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5 tips for avoiding private cloud failures

Christine Burns | June 4, 2013
According to Piston Cloud Computing's CTO, the rate at which his customer's pilot projects turn into production private clouds is pretty typical of most OpenStack-based providers – and it's pretty low.

3. Motivate users to take advantage of the private cloud.

Andrew Hillier, CTO of CiRBA, a supplier of capacity management software for virtualized and cloud environments based in Toronto, advises IT departments to consider motivators that might drive users to take advantage of a new private cloud installation. "Mandated use is not out of the question," Hillier adds.

4. Don't stay wedded to old data center gear.

To best understand what parts of your data center and the underlying network might throw a wrench in your private cloud, you have to be willing to abandon the status quo. Inventory all the gear you use and the non-standard features you employ on it. "And then take some methadone to get off those proprietary features of your favorite router or firewall," McKenty says.

"Yes, you might love how a router vendor handles a certain OpenFlow feature, but you might have to give it up. Roll everything back so that you are adhering to open standards and not married to any proprietary features," McKenty says.

5. Make sure existing apps are moved into the private cloud

According to Enterprise Management Associates analyst Torsten Volk, "A big reason that private cloud projects fail in the enterprise is that they were used only for greenfield projects."

There must be a significant plan in place to on-board existing business application to justify the start-up cost for a public cloud. That requires revamping applications so that they are aware that the underlying commodity infrastructure could fail at any moment and know how to be resilient enough to locate another virtual machine to run on, explains Eucalyptus' Mickos.

McKenty advises that IT departments looking to employ private clouds should not fear these potential cloud infrastructure failures, but rather embrace them. "Plan to pull the plug on a few servers every once in a while and see what happens," McKenty says.


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