Three Planning Guides for Private Cloud Storage

By Jim Lyons, NetApp

Private cloud adoption continues to increase as IT organizations seek to build the same automated infrastructures that are available in the public cloud while maintaining tight control over security, quality of service and budgets. Forecasts for annual growth in private cloud spending for the next several years range from 15% to 35%, and many industry analysts view these deployments as a critical steppingstone to a hybrid cloud model, similar to the way server virtualization paved the way for private clouds in the enterprise.

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In order for organizations to successfully deploy private clouds, however, they must have a storage infrastructure that delivers the performance, scalability, simplified manageability and agility required to support next-generation IT initiatives. Here are three resources to help you plan for a private cloud, evaluate storage efficiency features, and create a short list of cloud storage arrays for further investigation.

Making the Transition from Virtualization to a Private Cloud
Most companies have virtualized the majority of their IT infrastructure and are shifting their focus from consolidation to automation. However, Forrester Research notes that up to 70% of the environments referred to as private clouds are really just virtualized environments because they lack one of several key ingredients for a true private cloud, such as on-demand self-service, chargeback and elastic scalability. “Private Cloud — It’s More Than Just Virtualization,” a Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper commissioned by NetApp, provides findings based on a survey of early cloud adopters and offers best-practice recommendations for private cloud projects.

Private Cloud Planning Guides

Source Subject Format
DCIG 2013 Private Cloud Storage Array Buyer’s Guide PDF
Enterprise Strategy Group Maximizing Private Cloud Benefits with an Efficient Storage Foundation PDF
Forrester Consulting Private Cloud — It’s More Than Just Virtualization PDF

Maximizing Storage Efficiency for a Private Cloud
According to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), “Storage often has a larger footprint and consumes more overall resources than almost any other hardware technology in the data center, and can actually hold back cloud initiatives if not architected in conjunction with server virtualization.” ESG’s white paper “Maximizing Private Cloud Benefits with an Efficient Storage Foundation” reviews a number of options to reduce the cost of private cloud storage, including unified architectures, secure multi-tenancy, automation and solid-state technologies.

Private Cloud Storage Buying Guide
In the “2013 Private Cloud Storage Array Buyer’s Guide,” DCIG notes that “scale-out storage systems have become the foundation for building out private storage clouds” and attributes their growing appeal to three main factors:

  • Organizations can start small and scale capacity and performance as needed, according to their changing requirements.
  • Scale-out arrays remain fairly simple to configure and manage as they grow.
  • IT organizations can maintain and upgrade the arrays with minimal or no disruption to production operations.

The buyer’s guide evaluates 25 cloud storage arrays from 15 companies and recognizes the NetApp® FAS3250 as “Best in Class.” With regard to the NetApp FAS systems tested, DCIG noted: “Few other models in this Buyer’s Guide can match their ability to deliver deduplication, flash-based caching, SSDs, and multiple storage networking protocols in a single system.”

NetApp Private Cloud Solutions
For more information, visit the NetApp Community pages on our website for best-practice guidelines, technical case studies and in-depth interviews with engineering experts.

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