Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Giridhar LV, Head - VMUnify, Mindtree
IaaS Going Beyond Virtual Server Templates
Amazon basically started the concept of IaaS, the model of
requesting and delivering servers in the cloud. A number of providers followed
namely Rackspace, Microsoft, Savvis, HP and most recently even Google. But have
you noticed a common thing in all of these providers irrespective of when they
started offering the IaaS services, at the compute level they are still only
Virtual Servers or Virtual Machines. You basically get to choose from a list of
available "templates" e.g., Windows Server 2008 with 2 CPU, 4 GB RAM and 50 GB
of storage, you can choose different variations of these templates. Some of
these variations also include applications like SQL server packaged in the basic
template. This is a great model when your target audience is the Dev / Test
community or an IT administrator, well what about the others.
In my interactions with a number of service providers or
data centers that would like to become the next Amazon and who currently count
SMBs as their primary customers, the demand is something different. These SMBs
are asking the service providers to provide them a setup where they can house
their websites, email or CRM servers. Well, most of these solutions require more
than one type of server template to be deployed. So, how does a CSP do it? First
provision the servers separately, assign them the IPs, and also connect them to
the right kind of storage. What if there are multiple SMBs requesting the same
thing, well there need to be a better way than always provisioning servers one
by one, there can be and I call it Solution Templates.
A Solution template is basically a template to solve a
business problem. The business problem could be to deliver a Web Server in three
tier architecture. Let the three tiers be the presentation layer, the business
logic and database layer and each of them be a different server. A solution
template defined by the CSP, will have 3 servers as part of it, connected to
each other so that they are all part of same IP subnet, the right kind of
storage assigned to the servers, with the fastest one for the database server.
The CSP will also determine a price for this template, possibly by the
month. So, if there is a request for a
three tier Web server, all the CSP has to do is provision that Solution
template. If there is a self-service capability, the customer can do it
himself. Now imagine the possibilities, we can have solution templates for
almost every business problem - an Email Solution template, a CRM solution
template, a scalability testing template, a Big Data Solution template, a HIPAA
compliant solution template, these are just limitless.
2013 could be the year to start moving towards Solution
templates. With Solution Templates, the offerings of IaaS providers will become
so much richer and relevant to folks who are just not the Dev / Test community.
Well, with VMUnify this is the next big challenge that we
are addressing, and hopefully have a Solution template that CSPs can deploy in
2013, stay tuned.
About the Author
LV has worked in the IT industry for more than 18 years. He is currently the
head of VMUnify - a solution that helps organizations build Secure Virtual
Datacenters and Unified Clouds. In this role he is responsible for the Sales and
Marketing of VMUnify. Prior to this responsibility he was the Account Manager
for one of the largest Product Engineering Services client of Mindtree. His
areas of interest include Virtualization, File Systems, Data Protection,
Operating Systems and Entrepreneurship. He is also an author of two patent