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Building a private cloud? Start slowly

Ivan Pepelnjak | 10.11.10 |

Imagine being able to do what Amazon Web Services can do within your own private data center: create a new disk or server, or start new instances of an application in seconds with a few clicks by choosing from hundreds of available templates that span a range of operating systems. That in a nutshell is what you could have by building a private cloud.

The phrase “private cloud” is a marketing term for the ability to host applications and server or storage space in a private data center and provide access to these resources on demand. This means that you’re able to deploy new applications, servers and storage (in the form of logical disks) in minutes instead of the old model that took weeks or months to scope the requirements, get the budget approved, select the best offer and get the server delivered and deployed.

What’s so important about building the private cloud?

You can gain significant cost reductions by migrating your existing applications and server infrastructure to virtualized servers in a private cloud. Today’s high-end blade servers have much better price/performance ratios at significantly reduced power consumption than yesterday’s standalone servers. You’ll also utilize the space in your data center better (sometimes replacing a whole row of rackable servers with a few blade servers in a single chassis that take less than half a rack), allowing you to deploy more servers in the same space or reduce the data center footprint and the cooling costs.

Elements of building a private cloud

The foundation of the private cloud is server virtualization: the ability to run numerous virtual machines on the same physical server usually using Intel’s x86 architecture and hypervisor software from VMware, Citrix or Microsoft.

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