and cloud platform. Both of these approaches involve the organization purchasing IT solutions, setting them up on-premises, and making use of them behind the corporate firewall.
In assessing which of these two is most likely to meet your needs, it’s important to bear in mind that the whole point of a private cloud is to make IT easier both to administer and to consume. A private cloud that’s more difficult to design, deploy, manage, or maintain than traditional IT is a failure.
Cloudistics Chief Scientist, Jai Menon PhD. in this video interview with Scott Lowe, CEO and Lead Strategist at Actual Tech Media discuss the challenges, pain and anxiety associated with building and operating a DIY private cloud. Areas covered include complexity, lack of cloud competency, the complexities of management and more.
As a cloud platform partner, it’s reasonable to expect that Cloudistics is firmly on the side of cloud platforms. While this is true, nothing is ever quite that simple in IT because not all cloud platforms live up their potential, falling down on one or more critical metrics.
Narrowing the Field
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that any organization, no matter how large, is going to be able to compare all of the available solutions in these two categories: there are rather a lot of vendors selling into the private cloud space these days. While that’s a marvelous validation of the importance of private clouds, it does make narrowing the field a little bit difficult.
This brings us back to ease of use. If the goal of a private cloud is to make IT easier both to administer and to consume, then there are some red flags that are easy to spot. For example: if a vendor expects their customers to obtain and retain staff with complex and expensive certifications just to set up and maintain one’s private cloud, it stands to reason that the vendor in question’s approach to private cloud is somewhat antithetical to ease of use.
Similarly, a quick look at the advertised time to value should be informative. As a baseline to compare against, Cloudistics customers are able to go from power on to running workloads in less than 60 minutes, that is part of the power of having Cloudistics as your cloud partner and not just a vendor. When a vendor carefully avoids talking about how long their solution takes to set up, skepticism regarding ease of use is warranted.
The support experience is another consideration. One of the main reasons organizations purchase private clouds is so that they can re-task skilled IT professionals. There’s little benefit in expending IT talent keeping the lights on.
Finding the right private cloud takes effort: proofs-of-concept trials are absolutely vital. Once workloads are migrated to a private cloud, that cloud simply must work, and stay working. The entire organization depends on it.
Cloudistics has designed the Ignite Cloud Platform with a zealous focus on ease of use, and a fanatical devotion to support. Cloudistics is proud of the time-to-value achieved by the Ignite Cloud Platform, and welcomes any opportunity to participate in a proof-of-concept trial.
Get more information: Watch Cloudistics Chief Scientist, Jai Menon PhD in this video interview with Scott Lowe, CEO and Lead Strategist at Actual Tech Media discuss the challenges, pain and anxiety associated with building and operating a DIY private cloud. Areas covered include complexity, lack of cloud competency, the complexities of management and more.
There are so many ways to do private cloud. Why not see if Cloudistics is the one that’s right for you? Contact us and we’ll answer any questions you might have.