Private Cloud Design Rules

Private Cloud Design Rules
The design goals are to deliver maximum total IT efficiency, a combination of Cost Savings, Agility, Redundancy, and Efficiency (operational efficiency) All the rules are meant to be followed as one. The first rule of Private Cloud is to follow all rules, the more followed the better the result and following fewer gets exponentially worse results. The following rules create a virtual infrastructure meant to support a Private cloud management application to deliver Cloud functionality. Virtual Infrastructure alone is not a Private Cloud although it delivers much of the benefit of Private Cloud. My current recommendations for Private Cloud Management applications are Abiquo, Embotics, and VMware vCloud Automation Center (the software formerly known as Dynamic Ops)

General
Rule 1 Virtualize Everything
Routers, firewalls, load balancers, switches, backup …
You might wonder how to virtualize backup. Another way to think of virtual is multi-tenant so look for backup apps that supports notification by unique backup job and assign backup jobs by service / client. Some virtual devices like load balancers much less expensive than physical and enables better scalability and availability

Rule 2 Monitor (alerting and reporting) Everything
Every server, every service, every port, categorize alerts and reports by service / client.

Rule 3 No Tech Silos
All admins manage all components. Assign admins to service / client. Develop admins as well as engineers

Rule 4 Full Redundancy for all components
Redundant internet connections, routers , firewalls, switches, server ports, storage adapters, SAN controllers, datacenters…

Rule 5 Every component requires a web management interface
Enables remote administration from any device without admin software installation, develop admin expertise not command line expertise

Rule 6 Holistic Design
Iinclude all components in the design, every component should be selected to be Cloud design specific from remote access to backup, specifically VPN support and web admin interface

Rule 7 Design for Resource Density
Select devices for as much resource per rack U as available. Remember to consider CPU core density as much as socket density, for backup I suggest 2U LTO 16 cartridge libraries

Rule 8 Design for Functional Density
Select devices that offer multiple functionalities per rack U space, example Juniper SSG devices that combine router, firewall, VPN. Do not use dedicated router hardware unless necessary. Select virtual instead of physical devices, Netscaler load balancers for example.
Suggestion to combine vCenter and Backup server on the same physical server, VLAN tag to all subnets for all level2 backup traffic

Data Center
Rule 9 Datacenter not Server room
Private Clouds should be in datacenters not server rooms to provide cheaper and redundant bandwidth and Air, Power, etc infrastructure.

Rule 10 Standardized Datacenter Design – Datacenter Pods
Standardize datacenter hardware design 3, 5, 7 rack pod designs. Standardized management and capacity racks. Even a 3 rack design can provide up to app. 800 vServer capacity @ 800 Ghz and reasonable amount of associated storage and networking

Rule 11 More smaller datacenters than fewer bigger datacenters
Primary / Backup datacenter design is RAID 1, 100% redundancy cost. Six smaller datacenters RAID5 is app. 15% redundancy cost

Hypervisors
Rule 12 Use Large Servers
Larger servers require less redundancy cost than smaller servers.
4 socket 16 core for core density, 2U, 6 IO slots 4 10gb net interfaces 16gb FC

Rule 13 No local hypervisor vServer storage
RAID 1 + hotspare  or USB only for hypervisor hosts, all vServers on SANs

 Rule 14 Full Virtual Infrastructure
Use virtual infrastructure like vmware vcenter and enable automatic high availability and distributed resource scheduling

Virtual Servers
Rule 15 Configure all vServers on SAN Storage
vServers should be on SAN Storage for redundant controllers and disks, scalability, and efficiency. Local storage does not offer redundant storage

Rule 15.1 Mix vServer types on the same hosts
Place multiple types of servers; App, DB, Mail, Web, etc. on the same hosts to level / balance utilization, reduce spikes

Rule 16 DHCP IP addressing
Use DHCP IP Addressing, yes even for servers

Networking
Rule 17 VLAN everything
Select only devices that support VLAN tagging not just the obvious but WAN optimizers, Load balancers, Remote Access devices

Rule 18 10Gb network
Select 10gb physical server interfaces, redundant of course and divide capacity with virtual switches for capacity density and cable reduction. Use 1U 24 Port 10Gb switches

Rule 19 Switch Clusters
Select switches that support clustering, virtual chassis composed of multiple switches and LACP that spans switches

Storage
Rule 20 All SAN Storage
See  vServers above, worth repeating and the same benefits for servers apply to virtual devices like load balancers as well

Rule 21 Standardized Datastores
Configure all 2TB.  vServer IO increased by striping across multiple datastores

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