What is a Private 'Heterogeneous' Cloud environment?
Well I'm talking about a Private Cloud that spans both x86-64 and RISC based processors using Type 1 hypervisors supporting multiple Operating Systems. In this particular instance I will be talking about VMware for x86-64 virtualisation and the IBM Power Hypervisor for virtualisation of the IBM POWER (RISC) processor. Further supporting infrastructure includes Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches for IP Protocols and MDS9000 Fabric Switches for the FC Protocol, EMC multi-tiered storage (VMAX) and Virtual Tape Libraries for storage and backup services.
This base infrastructure will be supporting Microsoft Windows, Linux(x86) and AIX.
You could continue to layer applications such as Apache, JBoss, PostgreSQL or MySQL onto these base operating systems, or even begin to offer services such as Zimbra or MS Exchange for E-Mail, Alfresco, Sharepoint or SugarCRM even. The possibilities are endless and this is in some ways what is leading to the explosion of the Cloud Computing term, and also what leads to the uncertainty amongst vendors, integrators and service providers as to what Cloud Computing actually is.
The complexities of delivering such a solution for an internal IT Department, or across multiple verticals thus introducing the concept of multi-tenancy will have a profound impact on your organisation, be that your internal IT Department or your Services Division if you are providing a managed service. This is why it is very important to not only look to leverage the latest technologies but to also integrate proven ITSM methodologies such as COBIT and ITIL.
As any Service Architect worth his salt will tell you, People, Process, Technology (or Tools) is the mantra you must follow if you want to go any way towards defining, designing and delivering a competent service organisation or solution, that would be capable of managing a service as complex as a Private 'Heterogeneous' Cloud.
So we now have multiple layers of technology, from the network, storage, processor and operating systems, through to applications and services being offered to the end-user or customer. We also have service layers intertwined within these layers, often spanning islands of capability within your organisation (Unix, Wintel, Systems Management, Network Services, Storage and Backup, Helpdesk). Process and procedure that has been built up over years to deliver fixed compute requirements and manage service in a very simple, yet effective manner.
So, is your Private Cloud a Private 'Heterogeneous' Cloud?