Monday, April 16, 2012

vDC and Cluster Design Options for vCloud Director

Ruminate: To engage in contemplation.

I know.. I know... I said I was going to write about Catalogs and vApps a few posts back, but over the weekend I was thinking about design scenarios for vCloud Director. Not everyone is going to want to use SLEs or SLAs for their design. Instead you may decide to setup your environment based on application life-cycle. In the below diagram, we are going to leave production and acceptance with traditional governance managed by the infrastucture operations staff. We include acceptance in this model to ensure that it mirrors the production environment.

Like I said in my previous post, enterprise organizations still get the benefit of self-service deployment that comes with IaaS for 60% to 70% of their server infrastructure by enabling vCloud Director in development.

Futhermore, this design removes the complexity of coming up with service classes and the show-back charges associated with the service levels. Lets face it, if you don't come up with a show-back or charge-back model when using service offerings everyone is going to select gold. Do you blame them? If you went to the Ford dealership and they were offering Mustang Shelby for the price of an Escort wouldn't you buy the Mustang?
However, I am a strong advocate of service class offerings that are typically associated with IaaS. What is "as a service" with no service classes?

Below I illustrate how you can design your clusters as part of your service class offering. These would feed into your vCloud Director Provider vDCs. The gold offering would include the latest model servers, tier 1 storage, and N+2 cluster redundancy. Silver and Bronze would use older equipment, tier 2 and tier 3 storage, and N+1 cluster redundancy.

There are infinite possibilities for vCloud Director service class solutions when working at the cluster level, but make sure to design within the framework of your infrastructure budget.

Additional service bundles can include consumption models, resource guarantees, restart order, management offerings, and packages. This gives your IT business partners a broad offering of service levels to meet their business requirements.

Isolation in the contemporary model of application life-cycle for production, acceptance, and development worked because they were all on a single piece of equipment. However, in the past few years IT has learned through the birth of the cloud, which is nothing more than a highly virtualized compute cluster, that we are capable of becoming much more service oriented and we can offer a portfolio of infrastructure service options. This enables our business partners to decide what service levels their applications require and removes it from infrastructure operations decision making.
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