Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Private Clouds | @CloudExpo @RamchandaniRaj #DigitalTransformation

Enterprises must carefully choose the best technology stack to deliver their new dynamic cloud infrastructure and services

Private Clouds - What Enterprises Should Know Before Implementation

Enterprises are rapidly implementing private clouds for sound business reasons. Private clouds offer greater agility, enabling companies to quickly adapt to constantly changing business needs and innovate faster than competition. Digital and cloud services can be provided to developers at a pace of innovation that equals any public cloud. Companies can maintain security and compliance, along with the reliability, availability and stability of IT systems of large enterprises. Private clouds also provide better SLAs for new services than most public clouds offer.

While there is a sense of urgency surrounding implementation, enterprises must still carefully choose the best technology stack to deliver their new dynamic cloud infrastructure and services. They must carefully develop a transition plan, understand and set goals for availability, ease of use, developer experiences, and identify any potential holes that could jeopardize their transition and investment in newer cloud-native architectures.

In this article, we discuss some key considerations for choosing the right technology stack to deploy private and hybrid clouds.

The Foundation of a Private Cloud
The cloud journey for any enterprise begins with defining goals, creating a strategy and detailed implementation plan, followed by identifying key milestones and metrics to track. A well-thought implementation plan that follows the latest trends in cloud computing is critical to success. Enterprises typically benefit from a hybrid cloud strategy and most use public clouds for certain workloads, either enterprise-wide or a workgroup-level application.

Let's look at some of the key criteria for a private enterprise cloud strategy and implementation plan.

Business Case for Private Clouds
Implementing private clouds tends to be capital and operationally expensive, requiring additional levels of technologies, infrastructure and resources. From a business point of view, key considerations for using private clouds include:

  • Infrastructure agility to enhance developer productivity and speed release of new services
  • Migration to the DevOps process, improving services and applications delivery
  • Control over infrastructure, with the ability to define SLAs
  • Security and compliance maintained internally, rather than depending on third-parties
  • Need to leverage existing infrastructure and data centers, optimizing capital investments. For example, leverage VMware licenses that enterprises have already invested billions of dollars
  • Avoid 100 percent dependencies on public cloud or external infrastructure providers, limiting exposure
  • Manage capex and opex, with the ability to switch to private cloud vs. public cloud options as needed.

Private Cloud Technology Stack
From discussions with several enterprises that have embarked on their journey to hybrid clouds, it's quite obvious that the right technology stack to build a private cloud may well decide success or failure of the implementation project. Private cloud stack means primarily choosing technology for compute, storage and networking, as well as making sure there are easier integrations for other cloud services, platform-as-a-service or CI/CD and DevOps toolset.

The key criteria to select the technology stack for private clouds include:

Open source vs. closed source technology
Technology for private and hybrid clouds is evolving rapidly, with an unprecedented pace of innovation in next generation data center technologies and new application architectures. It's imperative to bet on a technology that is open source and has a vibrant developer community supported by a large vendor(s).

Driven by a single vendor, closed source (proprietary) technology tends to evolve much slower, which could hamper the speed of innovation. However, the evolution of the technology must focus on solving a key requirement of enterprises. Some open source projects, especially those with a very large presence of several vendors, tend to become multi-focused and driven by respective agendas of the vendors themselves. Over-engineered open source technology is often broad and could cause unnecessary complexity in the implementation phase.

Technology providers
Key vendors that are core leaders of the open source project must be engaged to help implement hybrid clouds. Private cloud technologies tend to be complex and constantly evolving. Core technology developers can help navigate the intricacies of complex features and integration points, providing guidance for migrating and developing new applications on hybrid clouds.

Support for existing workloads
It's likely some or most of existing workloads should move to a private cloud to improve efficiency and agility of applications. Identifying the technology stack's capabilities and potential gaps helps make the best decisions on managing existing applications and services. Enterprises should implement several proof of concepts to understand how the migration will work and any changes that may be necessary during the migration. Not all workloads are easy to migrate because of how compute, storage and networking are implemented on private clouds, compared to legacy data center architectures.

Standardize on IaaS or PaaS
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provides flexibility to deploy various types of workloads and architectures, but requires enterprises to manually integrate several point solutions such as monitoring, auto scaling, disaster recovery or failure recovery.

On the other hand, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provides an integrated application platform so applications and architectures can be standardized and developers can focus on developing code, not deploying infrastructure. While PaaS improves developer productivity, it does limit architecture flexibility. Applications must be written to the platform, which may provide a platform and/or vendor lock-in.

Enterprises should consider all the pros and cons of each platform. It's common to use both IaaS and PaaS, identifying the workload to be deployed on each platform. In such cases, enterprises must choose well-integrated platforms that do not create additional operational complexity and cost.

Operational efficiency and Intelligence
Cost and complexity of operating private clouds must be the prime consideration, since the stability and reliability of the cloud determines the value from the private cloud initiative. Operational intelligence built into the platform provides a common framework for log files analysis, event and alert pipeline management, risk and compliance assessment, and capacity planning. Embedded deep analytics provides visibility into the operations and utilization of the platform, which may impact the overall usability and ROI of the platform.

Metering, billing and charge-back
For enterprise-wide deployment, enterprise cost structure requires IT to meter and charge-back the utilization of cloud resources. While this feature may not be part of an integrated open source project, commercial distributions provide fully integrated or a certified third-party solution.

Technology roadmap
Ongoing development, a strong technology roadmap, and the foundational of an open source project assures investment protection. Enterprises must invest time to understand the technology roadmap, aligning it with their own planned roll out of cloud and cloud services. Enterprises can invest resources and join the open source foundations or project communities to assert influence over the roadmap. Open source projects welcome investment from larger enterprises and this must be considered a top priority before committing to an open source technology. Failure to invest and influence the open source project risks that the project direction will be hijacked by other larger enterprises. The risk is not only to the successful deployment and migration to hybrid clouds, but also leaves doors open for competition to cause financial damage.

Federation with public clouds
Many enterprises need a hybrid cloud strategy, where most of their resources and some cloud services are consumed from public clouds and most sensitive workloads remain on premise, on private clouds. But to ensure a seamless transition for developers and IT ops, it may be mandatory to federate the private and public clouds. Federation eliminates the complexity of managing multiple cloud environments, enabling single sign-on and consolidated metering, billing, and allowing easy migration or workloads on-demand.

Third-party ecosystem
The foundation private cloud solution can be extended to additional services and integrations to existing assets through third-party plugins, service brokers or validated and certified integrations. Pre-tested integrations of third-party solutions help eliminate the cost of custom implementations and professional services. It's highly desirable to ensure enough relevant integrations are available, and not limited to networking, storage, load balancers, messaging systems, active directories, login systems, monitoring and other assets that enterprises already have deployed.

The benefits of private clouds are well documented and while enterprises may be eager to begin implementing a private cloud, it's important to take the time to consider open source vs. closed source technology, existing workloads, IaaS or PaaS, technology roadmaps and other critical points. It's the time spent at the beginning that may well determine if the journey to the cloud is a smooth one.

More Stories By Rajesh Ramchandani

Rajesh Ramchandani is General Manager of Accelerite’s Cloud Services and Platforms. He leads Accelerite’s cloud infrastructure services and platforms, enabling companies to quickly and easily build private and public enterprise clouds. Previously, he was co-founder and VP of Products at startup CumuLogic, an innovator in private database-as-a-service (DBaaS) software. He has also held senior executive roles overseeing cloud technologies at global companies such as Oracle Corporation, Sun Microsystems, and Wipro Infotech.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@BigDataExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Though cloud is the future of enterprise computing, a smooth transition of legacy applications and systems is critical for seamless business operations. IT professionals are eager to start leveraging the cost, scale and other benefits of cloud, but with massive investments already in place in existing infrastructure and a number of compliance and resource hurdles, it can be challenging to move to a cloud-based infrastructure.