Cloud computing has long been a buzz word in the IT sector. A seemingly fitting definition of cloud is “a model for enabling convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Many organisations have cautiously been dipping their toes in the public cloud market. Many applications can be seamlessly delivered through public clouds which alleviate the need to on premise servers and reduce the capex costs involved with hosting these services on premise. Public clouds offer the benefit of utilizing someone else’s infrastructure to run IT workloads on a pay as you go basis thus reducing your capex costs. Private clouds are different since they leverage cloud technology and ultimately reduce overall opex costs and improve business agility. Many organisations particularly in the financial sector simply wont use public clouds for their mission critical applications because they simply aren’t suitable. There are concerns over data governance, information security, auditability, leakage and compliance. Organizations building public clouds will need to use several building blocks to achieve this. Probably the most well known enabler for cloud computing is virtualization. Virtualisation is an efficient way to drive up utilization as well as a truly flexible way to provision IT. Private clouds bring benefits such as reducing IT complexity, lowering IT costs and enabling flexible and agile service delivery. Some organisations can take months to deploy new applications from service request to production. With a private cloud, deployment can be very fast as well as the on going patching and upgrading which can be automated to reduce administrators time.
Symantec have long since been helping organisations to build their private clouds with their existing infrastructure. We often forget that clouds are just pools of computers in pools and not something mystical instead. Symantec have solutions which enable cloud to be a much more simple and manageable reality. The first is ApplicationHA, this is a technology which monitors and restarts applications in VMware environments, application availability is no less important in virtualized environments. It also gives visibility into applications running in virtual guests and enables simple monitoring and reporting. The second technology which underpins private cloud is called Virtual Business Service(VBS). VBS is a simple way to chain together virtual and physical machines or applications to give an end to end wrapper for a particular service. VBS also enables fault propagation and fast automated recovery and restarts based on a given criteria. For example I have a linux server running a JBOS app and Windows service on a separate virtual machine. Both make up my application and both need to be working for my SLAs to be met. The final Symantec technology is called Veritas Operations Manager(VOM) which is a web interface that gives a single pain of glass view into all your applications and storage assets. It means you can effectively monitor, control and report on your environment and understand how your business service is doing instead of the individual components.
If you are considering a private cloud with your existing infrastructure then contact Symantec. We have helped many organisations deploying clouds, please see http://www.symantec.com/theme.jsp?themeid=samg for more details.