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Cloud Computing: Private Clouds - Buy vs Reuse vs Build

Path To Private Clouds

Private Cloud Is Hot
Several  market studies indicate that Private Clouds will be hot in the near future. Few of the market studies on Private Cloud indicate how much they are predicted to grow.

  • Industry seminars expect cloud infrastructures to grow at a compounded rate of 25 percent per year over the next few years, with 75 percent of that infrastructure growth coming from private clouds
  • IDC Predicts Private Cloud Server Market to Reach $11.8B by 2014
  • Gartner also predicts that, Private Cloud Computing Ramps Up in 2011

Definition of Private Cloud
The cloud infrastructure is owned or leased by a single organization, delivered over a private network and is operated solely for that organization, either by that organization (internal private cloud) or by an outsourcer (external private cloud).

Private cloud is the implementation of cloud services on resources that are dedicated to your organization, whether they exist on-premises or off-premises. With a private cloud, you get many of the benefits of public cloud computing-including self-service, scalability, and elasticity-with the additional control and customization available from dedicated resources.

Build / Buy / Reuse Analysis
Most IT organizations conduct this analysis, so that the  investigation about multiple options available to acquire a capability, result in the best possible  option while having the buy in of all the stake holders.

  • Buy - Purchasing a pre packaged solution like ‘Cloud In A Box' option
  • Reuse - Incorporating reusable assets like a public cloud and utilizing the same as a private cloud by adopting appropriate security controls
  • Build - Obtain individual components of Private Cloud and building on top of it

As mentioned  this is about  buying a prepackaged solution that has got all  the elements of a  private cloud, like a virtualization platform, machine images, self service portal, dynamic scaling capability and associated hardware and software.

The advantages about this kind of solution are they are very easy  to make a starting point on the private clouds and can improve the time to market of new applications.

However, most of the‘ Buy' solutions on the market  are limited to specific PaaS platforms and at this time  have limited capability to expand to all enterprise needs for disparate application platforms.

Websphere  CloudBurst Appliance  &  IBM Cloudburst
WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance allows you to quickly set up an Enterprise WebSphere Cloud using existing hardware resources. WebSphere CloudBurst, delivered as an appliance, includes all the capabilities required to virtualize, dispense, and optimize WebSphere Application Server Environments. WebSphere CloudBurst delivers pre-installed and configured virtual images and topology pattern definitions ready for customization and fast deployment into the cloud.

Built on the IBM BladeCenter® platform, IBM CloudBurst provides pre-installed, fully integrated service management capabilities across hardware, middleware and applications.

The above option will only dispense WebSphere images and the packaged solution while easy to buy for quick deployment may have a ‘lock-in' issues on the platform.

Windows Azure Platform Appliance
Windows Azure platform appliance is a turnkey cloud platform that customers can deploy in their own datacenter, across hundreds to thousands of servers. The Windows Azure platform appliance consists ofWindows Azure, SQL Azure and a Microsoft-specified configuration of network, storage and server hardware. This hardware will be delivered by a variety of partners.

The appliance is designed for service providers, large enterprises and governments and provides a proven cloud platform that delivers breakthrough datacenter efficiency through innovative power, cooling and automation technologies.

Again  this solution is easy to deploy is a Windows Azure PaaS platform only solution.

There are few more  vendors  to  in this market, like EMC VPLEX Private Cloud Appliance, Oracle  Exalogic Elastic Cloud offer  "Buy" option for private cloud. Like others Exalogic provides a WebLogic centric private cloud solution.

Unlike  a software component where the Reuse is facilitated by the standards,  there is no direct equivalent of  a Reuse in private cloud. The closest offering is to utilize a  ‘Virtual Private Cloud' offering  as part of a pre-built public cloud platform.

A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a private cloud existing within a shared or public cloud.  For example Amazon VPC enables you to use your own isolated resources within the AWS cloud. Amazon VPC provides end-to-end network isolation by utilizing an IP address range that you specify, and routing all network traffic between VPC and your datacenter through an industry-standard encrypted IPsec VPN. This allows you to leverage your preexisting security infrastructure, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems to inspect network traffic going to and from a VPC.

While   this option gives quick adoption to private cloud theoretically,  the isolation is logical and  achieved  through a combination  of  software and network management.  The  policies are still governed by Vendor and makes it less flexible than a classic ‘Private Cloud'.

This option is about  procuring the basic building  blocks of a Cloud Platform. While not getting into the ready made platform choices as in Buy option.   While this option  takes some effort on the organization to fit the correct platform and services on top of the basic building blocks, it gives complete control of the  Private Cloud while providing all the benefits.

HP  Blade System Matrix and Cloud Service automation
HP's blade system matrix provides a complete packageof hardware, storage, software, service catalog, monitoring  as part of the above private cloud offering.  For companies who are looking to build private clouds and get started quickly, HP Cloud Service Automation for BladeSystem Matrix is an ideal starting point. The bundled solution provides one-touch provisioning, management, and monitoring of both applications and infrastructure using the familiar Matrix interface.

The key advantage of the Build option for Private Clouds are that they are built on Open architecture to manage heterogeneous environments.

HP BladeSystem Matrix is designed to work with the common technologies and processes used in data centers today. This open design approach ensures that Matrix integrates seamlessly with most storage and network fabrics, such as HP StorageWorks and HP Networking, as well as EMC and Cisco. It runs any application out of the box, and is integrated with the leading virtualization technologies from HP, Microsoft and VMware.

Other Custom Solutions
Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition (Eucalyptus EE) enables customers to implement private cloud computing using Eucalyptus, the most popular open source private cloud software, with purpose-built solutions that extend its functionality. Eucalyptus EE contains the open source core platform and a suite of products that allow Enterprises and Service Providers to implement the most portable, scalable and high performing private cloud solution available today.

While most large enterprises have not fully decided on the usage of Open Source products, also at the same time this solution is not fully packaged  especially with respect to hardware and may require support from multiple components.

We see the traditional  decision making ‘Build  Vs Buy Vs Reuse'  very much applicable to choosing the  private clouds too. Also the  Reuse in this case is very much restricted to VPC over Public Clouds, where  as the options for Buy  Vs Build are very much alive and growing. We see that  enterprises tend  to take decisions based on their platform for existing applications  like Java EE or .net and how disparate their existing applications are.  We see in general ‘Build' option provide much flexibility and Less Lock-in for enterprises.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

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