Top Five ‘Journey to the Cloud’ Posts of 2011
Launching this year, Journey to the Cloud is off and running. Here is a look back at the top 5 blog posts of 2011.
So, where do you start in this journey? The first step is to fully understand the core components that make up a private cloud. In my opinion, there are four primary components: virtualization, monitoring, management, and automation. I think most of you reading this are already well down the path of virtualization, but this is only part of the journey. You may have 15:1 or 20:1 consolidation ratios, but have you truly changed the way you manage this environment compared to what you were doing pre-virtualization?
And so we nominate a new term: the Privileged Cloud, to designate those B2B cloud service providers whose business model and security architecture ensure that their infrastructure is only accessed by known and credible business subscribers.
Where Business meets the IT Organization (where once was a battlefield) is where cloud technologies live and, although that’s not entirely true in the physically sense, it is entirely true in the philosophical sense as it is where the two groups meet as far as prioritization, funding, etc. Cloud is the abstraction, from either side, of what each group wants to do—what’s in their best interest—such that each only sees what materially affects their reality while also allowing them to see the overall goals and objectives of the parent organization….and they can only do this because of the current levels of maturity in IT Governance, Process and Technology.
However the biggest (and somewhat confusing) announcement was a change in the licensing model for vSphere 5. Traditionally, vSphere has been licensed in a ‘per socket’ manner based on the number of physical CPUs (not cores) contained within a physical server host. This was causing a problem with VMware because today I can go and buy a blade server with 20 cores and 384GB of RAM which leads to extremely high consolidation. So, where I would have had to purchase maybe 6 or 8 CPU licenses with older hardware, now I can fit that same number of virtual machines in 2 sockets. Doesn’t take a math whiz to realize a 2, 3, or 4x decrease in the required VMware license requirements. So the new model includes a concept of licensing vRAM ‘pools’ in that you still need the socket licenses, but now there is a limit to the amount of memory that virtual machines can actively use ‘per socket’. Not only that, but the memory limits change depending on the edition of vSphere you have.
So, as you can see, the proactive, or cloud, infrastructure is built first (CAPEX) and then the delivery of the services are then cost-defined (OPEX). The business users pay for the system as it is utilized (via a chargeback mechanism) by an aggregation of fractional asset costs for network, storage, and processing capacity usage as well as administrative overhead. The major problem with this from the SMB perspective is that their entire budget processes are built on the idea that the infrastructure is grown organically based on specific business requirements related to purpose built applications (and associated assets).
So there you have it, our top 5 Journey to the Cloud blog posts of 2011. What do you think about the rankings? Any posts you would have added to, or removed from, the Top 5 list? Any within the list you would switch the order of?
Thanks for reading, see you in 2012!