What is this “Private Cloud” thing anyway?
The simple term is that it is a pool of compute resources that runs on hardware that you own (it is in your datacenter).
But, that just means that I am running virtual machines, right?
Not exactly. It means that there is some type of automation framework in front of the hypervisors and the virtual machines that is providing some type of orchestration. This could be XenServer + VMLogix or Hyper-V + SCVMM.
At the same time, virtual machines are not required – but it is easier with virtual machines.
HPC from Microsoft, the old fashioned mainframe, the Cray – these are examples of private clouds that have been around, performing massive calculations, they are orchestrated; they meet the definition. But they require custom written applications so they work well in very specific situations.
The recent “Private Cloud” term tossed out by Microsoft I think can be summarized in this way:
- Private Cloud is owned by you.
- Private Cloud is dynamic (in some way)
- Private Cloud is at least Hyper-V (but it can be more as you need it to be).
- Private Cloud has OEM reference hardware designs (these are tested and known to work, but they are not the only option)
- Private Cloud is NOT all boxed up and sitting on a shelf somewhere. (it is not a SKU that you purchase)
- Private Cloud is not defined by a specific set of prescribed technologies.
- Private Cloud must be pieced together by you (the architect, the enterprise, the planner – you must know what your requirements are).
- Private Cloud is NOT Microsoft only technologies.
Private Cloud is your enterprise datacenter. Enabled to be nimble and adaptive through technologies that make it dynamic. Some of these technologies are: Hyper-V, SCVMM, SSP, Operations Manager, Configuration Manager (basically any of the System Center group added on top of your infrastructure that happens to be running as virtual machines).
In the Citrix world I could describe the same, or I could have a mash-up of Citrix products with Systems Center products. The end result would be the same – a Private Cloud.
This is where the big disconnect is happening and all of the confusion is currently happening. Private Cloud is a term, a term that summarizes a conglomeration of technologies that are working together to make an IT shop more efficient, more nimble, more self-service.