I had an experience recently that helped me understand how
companies should think about deploying Private Clouds in their organizations.
I went to my local bank branch to deposit a check I had
received. As I was about to enter the teller
line, a bank employee asked me if I had used their new ATM station that
supported automated check deposits. She walked
me outside and trained me on how I could make my deposit without having to talk
to a bank teller.
How brilliant was that!
The bank had come up with a cost-effective way to service my request through
standardization and automation! But to
do this, they must have identified which types of requests could be serviced
through the ATM and which ones would still be best served by the teller.
One of the questions we at VMware get a lot is, “If I want
to take advantage of the rapid provisioning and self-service capabilities of a
Private Cloud, what types of applications would benefit most from this model?”
We’ve found from the customers we’ve talked to that 3 types
of applications tend to be the best suited for the Private Cloud:
- Transient apps – applications that will be
rapidly cloned or re-allocated, like stage or pre-production environment, are great candidates for automation since there’s very little configuration differences between environments.
- Elastic apps – applications where the resource demand will vary greatly over time, like with scientific computation, are also good choices since resource capacity can be extended very easily
- The “Long Tail” of apps – applications that never get prioritized by IT, like a customized web farm for an extranet, are also a great fit since a Private Cloud may
finally allow these applications to be provisioned at a cost that justifies
their relatively smaller value.
Of course, there’s no reason to lose focus on virtualizing
all of your business-critical applications to get the benefits of higher
utilization and lower cost.
But as IT thinks about shifting specific workloads to the
Private Cloud to reduce costs and improve service, much like my bank shifted my
request to the ATM, these types of applications are a perfect place to start. If your organization has applications that
are transient, elastic, or considered “long tail,” I’d recommend accelerating
your virtualization efforts with these apps and starting a dialogue with users
about moving to a self-service Private Cloud model. In future posts, I’ll talk more specifically about
how customers have actually gone about evolving virtualized architecture into
Private Clouds and what types of learning and practice they gained in the