Several large vendors have thrown their hats into the cloud computing ring in the hopes of knocking out some new business. HP is no different.
HP’s cloud lets companies combine cloud computing with traditional IT infrastructures to create a flexible IT model. Administrators can deliver IT services from a public, private or hybrid cloud model as they continue to become what HP refers to as the “Instant-On Enterprise.”
By being able to choose where enterprises secure data and where HP can take over, admins have the flexibility to follow cloud-based security best practices.
IT teams are no longer locked down by physical environments. With dedicated bandwidth and complex IT infrastructures, companies can build scalable private clouds that directly revolve around existing business needs. HP's Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings -- HP Cloud Compute and HP Cloud Object Storage -- center on six major principles of cloud design and deployment.
Security. The concept of pushing large amounts of data over the WAN may make some administrators uneasy. However, with today’s modern data center environments -- and HP’s cloud offering -- engineers can use the cloud securely. By being able to choose where enterprises secure data and where HP can take over, admins have the flexibility to follow cloud-based security best practices.
HP can analyze data flowing over the WAN into a company’s cloud environment and ensure traffic is secured and delivered efficiently. HP will also conduct Cloud Computing Security Assessments to see whether a cloud infrastructure is properly locked down. For the most part, admins still need to ensure that their servers are properly patched, that no ports on access gateways are open and that security best practices have been implemented.
Open infrastructure. An intelligent cloud infrastructure is a flexible one. With an agile infrastructure, administrators can choose their cloud delivery model without adding complexity. This means enterprises can use existing data center hardware to build a private cloud while still maintaining an external public cloud. Even though managing a hybrid cloud architecture may seem complex at times, HP’s enterprise cloud creates a more seamless environment for end users and cloud admins.
Workloads are delivered from on-premises servers and cloud-based machines, without affecting end users. This also enables administrators to manage both local and cloud-based environments by placing them under a single HP management suite. HP’s open infrastructure allows admins to create a resilient cloud without having to add software or hardware layers.
Automation. On-demand environments require significant uptime and efficient data delivery. Cloud-based automation is a key component in these requirements.
HP Cloud Service Automation provides advanced provisioning and management of applications. Using a workflow automation service, admins can create a flexible architecture with advanced workload optimization, application lifecycle management, security and compliance. If, for example, a set of servers is being overused, administrators can set thresholds to detect that. Then cloud automation will take over and provision a new server as needed.
This type of rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of resources in the public or private cloud creates an efficient environment in which resources are used only when they’re needed. This also gives cloud admins a more scalable and flexible cloud infrastructure that allows them to respond to business demands and changes.
Resiliency. Many organizations choose cloud for disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity. Others will work with cloud-based environments to help expand an existing infrastructure. Whatever the cloud driver may be, IT departments need to use resilient data center technologies. Resiliency means having the ability to meet defined service levels for cloud availability, quality and performance.
HP environments are resilient and constantly monitored and maintained for maximum uptime. This includes virtual machines (VMs), workloads, user access performance and other variables that affect a cloud-based environment. Depending on the type of service-level agreement (SLA) you have, this can also include VM mirroring, backup and workflow automation services. HP continuously monitors the cloud environment to make sure the speed and performance of cloud-based workloads meet preset levels of expectations. In a virtual state, administrators can add RAM, CPUs or new VMs to maintain the health of a cloud infrastructure.
Integration. HP’s cloud doesn’t try to recreate an existing environment. Regardless of the cloud model a company chooses to build, the cloud services should be secure, open, automated, resilient and seamless. This means a company with an existing infrastructure can expand its environment by using HP’s cloud and retaining its own physical presence.
Seamless integration combines public clouds and private clouds with traditional delivery methods to create a unified IT service portfolio that gives admins the ability to grow the environment and expand the cloud infrastructure.
In working with HP, cloud administrators can run private, public or hybrid clouds that fit their needs. Administrators determine which servers they can push into the cloud and make delivery decisions based on that. Seamless integration combines public clouds and private clouds with traditional delivery methods to create a unified IT service portfolio that gives admins the ability to grow the environment and expand the cloud infrastructure.
Cost. Whether to invest in cloud infrastructures used to be a more difficult discussion. With developments in the virtualization space and availability of ample bandwidth, return on investment of cloud computing is easier to see and just as important. HP Enterprise Cloud Services give data center admins security, control and scalability when necessary so enterprises only pay for what they use, matching cost to actual need. Common within public cloud environments, this pay-as-you-go model of IT resource allocation allows engineers to provision only what they need and adjust costs accordingly.
Cloud computing offers greater diversity to organizations. Small, medium and large enterprises can pinpoint core benefits that will help their businesses grow. Smaller environments can host their entire data center in the cloud while still delivering workloads, desktops and applications to users throughout the world. Larger enterprises can use cloud-based workloads to meet spikes in user numbers or resources, reinforce DR plans and maintain business continuity.
No matter which cloud vendor you side with, the most important part of any private cloud project is planning. Be sure to set clear goals for your cloud environment and involve the right people early in the process.
Bill Kleyman, MBA, MISM, is an avid technologist with experience in network infrastructure management. His engineering work includes large virtualization deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, he is a Virtualization Solutions Architect at MTM Technologies, a national IT consulting firm.