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Private Cloud With Less Risk: Working with Service Providers to Manage On Premises Converged Infrastructure
By Paul Desmond
Numbers don’t lie, as the saying goes, and when it comes to private cloud computing, the numbers show a significant trend toward the adoption of this model.
In its latest Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, the research firm IDC predicts spending on private cloud IT infrastructure will grow 16.8% year over year in 2015, to $11.7 billion. In the coming five years, IDC expects spending will grow at a healthy 14% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The numbers are not surprising given the fact that private cloud makes more sense for many enterprises that have requirements and goals that demand the kind of flexibility, agility and performance that public cloud services can’t always deliver (a topic covered in a previous post).
For such enterprises, the question becomes how best to implement private cloud, whether in their own data center or in a service provider’s facility. But there’s also another option that may be of interest – having a service provider implement the private cloud infrastructure for you on your own premises.
Such suppliers install their own equipment on your site and can also handle the design, installation and management. It’s all done on a contract basis, with the monthly tab based on the amount of compute resources you consume, the level of performance required and the like – similar to public cloud offerings. So basically you’re handing off the risk and responsibility for building and operating the infrastructure to a service provider.
Flexibility and scalability
To learn more about how such an option might play out in practice and the important features or functions to look for, I talked with Renee Lawrence, Director, Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). HDS offers the Unified Compute Platform (UCP) family of converged infrastructure, which is well-suited for implementing private clouds. It comes with all the required server, storage, networking and software management tools as an integrated, pre-tested system.
Converged infrastructure enables customers to automate the provisioning of resources and monitor the entire infrastructure from a single pane of glass, to simplify administration and management. The result is IT has to perform fewer manual, time-consuming and error-prone tasks.
The systems are also highly scalable, with the ability to easily add capacity as needed. They become even more so, source notes, when the private cloud infrastructure is flexible enough so that you can move workloads across different cloud options, such as when you need a temporary increase in capacity.
“An efficient way to accomplish that is to use converged infrastructure that integrates with popular cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and VMware vCloud,” Lawrence says. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP), of course, does just that.
Similarly, while the platform should initially be sized to meet your current business requirements, it needs to be flexible enough to adapt to future needs. The ability to integrate with multiple cloud technologies helps ensure that will be the case – and that you can take advantage of any cutting edge breakthroughs that may develop on a given cloud platform. Converged infrastructure is also generally easy to scale, by simply adding in additional servers or storage when necessary.
Finally, you – and your service provider – should be able to manage the entire infrastructure from that aforementioned single pane of glass. Here again, well designed converged infrastructure lends itself to cloud management since it can host many virtual machine instances, even those employing different hypervisors, on the same system.
“A consumption-based, managed private cloud service built on converged infrastructure really gives enterprises the best of both cloud worlds,” Lawrence says. “You get the control over security and quality of service of a private cloud, with the flexible capacity and pre-determined pricing of public cloud.”
Click here to learn how the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) portfolio can create a more agile and flexible data center to help IT enable faster time to production, automate operations, and provide real-time business insights.
About this Blog: Hitachi Data Systems builds information management and Social Innovation solutions for enterprises. Hitachi's IT infrastructure, analytics, content and cloud solutions and services enable enterprises to leverage their data assets to meet strategic business goals. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform portfolio of converged infrastructure products helps enterprises manage increasingly complex and critical data center operations in a way that enhances flexibility, agility, efficiency, productivity and scalability. Learn more about Hitachi Unified Compute Platform here.