Building a robust private cloud

20 September 2018

With its promise of heightened efficiency and dramatic cost reduction, the concept of pooled cloud resources in the public cloud have culminated in the rise of multiple multi-billion dollars cloud companies. Indeed, IDC has forecasted worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure to reach US$160 billion in 2018, a growth of 23.2% over 2017.

But while the growth of the public cloud isn’t likely to slow any time soon, there is also a growing acknowledgement that private cloud offers its own set of distinct and compelling advantages for IT deployments. In an age of growing data domestication and tightening regulatory rules, it is now evident that a pure cloud approach simply isn’t an option for a growing group of enterprises.


Building your private cloud

Resolving this conundrum offers a hybrid cloud approach, or the deployment of a pure private cloud. Indeed, building a private cloud gives the enterprise full control of their infrastructure, and offers greater assurance that operational costs will not spiral out of control. For some organisations, performance may also be a consideration that only direct access to network providers and control of hardware such as routers can deliver.

Fortunately, advancements with private cloud platforms such as the open source OpenStack and other commercial options have made it significantly easier to deploy a private cloud platform than ever. Equipped with automation tools designed to help small teams manage large infrastructure, the ready-made private cloud platform offers an easy way to control large pools of compute, storage and networking, as well as to monitor them through a central dashboard.

In the same vein, the rise of hyperconverged hardware (HCI) has also taken the bite out of the traditional headaches of having to predict future compute and storage capacity. Typically shipped as fully tested and configured appliances, they offer a plug-and-play approach that dramatically reduces complexity. These can be deployed at the click of a mouse to give enterprises rapid scale-out for capacity to support growth or spikes in usage.


Finding success in your organisation

Of course, ensuring absolute reliability in IT services entails more than just a few racks of servers. The support of a highly robust environment is pivotal for successful private cloud deployments to deliver absolute reliability in power and cooling. This is particularly true of the latest HCI hardware, which requires substantially more power than traditional servers and storage arrays.

Typically designed to pack the maximum compute, storage and networking capabilities within a chassis, expect to see as many as four processors, terabytes of RAM and up to two dozen hard disk drives within a single 4U enclosure. The power draw and corresponding cooling capacity to keep the temperature for racks of such servers within their operating envelopes can hence stack up quickly.

A robust data centre must be capable of supporting these high-density deployments, including the backup power in the event of a blackout. Finally, one often overlooked aspect of colocation would doubtlessly be that of connectivity. While connectivity is not generally an issue at locations such as Singapore, ready access to core subsea networks and Internet exchanges can mean lower costs and greatly speed up new deployments. Moreover, adequate bandwidth should ideally be available for more mission-critical workloads that must be maintained on active-active configuration across multiple locations.


The cloud is here to stay

While public cloud providers would have enterprises believe that their peers are all shutting down their data centres, the truth is that private cloud spending is seeing an increase of 28.2 percent year over year, according to the latest global study by IDC. Indeed, the purchasing and deployment of one’s own equipment and deploying it at a colocation environment are on the rise, as it offers offloads the headache of running a data centre to experts who can do it better and affordably.

Whatever the case, it is amply evident that cloud environments are here to stay, whether in the form of private cloud deployments, or more complex hybrid cloud that spans infrastructure located on-premises and public cloud platforms. What is clear is “traditional” non-cloud IT deployments that are on the downtrend, and it will represent just 44 percent of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending in 2022, down from the 51.5 percent in 2018.

Are you ready to roll out your private cloud deployment yet?


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