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Private cloud computing deployments are getting a lot of attention as companies see the benefit of an in-house cloud infrastructure. Paul Rubens discusses the building blocks of an effective private cloud.
There's been endless talk over the past few months about what it takes to build a private cloud, but here's a much more important question: What does it take to build a really good one?
It's practically traditional at this point to ponder the existential question: "what is a cloud?" but let's avoid the navel gazing and just say that the cloud is exactly what you think it is. Not specific enough? OK, how about something like "an app platform that knows about the underlying infrastructure, knows that it is running on a hypervisor, and can auto-scale or auto-shrink as required."
That'll do it. Let's move on. It's analogy time, and here's one provided by Andy Steven, one of VMware's top cloud architects: A bad private cloud is like one of those old-fashioned stores where you go to the counter and tell the proprietor what you want. After much tutting and sucking of teeth he'll go out the back and find something that's approximately what you want and thump it down on the counter. He'll name the price, and you can take it or leave it. A good cloud is like a magnificent, air-conditioned shopping mall where on show there's a huge variety of goods of all different qualities and prices to suit every budget. You can browse to your heart's content until you find exactly what you're after.
What Stevens means by this is that a good private cloud allows customers -- end users -- to choose and access what they need, from an online self-service catalog containing a wide range of standardized application offerings. "Non-technical people should be able to go to the catalog and say 'I want a LAMP stack,' choose one and click to deploy it, or, I want an email server, click, and deploy."
Read the rest about private cloud computing deployments at ServerWatch.