Get a feel for speed, agility in the private cloud

As the amount and type of data— not to mention applications— proliferate in the enterprise, the allure of private cloud grows.

Ganesh PadmanabhanThis is the first of two Q-and-A sessions with Ganesh Padmanabhan, product marketing manager at Dell virtualization solutions, in which we address the benefits and challenges inherent in moving to a private cloud infrastructure.

What is the value proposition of the private cloud to customers?

Padmanabhan: The cloud computing paradigm changes the way businesses and Internet technology organizations both look at consuming IT resources.

For the business user, the private cloud represents an opportunity to accelerate the pace of the business with available on demand, utility-based computing power, resulting in faster time to market for their products and providing a competitive edge.

For the IT departments, this presents a very efficient and effective model for delivering IT services. Shared infrastructure allows for a lower cost of computing. Service automation allows for efficient use of IT management time, and providing a self-service based provisioning model allows for happy IT customers.

How does ordering more (bandwidth/applications/seats/etc.) work from the customer side? Do clients need to request more support for this bandwidth/apps/seats part of the equation? How quickly can services be implemented?

Padmanabhan: A private cloud implementation is not complete without a self-service portal for the IT consumers. A self-service portal with an IT service catalog provides the framework and choice of IT services that are available for the customer.

Providing a utility model where the user can choose from the pre-approved services that IT has published is the primary goal of the IT service catalog in implementing a private cloud.

Allowing flexibility to the IT consumers to request more support for extra bandwidth, apps and options should also be considered in the implementation of the portal. Automated service provisioning in the back end will allow the building of these services to happen almost instantaneously, after the required approvals are resolved.

Depending on the capabilities of the service provisioning system, service level agreements (SLAs) can take just a few minutes in some cases and are easily achieved.

Dell’s virtual integrated system (VIS) self-service creator is an example of such a solution that provides a complete self-service provisioning system with chargeback, IT governance, automation and virtual machine (VM) sprawl capabilities.

How will customers measure performance of their cloud resources? What tools will be provided? Will this require the need to learn new tools?

Padmanabhan: Businesses should be able to see the benefits of private clouds in measures like the speed of business and faster IT project completion times. Customers who are users of the private cloud can measure performance based on the utilization or availability of their service or machine that’s provisioned. There is no need for new tools or to learn additional skills, as the self-service portal should provide the basic requirements to enable these functions.

Learn more:

  • For more perspective on self-service provisioning in the cloud, check out the E2 Radio broadcast with Andy Rhodes to learn what an enterprise must do to make the move a success.
  • Crowbar eases open source cloud installation

About the Author: Marc Speir