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CCI
Friday, 24 April 2015 17:42

Getting the Storage Right for Private Cloud

Posted By  Mark Young

More and more organisations deploy their own private cloud to increase data security, flexibility and efficiency but to be effective they need to get their storage infrastructure right.

 

For years, technology evangelists have lobbied hard to get the public to believe in cloud technology. Many organisations have remained cloud wary – and who is to blame them? With security breaches, hacking and downtime, public cloud has had some bad press recently. However, businesses know that they need to embrace cloud to get ahead of the game and to do that most are opting for a hybrid solution consisting of private and public cloud.

The most important reason for organisations to opt for private cloud is to gain full control of their own data. The public cloud always lacked this significant feature and could not guarantee compliance at every level. The emerging private cloud is redeeming what the public cloud could only promise, 100% data security. This technology does exist now and more organisations are building their own private cloud to reap the benefits. As usual with all IT investments, it pays to plan ahead and check the best options available.

Running mission-critical apps in real-time on a global level has always been a good reason to deploy them in the cloud. The reality was, that most public clouds require apps to fit their cloud mould. However, most organisations are unique and havecustom-made applications. Recoding these applications to make them fit with the public cloud or even scrapping them for new ones is not a good solution. The private cloud model on the other hand can support a flexible mix of applications regardless of when it was coded and what programming language was used.

It almost seems that the private version trumps the public one in all senses. Essentially for organisations the private cloud is a good compromise.

Private Cloud - a good compromise, if you get the storage right

When configuring a private cloud infrastructure, storage can be one of the most important and costly components.

So what does an organisation need to consider when planning the storage infrastructure of a private cloud?

Performance: For private cloud to be widely adopted, it has to perform predictably and consistently fast. Unfortunately, storage can be a performance bottleneck. As relief, many organisations are turning to flash storage. But flash alone only buys time, not a solution. The key is to provide every VM and application its own ‘lane’ to guarantee performance levels.

  • Value: When considering all the VMs that might be added over the years, this can drive up the cost. Organisations must plan ahead especially in the storage industry where CAPEX is affected immediately and OPEX for years to come. They need to be financially ready to invest in a private cloud platform. By scaling to support VMs, this can be easy and cost-effective with intelligent and advanced storage.
  • Manageability: Often an organisation’s existing investment in virtualisation can make life easier for the transition to a private cloud platform. However, in any virtualised environment it’s vital for the storage to be easily managed. VM-level visibility makes life easier for the IT admin allowing them to maximize the benefits of the cloud.
  • The best storage for underpinning a private cloud is invisible and leaves administrators to focus on doing what is best for the company, by getting the most out of the private cloud and not fiddling about with the storage.

Older legacy systems might come with fast and expensive flash included, but lack the intelligence necessary to make the best use of it as they are still working with archaic storage concepts like Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) datastores, RAID and volumes. The best storage allows administrators to work directly with Vdisks and VMs. This also allows the virtualisation or cloud administrators to manage their own storage footprint, while the storage expert can focus their valuable time on far broader and more impactful activities.

Benefits of Public Cloud - without the headaches

Public cloud architectures promised to deliver shared-resource efficiencies, utility computing and flexible scalability. With the right technology, private clouds deliver on all the promises of the public cloud; yet provide better security, better control and greater flexibility. When deploying a private cloud, organisations that plan ahead should only invest in a private cloud platform that scales intelligently, easily and cost-effective to support applications and VMs.

About the author

Mark Young is Systems Engineering Manager, EMEA at Tintri. He is a highly experienced, commercially orientated leader with extensive experience in creating and developing leading edge technologies.   Prior to joining Tintri, Mark had roles at Riverbed Technology and Cisco Systems.

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