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The real world experience of building a private cloud computing set-up shows the potential gains of this type of deployment. Drew Rob spoke with an IT manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Security often comes up as a big stopping point for cloud computing. One of the ways around this is to build a private cloud one that remains within the corporate firewall and wholly controlled internally.
That was the approach taken by Los Alamos National Laboratory as it seeks to create an infrastructure on demand (IOD) architecture to simplify the rollout of new technology projects and to eliminate delays in storage, server and network provisioning.
Anil Karmel, IT manager at Los Alamos National Lab noted four tenets that played a major role in the private cloud decision:
As we deploy more virtual servers, we consume far less power and also reduce electronic waste, said Karmel. We estimate eventual savings of $1.3 million annually due to IOD.
Server capacity on demand is now achievable in a few clicks. Instead of 30 days to provision a server, it now takes less than 30 minutes.
The organization is utilizing HP c7000 blade enclosures along with HP Virtual Connect Fibre Channel/Flex 10 Ethernet. HP BL460c and BL490c blades are used, with each blade containing multiple quad-core and six-core chips.
A NetApp SAN was brought in to add storage capacity. This is based on the NetApp V Series with 2 PBs of Tier 2 SATA storage. Tier One is provided by existing HP arrays.
The cloud itself consists of four elements: a web portal at the front end; Microsoft SharePoint as the automation engine for cloud workflows, and also as the integration point for functions such as chargeback; VMware vCloud Director to manage and operate the cloud; and VMware vShield to provide security at both the application level and at the user device level.
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