Managing the Private Cloud

    As private cloud computing evolves, IT organizations are going to be faced with making some interesting choices related to how they decide to manage these environments.

    At the moment, it seems that most IT organizations are evolving into the cloud via their virtual machine software. As a result, most of them are cobbling together various management tools and virtual infrastructure components with the expectation of building a management framework for the cloud.

    The folks at Eucalyptus Systems, however, are pretty sure that IT organizations are going to get tired of this approach fairly quickly.

    Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos says that builders of private clouds will soon discover what the people running public cloud infrastructure already know: It’s a whole lot easier to build and manage cloud computing platforms using a set of integrated management tools that were specifically designed for that purpose.

    Of course, Eucalyptus is not the only vendor to discover this. There are a handful of startup companies competing in this space already, and it’s only a matter of time before larger, traditional, enterprise systems management vendors enter the space via either acquisition or internal product development.

    Mickos figures that open source developers will keep the Eucalyptus platform out in front of any rival management platforms that exist today or might show up tomorrow.

    In the meantime, Eucalyptus is counting on having a significant head start thanks to the experience of a management team and the fact that its open source software can support multiple virtual machine environments. As cloud computing evolves, Mickos notes, a lot of customers are going to find themselves locked into proprietary virtual machine stacks when, ultimately, they will require a heterogeneous management platform that can span multiple virtual machine platforms running on private and public cloud infrastructure.

    It’s obviously still early when it comes to cloud computing, but Mickos warns that decisions made today can have a long range of repercussions tomorrow that can’t be easily undone.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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