Q: Do we need to make any changes to our environment to begin the switch to a private cloud setup?
A: A private cloud has many advantages, including improved availability and disaster readiness. It also has requirements.
Many people confuse virtualization with the cloud. In reality, the cloud is a process that involves, yet goes far beyond, virtualization. By definition, a private cloud involves:
- Pooled resources in a virtualized environment
- Automation of resources
Because a private cloud involves a set of processes to manage, store, and work with optimized data, and optimized data center is a good place to start building your cloud environment.
To begin, look at how you can consolidate hardware. When you begin to run virtualized server instances, which in turn run virtualized apps, you can reduce the number of physical servers that you maintain. This offers savings in hardware costs, as well as in cooling, storage, and energy output. This is especially true when using HP hardware designed to run Microsoft cloud solutions. HP BladeSystem provides 70 percent more compute per watt; HP 3PAR storage lowers storage costs by 50 percent, and HP VirtualConnect and HP Networking offer 2.5 times faster provisioning.
Also review your management strategy. Centralized management is a cornerstone of successful cloud computing. Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 components can help to make this part of the process fairly straightforward. After all, Windows Server 2012 was designed for this type of environment. Hyper-V is arguably the best virtualization platform available, and Microsoft cloud solutions are approximately 5 times less expensive than comparable VMware solutions. Furthermore, implementing a joint HP and Microsoft solution, such as HP CloudSystem and Microsoft cloud management, provides pre-integrated solutions, infrastructure-to-application management capabilities, and easy deployment of virtualized cloud services.
HP Converged Cloud Services can provide resources that integrate with Windows Server 2012 and System Center in the planning stage of your private cloud:
- HP Cloud Planning Services
- HP Cloud Protection Workshop and Roadmap Services
- HP Cloud Applications Transformation Services
Conveniently, the entire Microsoft private cloud stack, including Software Assurance, is available from HP.
For more information about building, managing, and security a private cloud with an HP/Microsoft joint infrastructure, take a look at Rod Trent’s recent webcast, “Managing and Security Your Private Cloud”. The event is available on demand—and keep an eye out for future live events.