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Designing a Cloud-oriented Enterprise Datacenter

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According to Gartner one of the top strategic technologies for the 2010 is cloud computing. Based on this a commonly asked question is how to approach the implementation of demand-driven cloud-oriented data centers. In his new article,. Tony Bishop outlines proven design principles that can enable an enterprise to create a cloud-oriented datacenter.

Dynamic provisioning - an application provisioning approach that provides the capability to deploy an application (including configuration of its runtime resources) in minutes, rather than hours or days.

Dynamic execution management - a facility monitoring server’s workload and adjusting allocation of applications and services (starting and/or stopping them as desired) based on their required SLAs

Virtualized - the ability to dynamically provision not only applications and services but also resources required by these application services. This is typically required to support an unanticipated demand without a significant amount of over provisioning.

Abstracted - the infrastructure component and layer design needs to have sufficient abstraction so that the operational details are hidden from all other collaborating components and layers. This allows different implementation of any component which in turn maximizes the opportunity to create a virtualized infrastructure.

Service-oriented infrastructure - an enterprise infrastructure (middleware, connectivity, hardware, and network) has to be designed as a set of cooperating services (subject to service level agreements that can be enforced through policies in real time). These services can be measured, reported on, and reallocated based on the business demands.

Demand-based infrastructure footprints - it is necessary to be able to assemble infrastructure components to fit required operational demands in terms of operational qualities.

Simplified engineering - the infrastructure component is successful only if it is easy to use and deploy. Bishop thinks that

Applying the principles stated above will simplify engineering and meet the objectives that will make the utility a success. Simplified engineering will promote greater efficiency, enable the datacenter to migrate to a "green" status, enable greater agility in the deployment of new services, all while reducing cost, waste, and deployment time, and providing a better quality service.

Principles, described by Bishop, come very close to the Panduit's Vineeth Ram advice on designing of data centers:

... a truly smart datacenter that meets the business performance requirements with a unified, integrated, efficient, sustainable and automated infrastructure across all core systems,.. Infrastructure management software would provide visibility into both the physical and logical systems and enables optimization... in a production environment. Software automation will enable integrated services management capabilities across all systems and the underlying physical infrastructure. Lastly, it would also ensure that planned growth and changes are accommodated efficiently, with the lowest risk and highest agility.

Although these design principles seem to be common sense, failure to follow them typically leads to failure in creating a useful, fully functional cloud-based datacenter.

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