Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cloud Infrastructure

We all are highly excited about the news of Cisco & EMC announcing their joint venture to provide V-block as the new solution for ready to go internal and external cloud infrastructures. It will defintely bring more competition into Cloud infrastructure world which should benefit customers. however, before i traverse deep into the seas of cloud infrastructure its better to understand what a cloud is because its a very hyped upcoming technology term.

As per National Institute of Standards and Technology, Information Technology Laboratory, Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.

Essential Characteristics:

On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider.
Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).
Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth, and virtual machines.
Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in some cases automatically, to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.
Measured Service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported providing

Service Models:

Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.
Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations.
Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

Deployment Models:

Private cloud. The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.
Community cloud. The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be managed by the organizations or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.
Public cloud. The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization selling cloud services.
Hybrid cloud. The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load-balancing between clouds).

Ok as now we all know what a cloud is how confusing that term can be but we need to keep in mind that this could be future Technology and how outsourcing businesses will evolve in upcoming of the best examples of this is Amazon cloud [ ]

Coming back to from where we started we need assess what are the different ready to go Cloud Infrastructure solutions available today in the market.

HP Blade Matrix:

The HP BladeSystem Matrix is a converged infrastructure platform designed to simplify the deployment of applications and business services by delivering IT capacity through pools of readily deployed resources. The goal of Matrix is to accelerate provisioning, optimize IT capacity across physical and virtual environments and to ensure predictable delivery and service levels. BladeSystem Matrix integrates proven HP BladeSystem technologies including Virtual Connect, Insight Dynamics software, Fibre Channel SAN like the EVA4400, and standard ProLiant and Integrity blade servers with HP Services for streamlined implementation and support.
The use of HP Virtual Connect technology allows blades to be added, replaced, and recovered through software, saving the valuable time of LAN, SAN, and server administrators. Changes can be made in a matter of minutes by one person working at a single console. In a racked, stacked, and wired environment, the same changes might require involvement from four organizations and take weeks to complete, incurring significant labor costs for physically moving resources for re-configuration.
HP Claims that BladeSystem Matrix system is offered at a list price that is 15 percent lower than the cost of buying the components individually and building your own solution.

BladeSystem Matrix allows you to consolidate Ethernet network equipment by a 4 to 1 ratio, while tripling the number of network interface controllers (NICs) per server. This level of consolidation is made possible by the included HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet module. It flexibly allocates the bandwidth of a 10 Gb Ethernet network port across four NIC connections to best meet the needs of your applications and virtual machine channel. With Flex-10 technology at work, you can avoid purchasing additional costly NICs, switches, and cables while concurrently increasing bandwidth. You can use either eva 4400 which can come along with blade matrix solution or can use the HP BladeSystem Matrix with an existing supported SAN. The BladeSystem Matrix can scale to 1,000 blades or virtualmachines, managed as a single domain. Finally, with built-in power capping control, customers can significantly lower their power and cooling costs to the point of even extending the life of datacenter facilities.

IBM Cloudburst:
Cloudbrust is Self-contained with Software, Hardware, Storage, Networking, and Management packaged in one box and each IBM CloudBurst package includes the IBM implementation services, so you can make it operational in your environment quickly. It is Modular, with the capability to be automatically expandable and scalable. It provides Advanced analytics, leveraging historical and real-time data for autonomic operations. And it is virtualized, across servers, networks, and storage resources. IBM CloudBurst is a quick-start to cloud computing. Simply roll it into your data center to quickly see the benefits of cloud computing.

Built on the IBM System x BladeCenter® platform, IBM CloudBurst provides pre-installed, fully integrated service management capabilities across hardware, middleware and applications. Expanded features and benefits for this new release include:

*Delivery of integrated IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting capability to help enable chargeback for cloud services to optimize system usage.

*Enhanced service management capability delivered via IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager V7.2 to support new levels of ease of use.

*Integration with Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management that enables monitoring and management of energy usage of IT and facility resources, which can assist with efforts to optimize energy consumption for higher efficiency of resources, in an effort to help lower operating cost.

*Optional high availability using Tivoli systems automation and VMWare high availability that can provide protection against unplanned blade outages and can help simplify virtual machine mobility during planned changes.

*Optional secure cloud management server with IBM Proventia Virtualized Network Security platform. IBM Proventia protects the CloudBurst production cloud with Virtual Patch, Threat Detection and Prevention, Proventia Content Analysis, Proventia Web Application Security, and Network Policy enforcement.

EMC-CISCO-VMware VBlock:
The Virtual Computing Environment coalition has introduced Acadia — a Cisco and EMC solutions joint venture to build, operate, and transfer Vblock infrastructure to organizations that want to accelerate their journey to pervasive virtualization and private cloud computing while reducing their operating expenses. Acadia expects to begin customer operations in the first calendar quarter of calendar year 2010. Because the Vblock architecture relies heavily on Intel Xeon® processors and other Intel data center technology, Intel will join the Acadia effort as a minority investor to facilitate and accelerate customer adoption of the latest Intel technology for servers, storage, and networking.
The following family of Vblock Infrastructure Packages is being offered by the Virtual Computing Environment coalition:

Vblock 2 is a high-end configuration supporting up to 3,000-6,000 virtual machines that is completely extensible to meet the most demanding IT needs of large enterprises and service providers. Designed for large-scale and 'green field' virtualization, Vblock 2 takes advantage of Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS), Nexus 1000v and Multilayer Directional Switches (MDS), EMC's Symmetrix V-Max storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.

Vblock 1 is a mid-sized configuration supporting 800 up to 3,000 virtual machines to deliver a broad range of IT capabilities to organizations of all sizes. Designed for consolidation and optimization initiatives, Vblock 1 is comprised of a repeatable model leveraging Cisco's UCS, Nexus 1000v and MDS, EMC's CLARiiON storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.

Vblock 0 will be an entry-level configuration available in 2010, supporting 300 up to 800 virtual machines, for the first time bringing the benefits of private clouds within reach of medium-sized businesses, small data centers or organizations, and for test and development by channel partners, systems integrators, service providers, ISVs, and customers. Vblock 0 is also comprised of a repeatable model leveraging Cisco's UCS and Nexus 1000v, EMC's Unified Storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.

So, we see that these are the key players into cloud infrastructure market and this new release of vblock solution will help the market to get more visibility and adoption of clouds and at the same time will benefit customers by introducing competition between these key players and hence a race for better converged solution.


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