We are on Cloud 9 …

Yes, indeed ! Cloud 9 is the IaaS offering that Chris Asing and his team from EMC IT’s Private Cloud Infrastructure Group have been building in the last few months. Now you can “provision and go”, as Chris would say. Cloud 9 is based on vCloud Director and starts to answer many of the demands on EMC IT to be more agile in provisioning infrastructure for short-term needs. 

Here is the Top 10 list teaser from the Cloud 9 team :

#10 Tired of waiting for new Windows OS images to be created on VMware Workstation

#9 Capacity issues on your laptop slowing you down doing your job

#8 No access to multi-CPU, RAM/Storage heavy VMware ESX environments

#7 Licensing problems with MS Windows, Oracle or some other tycoon’s software business

#6 Struggling with Linux installs

#5 Need an area to familiarize yourself with new product versions

#4 Need an area to test build scripts/installs/deployments

#3 Need an area to test clusters/HA/DR

#2 Need much quicker provisioning (minutes) than the old IT model (days)

#1 Need “cheap, cheerful” and control

I love the #1 “cheap and cheerful” bit – of course for now it is free while we are working out our model of what we charge for it. And of course, the self deprecating #2 🙂

Cloud9 comes with ready-to-go Windows & Linux VMs that you can provision in a self-service manner. In addition, the interface also allows you to load an operating system not found in the catalog by linking to an .iso on a shared folder. Currently the VM footprints are small, with up to 10 per user at a time, and with a lease of up to 30 days. The users can also add in the following published platform pieces – SpringSource, Ruby on Rails, Groovy, Weblogic, Java, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and MS SQL Server for now and growing.

The standard services with the offering will start to include backup and data recovery; capacity, performance and system monitoring; hardware and OS support and maintenance; storage management; security and support from the service desk. The variable aspects of the service are CPU/OS/server memory and storage.

In the short-term, Cloud 9 has helped to expedite infrastructure requests for what we call business supporting applications (i.e. non mission critical or business critical – see the checklist alongside). It is also on the path of remediating what we have referred to as ‘Shadow IT’ before – i.e. provide a secure, reliable, monitored and managed location for non-IT groups to build applications in an agile manner to meet certain short-term needs. We are very excited by the possibilities and the intent is clearly to grow the overall footprint and make this the true Cloud offering to our internal customers.

The other exciting part is that we are working with EMC Product teams on making ready-to-go Software stacks available for internal needs. The first ‘customers’ are in the EMC Information Intelligence Group (the folks that produce Documentum, xCP, Kazeon, Captiva, …). We currently have a bunch of vApps (a collection of related VMs) available , that are defined as “vApp Templates” that can be instantiated in a self-service environment to give internal users their own ‘value-added’ sandbox environment.

Cloud 9 is an important step in our self-service-enabled Journey to the Private Cloud. It is scoped within a larger Service Management program which determines the services we provide from an IaaS, PaaS and SaaS perspective. Look forward to hearing more about this internal offering and how it stretches the limits.

About the Author: KK Krishnakumar