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Cloud Computing Roadmap Directs Data Center Managers

AFCOM think tank tells the 85% of its members who haven't adopted cloud computing how to prepare.



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The paper lists core issues for data center managers to consider if moving to a private cloud. Cloud computing is denser than its predecessor forms, with heavily virtualized hosts."You must carefully consider power management issues when moving to a cloud-based infrastructure," the paper said.

Network management will also become more focused on "processes shared between physical servers within the data center versus... communications with entities outside the data center," it said.

Virtualization under cloud computing allows flexible allocation of memory, CPU, and other resources; it's focused on multi-tenancy and auto provisioning, said the paper.

To make the move toward the cloud, the institute urges:

-- Get a realistic appraisal of where cloud computing will help with existing inadequacies. What are the business requirements that the cloud might solve?

-- Understand the existing network assets.

--Catalog servers and storage, and know the existing function of each.

--Understand data assets, the type of databases, and data models employed.

-- Catalog application assets and make explicit the databases that serve them.

-- Form a logical view of the combined existing assets to get an "as is" view of the data center.

--Draft a logical "to be" view of a cloud-enabled data center, with its network, storage, and server assets working together in a more cloud-like fashion.

-- Define the physical "to be" architecture that can support the logical view, "including selection of all the right enabling technology... This typically is the most labor-intensive portion of the process" and requires the person mapping the future architecture to have an understanding of current cloud technology.

"If I was the CIO, I'd set up a team of data center managers, facilities managers, network managers, and vendors" who supply them to get to the right cloud architecture, said Eckhaus. That 14.9% figure is going to rise. "I believe the majority of our members will be involved in the cloud 3-5 years from now," he said.

AFCOM sponsors two events a year for the 4,500 data center managers who make up the organization. The upcoming show is the 30th anniversary of AFCOM at Data Center World on Oct. 3-6 at the Mirage Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas.