Designing a hyperscale data center requires thinking about operational problems differently. The large amount of resources creates complex management challenges, but also enables problem solving by broadly distributing resources instead of relying on local redundancy.

The Dell Data Center Solutions (DCS) team investigated some of the critical operational challenges of hyperscale cloud environments. Their efforts enabled them to formulate an operational approach to help automate customers’ system configurations and management, and to integrate tools and processes from software development methodologies into IT operations (often referred to as "DevOps").

To take the Cloud Operations model even further, the DCS team integrated CloudOps with OpenStack™ and Crowbar — the former is an open-source platform model, while the latter is a set of tools to help manage deployments. DCS cloud implementation experience has identified the following key principles related to help manage large-scale systems:
  • Change — Clouds are constantly changing, always ready. This requires a shift in IT strategy to be able to constantly and rapidly deliver change.
  • Continuous integration and deployment — The operations model utilizes constant system interaction, modifications, builds and deployments that are built around optimization needs.
  • Automation — The operations and business logic area is encoded as software to minimize or eliminate the need for human touch. This creates a framework to create repeatable, expandable processes to build clouds and constantly move them forward. Ultimately, all the rules for operating the data center become encoded as automation software.
  • IT ownership — IT proactively owns and interactively manages the cloud environment, using repeatable, expandable processes to build clouds and continuously move forward.
  • Layered deployment approach — Cloud systems require a faster and more agile approach to deployments than the traditional golden image model.
  • Systems thinking — The whole system is viewed as an integrated unit, not just as connected but isolated silos of hardware, software and operational infrastructure.
  • Cloud services — The operations model provides systemwide management functionality, but still delivers technology services as discreet components.
Cloud Operations delivers the operational and process controls you will need, and OpenStack + Crowbar provide an openly accessible, scalable and globally supported development platform. Combined with tested and proven cloud-optimized hardware from Dell, cloud installation automation helps ensure that you can confidently build a sophisticated infrastructure solution.