Clouds don’t come in a box.
They don’t come pre-installed in a piece of hardware. You don’t just plug it in and – voila – you’ve got cloud! More importantly, you should not have to buy new, expensive hardware to get the benefits of cloud computing. This is one area the consumerization wave won’t be as easily emulated for IT – yet. Specifically, we are used to swapping out our old game station for the latest model. We even do this with our smart phones or tablets. But in the data center, businesses and IT can’t just ‘throw away’ their existing hardware to get the cloud. It’s not good business sense.
At the core of this huge transition to the cloud – both public and private – are the business advantages. Scalability. Agility. Control. Measurability. The increased performance and management should be tied to an ROI model that is not cashed out with the purchase of the hardware.
The fact is most organizations today can make that transition using the current infrastructure they have. This reduces costs and accelerates ROI. And when new hardware is needed, the goal should be for low cost disk and storage that can be easily managed by your existing software solution. So let’s take a closer look at some of the characteristics organizations are seeking to make that transition to the private cloud with their existing infrastructure.
First is scalability. IT is looking for the ability to grow and shrink storage based on business patterns without disruption to applications, even when migrating between different storage vendors or operating system platforms. With everyone facing cost and budget controls, premium storage is often out of the question. Commoditized disk can provide premium features you expect: deduplication, tiering, snapshots, replication, and more. But only if you have the right tools that meet those needs. And this helps bring the agility companies are looking for from private clouds.
Second is centralized management and control of operations. You can’t manage what you can’t see. And multiple solutions are just a precursor to a management headache for businesses and IT. A constant in the universe – or the cloud – is that IT needs a single management console to automate operations and provide a global view of applications and heterogeneous infrastructure running on different physical and virtual platforms. Only with this capability will the benefits of more efficient operations and reduced downtime be achieved.
The third is the ability to measure services that are rendered to the business through chargeback or metering. The transition to the cloud can make these a reality, if done properly. IT can check storage or utilization and chargeback based on actual usage even in a multi-tenant computing environment. Historically, chargeback reporting has been a difficult, manual, and expensive task. Today, that work can be offloaded to solutions that provide automatic and unified global chargeback reporting across multi-vendor storage, in real time, so that you know who is using what, when, instantly.
The cloud is a transformational opportunity for many IT departments. One that does not mean organizations need to throw out their existing hardware. In fact, IT can often achieve these goals with the infrastructure they already have. Saving money and delivering on the promise of the cloud even faster. More information on this topic is available at go.symantec.com/privatecloud.
After all, there are many different types of clouds. And they don’t come in a box.