The cloud has revolutionized the way we build IT systems within enterprises. Indeed, enterprise IT’s goal since the inception of cloud computing has been to replicate the power of cloud computing within their own data centers. The trouble is that cloud computing systems were built net-new, which meant they could start from scratch and thus be more innovative with the use of cloud-based resources using the most modern technology and approaches available. Enterprises don’t have the same luxury. Decades of enterprise hardware and software purchases exist at different levels of maturation, and those structures must also support mission-critical systems in operations.
However, things are changing. New technology now provides enterprises with the public cloud experience,which includes:
The private cloud offers most of the advantages of the public cloud: Self-service and scalability, multi-tenancy, the ability to provision machines, and change computing resources on-demand. Private cloud also improves on security by limiting access to key IT people. Complexities are emerging for DevOps teams around their "infrastructure as code" practices as larger companies consider moving their most business-critical applications off the public cloud and onto private/hybrid clouds.
Complexity issues include:
Private clouds are specialized cloud computing implementations that are purpose-built to address some limitation or shortcoming around the use of public clouds. Core factors that drive private cloud adoption are compliance, security, and even the sense of control that many in enterprise IT require. Or, think they require.
As DevOps organizations are built within enterprises, private clouds as the deployment platforms mesh well with existing DevOps automation approaches and tool sets. Those within enterprises can tell you that private clouds are a sound architectural option, and they require “some time.” Just as public clouds require “some time.” Most enterprises will end up with both, using hybrid or multi-cloud implementations. In this paper, we’ll focus on private clouds, and the steps to successfully implement private clouds.
Security, control and application requirements are the driving forces behind the interest in a private cloud. As per the values listed above, enterprises are turning to the private cloud model to gain the value of cloud, but maintain security and control.
Cloud provider, Rackspace, surveyed 400 organizations in the United States and the U.K. Of those organizations, 294 were hybrid cloud users. According to the survey, 52% of respondents who've moved applications or workloads from public cloud services to private or hybrid clouds said they were motivated by improved security. Another 42% said hybrid and private environments offer better control, and 37% cited superior performance and reliability.
While the value is understood holistically, we need paths to define the value of a private cloud within enterprises that prove the return on investment to the stakeholders. Below are suggestions for both a process and metrics that you can leverage to prove the ROI within your organization. That said, each business is different, and thus there needs to be some adaptation of the process and metrics for your own problem domains.
Traditional IT environments, so critical to most businesses, require a great deal of maintenance and monitoring in order to provide high levels of performance on a consistent basis. IT infrastructure includes computer hardware, operating systems, storage systems, and networking components in addition to the business software applications that support critical business functions. Keeping these elements running in harmony requires skilled technicians with in-depth knowledge of their specific segment of the total environment.
On the other hand, the DevOps experience is now more in demand than ever. The single areas of expertise and silos of knowledge are removed with software-defined environments that allow human resources to work together as a tightly bound team. This results in more effective use of resources with a dramatic improvement to development and operational agility. DevOps requirements include automation, integration, monitoring and collaboration within the IT infrastructure. Implementation of this approach nurtures a culture that removes barriers between operations, system administrators, engineers and developers, delivering the best results possible, and improving the value of IT to end users and customers.
There is no right or wrong approach. Winning IT strategies will embrace both cultures in order to maximize effectiveness and responsiveness. This paper will explore what a company needs, or should have in place, to create a DevOps culture capable of working hand-in-hand with traditional IT.