Building a private cloud? Don't overlook orchestration

Using virtualization does not automatically mean you have a private cloud, contrary to popular belief

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Another value to orchestration is consumption-based metering and capacity planning. With public cloud offerings, you can easily show folks what it will cost to spin up that new server requiring X, Y, and Z services in place with 2TB of storage space. And you can show (or charge) folks in your organization for that consumption.

But legacy on-premises infrastructure doesn't work that way. Instead, IT is expected to spin up and configure servers and server applications, provide storage, and maintain the environment all for free. But as we move to a modern IT system where IT is like a private consulting group in an organization, it's essential to be able to provide showback or chargeback numbers to recoup costs and ensure the profitability of IT. (If there is any doubt that IT is moving in that direction, simply consider the fact that service-level agreements, which used to only be necessary for third-party vendors coming in to consult, are now a common practice with in-house IT operations.)

Providing some of these options may feel a bit overwhelming, but there are components already available to help you do this. For example, EMC VMware offers vCenter Chargeback to provide resource metering and reporting. All the major providers offer orchestration options, including Cisco Data Center Orchestration and Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2.

Frazier reminds folks how important it is to make informed decisions around their private cloud: "One thing to note about private cloud is how automation and orchestration not just affect the compute layer, but also storage, network, security, and load balancing. Making the right converged infrastructure decisions will allow you to move towards to a private cloud offering when adding orchestration and automation to the stack."

The future of IT may be completely in the public cloud (in 20 years, perhaps), but the immediate future seems to be the private cloud. This applies not simply to virtualization, but automation and orchestration as well.

The learning curve to accomplishing this has some IT folks jumping into the public cloud prematurely. But with the right help, you can take the intermediate steps through convergence offerings to get a private cloud or hybrid cloud. That will be the stepping-stone to take you to the next-gen public cloud.

This story, "Building a private cloud? Don't overlook orchestration," was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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