Best Practices: Private Cloud Reality Check

Nov 08, 2011


Private Cloud ROI Reality Check

Most of the midsize organizations we work with have embraced server virtualization and gotten good results from their efforts—fewer, bigger, busier servers and lower data center costs. But they're hitting a road bump on the way to private cloud nirvana: Storage is still application-specific. There's a SAN for the Exchange server cluster, a different SAN for the Oracle database, maybe a third system for the Web cluster and a big NetApp filer for unstructured data. Servers may all be virtualized, but moving one from the Exchange cluster to the Oracle RAC cluster isn’t easy.

The promise of a private cloud, of course, is that once we do away with the notion of application-specific storage (and servers and networks), everything melds into one compute resource pool, and you carve it up by policy. But building a network of server and storage boxes that will let you do that is far harder than just virtualizing a few servers, and ensuring that everything will work just as well as it ever did is not a trivial undertaking, especially for midsize companies that don’t have the money or staff resources to create a greenfield network. What's needed is a staged approach.

In this report, we'll do a comprehensive assessment of the dollars you'll need to shell out, and the dollars you may save, as part of a plan to consolidate eight physical server cabinets into two, leaving room for growth. (S3881111)

Research Report