It is very easy to start a private cloud. After all, the whole point of cloud computing is to make it easy to deploy. That does not mean, however, that an easily deployed private cloud is necessarily effective, safe and efficient. Like any type of hosting, there are best practices and worse practices for private cloud deployment. These are some common dos and don’ts for private cloud hosting.
- Do thorough research – Make sure you know and understand the technology you are going to use, even if you do not plan on managing it. You do not want surprises later on, either in performance or cost, because you neglected to fully understand what you were deploying.
- Do pre-evaluate your environment – Just as you should know the new technology well, you also need to know the environment you already have in order to decide what type of private cloud system will fit best with it. If you are deploying a bunch of Linux-based applications, a private Windows cloud might not make much sense. On the other hand, you may decide it is necessary to virtualize several operating systems within one environment.
- Don’t neglect the total cost of ownership (TCO) – Just as you would do with a car when determining gas mileage, maintenance, etc., you also need to make sure you know how much your private cloud will cost over the life of its operation. Just because it might have lower initial cost does not necessarily mean it will remain inexpensive over its lifetime.
- Don’t restrict yourself – The whole point of making your cloud private is to give yourself flexibility and choice. Do not turn around and let a vendor dictate what you can and cannot install or run. Do your own homework and determine what works best for you. If you want to run Xen inside of KVM inside of VMware, that should be your right, no matter how strange it might appear.
The cloud, as one IT person explained it, is “just a bunch of servers”. The only thing that makes it unique is the ease and efficiency with which you can deploy and use it. If you lose those unique qualities in the process, you have really defeated the purpose. Be proactive in every step of your private cloud implementation, and you will reap the benefits of your hard work.