For IT administrators and CIOs, hybrid clouds have been on the horizon for years, but viewed as a future consideration. Well, the future has arrived.
As an extension to a traditional data center or private cloud, a hybrid cloud offers a flexible, cost-effective and scalable computing infrastructure that strikes a balance between leveraging existing data center investments and pay-as-you-go flexibility of public cloud. By offering increased agility and higher availability, hybrid clouds boost responsiveness to changing business requirements by moving select workloads to a trusted cloud infrastructure while keeping others within the data center.
However, there’s no denying that cloud computing requires a change of thinking—about how you forecast for IT needs, strategize investments, and consume computing services. It’s also best thought of as an iterative process: an evolution, not a revolution. For organizations with significant existing technology investments, a rip-and-replace revolutionary option doesn’t make sense. An evolutionary path to the hybrid cloud allows your CIO and IT admins budget flexibility, with the ability to customize and balance on-premises and outsourced infrastructure resources for your organization’s specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid cloud.
But one thing is certain: the sooner you start implementing the stages toward the hybrid cloud, the quicker you will enjoy the benefits of agile, cost-effective computing resources. With recent advances in cloud building technologies that promise greater security, higher performance, and increased control, now may be exactly the right time to start making the move to hybrid cloud.
To Get to the Cloud, Finish Virtualization First
Identifying and building the right virtualized framework for a hybrid cloud is critical, and coupling Intel® processors and infrastructure technologies with virtualization software from VMware* constructs an excellent foundation for gaining new levels of virtualized efficiency, scale, and manageability. Using these tools and technologies, you can assemble the building blocks of the hybrid cloud and start evolving your data center into a software-defined infrastructure that extends pooling and automation to compute, storage and networking resources and services.
This evolution should include the following:
Compute virtualization: Intel® Xeon® processors provide multicore compute capacity for the most demanding virtual workloads, with energy efficient performance to reduce power costs. VMware vSphere*, the industry’s leading virtualization software, is optimized for Intel Xeon processors, making the combined platform the ideal data center infrastructure for hosting and managing a full range of enterprise applications. Intel Xeon processors also feature built-in security features to help ensure secure transactions both within the data center and in cloud environments. Hardware-based encryption with Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) strengthens data protection with fast, secure data encryption and decryption, without the security performance tax of previous encryption technologies. Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT) provides a hardware-based root of trust for establishing trusted compute pools, which protect against malicious software attacks and deliver controls for managing the security of virtualized workloads. While securing hybrid cloud environments takes more than these elements, the good news is that Intel’s security offerings also include a variety of McAfee products from Intel Security – more on this in a subsequent blog.
Storage virtualization: A fully virtualized infrastructure requires a high performance, consolidated pool of clustered storage that scales beyond the boundaries of a single system to improve storage resource utilization and flexibility.
VMware VirtualSAN* helps provision and manage storage for virtual machines with intelligent, pooled storage solutions that provide greater data storage agility, scalability, and efficiency for increased throughput and lower latency. Integrated with VirtualSAN, Intel Xeon processors support the increased I/O bandwidths required to power virtualized storage while running multiple virtual machine workloads. Intel® Solid State Drives (Intel® SSDs), including the new Intel® Solid-State Drive DC P3700 Series, provide more reliable, higher performance and more energy efficient storage than traditional spinning media, with excellent data protection and high capacity for growing storage needs
Network virtualization: 10 Gigabit Intel® Ethernet (10GbE) Converged Network Adapters, virtual switches, and virtual local area networks (VLANs) work together to create “big pipe” unified networking that can be dynamically provisioned and scaled for all kinds of network traffic. In combination with 10GbE middleware, VMware NSX* creates smart networks that can be programmatically provisioned and managed like other virtualized elements of the data center, treating physical networks as a pool of transport capacity that can be consumed and repurposed on demand. In addition, Intel® Integrated I/O rearchitects data flow for enhanced throughput and performance by merging the I/O controller onto the processor, reducing latency and improving data throughput for increased processing efficiency.
By pooling and automating compute, network and storage elements in your data center, you can create a software-defined infrastructure that’s ready to move to the hybrid cloud. Intel and VMware technologies also help organizations meet SLAs for mission critical computing and help reduce TCO. The combination of Intel Integrated I/O with higher bandwidth, Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 with up to 8 processing cores, and Intel 10GbE adapters with increased server bandwidth dramatically lowers latency and increases performance for VMware Virtual SAN deployments.
Intel and VMware have teamed together to provide a dynamic, fully automated foundation that simplifies your evolutionary path to hybrid cloud. It’s time to get started.
To learn more on your journey to hybrid cloud follow us at @IntelITCenter & @TimIntel.