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Yung Chou


TechNet Flash, Volume 13, Issue 6 - March 23, 2011
East Region IT Pro Extras from Evangelist Yung Chou

Just What Is Private Cloud?

A special cloud computing series from Sr. IT Pro Evangelist - Yung Chou

Welcome to this edition of the East Region IT Pro TechNet Flash! I'll cover the following:

I Need to Know What Private Cloud Is
Video Did Not Kill the Radio Star
Techstravaganza New York Style
Kicking Off TechNet Events of Management Series
Windows Azure Is Your Friend
Building and Connecting Our Communities

I Need to Know What Private Cloud Is

Private cloud? Well, it is a cloud, so it's cloud computing. And there are two ways to interpret the term, "private." It can mean "dedicated;" a private cloud is a cloud dedicated to an organization. The focus is on the availability and capability of cloud computing, and not on the ownership of the infrastructure. An organization with a dedicated cloud does not necessarily own the infrastructure and physical servers on which the dedicated cloud is running. An obvious example is a private cloud running on an infrastructure owned and managed by a 3rd-party hosting company. So a subscribing company may possibly own the data, software, configurations, and instances, but not the physical boxes and underlying infrastructure. To find out more about running private cloud in this fashion, see this list of private cloud hosting companies.

The second, and perhaps more commonly assumed definition of private cloud is an on-premises deployment of cloud computing. In other words, the servers, racks, cabling, infrastructure, software, running instances, etc., are owned and managed by an organization behind its enterprise firewall, as shown above. Many enterprises assume this definition due to an existing large deployment of on-premises IT resources; while transitioning into the cloud era, it is a logical step to build private cloud by employing already owned hardware and software.

The aim of constructing private cloud can be IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. An organization, for example, may simply seek the ability to deploy servers on demand to provide maximum flexibility for application development and testing; IaaS is all that organization needs. While the servers are deployed via IaaS, the applications running within do not have to be deployed with PaaS and made available as SaaS. The applications can very well be traditional (i.e. non-cloud computing). The point is that to pursue private cloud, it is not necessary to acquire all three (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) delivery methods. Nevertheless, for enterprise computing it is only logical to start with IaaS to fundamentally and strategically convert existing IT establishments into a cloud-ready environment.  I personally do not see technical restrictions on implementing SaaS only in a PaaS environment, and PaaS must be built on IaaS. It will, in my opinion, be too technically overwhelming to try to build PaaS or SaaS while not having IaaS in place as the underlying delivery vehicle. The user expectations of cloud computing are clearly outlined by the 5 characteristics of cloud computing, which require a holistic and disciplined approach. For private cloud, if the goal is PaaS or SaaS, one should have IaaS in place first, which will fundamentally provide the mechanism for resource pooling, scalability, and elasticity. Otherwise, the implementation will be very much open-ended and will soon become non-manageable and cost-prohibitive.

The current Microsoft private cloud solution is based on the Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud, which is a set of guidelines and offerings on building private cloud with IaaS using readily available technologies, such as Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Hyper-V Cloud is exciting, since it not only increases the ROI on existing deployment, but also strategically places a foundation to integrate the Windows Azure platform offered in public cloud. Ultimately, enterprises will be able to manage physical, virtualized, and cloud (private and public) with a single pane of glass provided by System Center.

Above all, it does not matter if the delivery method is IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. As far as the user is concerned, your service/application is always SaaS, even if your application is not cloud-based. Application is what this is all about. So when it comes to implementing private cloud, which will eventually change how your IT delivers services, it is an expensive proposition in both cost and customer satisfaction. Be clear on short-term checkpoints and long-term goals. Scope down but be very strategic in overall implementation.

For those who still doubt that cloud computing is really here to stay, check out Dan Stolt's blog post," Is the Cloud a Fad or a New Paradigm?"

Video Did Not Kill the Radio Star

That's right. Blain Barton's TechNet Radio show, IT Time, co-hosted by John Baker, continues to be hot and spicy. Check it out and watch some of the previous shows on Windows Phone 7 and more. You get Blain, John, and a whole lot more of IT business and technologies.

Techstravaganza New York Style

On March 18, the Microsoft NYC Office hosted its first Techstravaganza event. Watch Bob Hunt's blog for the report. Any user group leaders interested in delivering a major user-group event should contact their local IT Pro evangelist. Let's work together to make it happen.

Kicking Off TechNet Events System Management Series

As we wind down the Cloud Computing for IT Pros series delivered by Yung Chou and Bob Hunt, we are very excited to kick off the TechNet Events System Management series to be delivered by Dan Stolts and John Baker. If you have attended any of Dan's events, you know it will be high-energy, with tons of content. As for John, he's recently been doing a lot of work on deployment. His sessions will always be interesting, fun, and a learning-while-laughing experience. There is an obvious reason to have a management series. System management is the cornerstone of virtualization and cloud computing. You cannot talk too much about system management in today's IT environment. Please register early and plan your work accordingly, so you can attend this full-day event.

Windows Azure Is Your Friend

Take time to download products and tools. Practice, practice, and practice more. Get a basic understanding of how to deploy a Hello Azure application to the cloud. Once you gain some experience, you will recognize the many opportunities for IT pros to better deliver services via cloud. The automation and optimization of application lifecycle management when including cloud computing and on-premises deployment will be something most needed from IT pros.

For those who are active TechNet or MSDN subscribers, you have everything you need. Just download the products you are interested in learning from the subscription website. For those not having an active TechNet subscription, there are trials available for downloading and building a test lab, including:

Upcoming Events

Community Events

Boston MA - SQL Saturday #71 - April 2, 2011

Want your event listed? Contact your IT Pro Evangelists (see below).

Building and Connecting Our Communities

Contacting Your Local IT Pro Evangelist

Here's the list of your East Region IT pro evangelists. Please let us know how we may better assist you growing your local IT communities. If you have great community stories you would like to share, please let your evangelist know as well.

U.S. East Region User Groups by State

Do you want to know what is going on in the community? Check out your local community groups to see how you can benefit from the services (usually free) they offer.

Connecticut

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Louisiana

Massachusetts

Maryland

Mississippi

North Carolina

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Virginia

West Virginia

Please let us know about other IT pro groups in the U.S. East Region by contacting your Microsoft Community Evangelist. Do not assume someone else will do it. We will help those groups gain exposure. All groups will be confirmed valid by the ITE that covers that region.