Businesses are using public clouds such as Amazon AWS, VMware vCloud or Microsoft Azure because they are relatively easy to use, they are fast to deploy, businesses can buy resources on demand, and most importantly, they are relatively cheap (because there is no operational overhead in building, managing and refreshing an on-premise infrastructure). But there are downsides to using public cloud, such as security and compliance, diminished control of data, data locality issue, and network latency and bandwidth. On-premise infrastructure is still the most cost effective for regulated data and for applications with predictable workloads (such as ERP, local databases, end-user productivity tools, etc).
However, businesses and end-users are expecting and demanding cloud-like services from their IT departments for these applications that are best suited on-premise. So, IT departments should build and deliver an infrastructure that has the characteristics of a public cloud (fast, easy, on-demand, elastic, etc) and the reliability and security of the on-premise infrastructure – an enterprise private cloud.
An enterprise cloud is now possible to build because of the following technology advancements:
- hyper-converged solution
- orchestration tools
- flash storage
When building an enterprise cloud, keep in mind the following:
- They should be 100% virtualized.
- There should be a mechanism for self-service provisioning, monitoring, billing and charge back.
- A lot of operational functions should be automated.
- Compute and storage can be scaled-out.
- It should be resilient – no single point of failure.
- Security should be integrated in the infrastructure.
- There should be a single management platform.
- Data protection and disaster recovery should be integrated in the infrastructure.
- It should be application-centric instead of infrastructure-centric.
- Finally, it should be able to support legacy applications as well as modern apps.