Widespread interest in cloud computing systems among IT circles is fostering the evolution of different infrastructure models, service levels, and application platforms. Basically cloud computing is a model or infrastructure that provisions resources dynamically and makes them available as services over the internet. Cloud models and services can be accessed by organisations by availing resources as appropriate to satisfy their IT needs. Cloud service levels include Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS). Cloud computing models are classified as three major types’ namely private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds.
Cloud service infrastructures have the ability to scale up or down in terms of storage, compute, and network depending on usage. Organisations view the cloud as a viable alternative to outsource their entire IT infrastructure primarily due to cost savings in terms of capital and operational expenditure. Many organisations have adopted CtrlS cloud model(s) in their business operations and are able to realize business advantage. Cloud computing services are available with Data Centers (DC) in different variants to fulfill organizational business needs. An organisation planning for adopting cloud computing model for their IT operations must ensure to critically understand the architecture of DC from where cloud model is availed.
The key criteria for evaluation include:
- The underlying infrastructure
- These six areas must be considered by organisations from the perspective of cloud capabilities for continuous service availability and reliability. The above criteria are explained in a bit more detail to provide further understanding on existing cloud capabilities available with CtrlS Data Centers.
The underlying infrastructure of DC plays an important role in cloud computing because when business grows the infrastructure has to accommodate increasing volumes of data and network traffic. The increasing surge in online transactions both by users and businesses require a cloud infrastructure to handle high volume data growth in terms of storage, network and processing. Most organisations have stringent policies on data privacy. CtrlS Data Centers offers private cloud models for businesses and organisations. Private cloud models offer fully secured data network with robust security features to protect information from falling into wrong hands. The cloud infrastructure is fully flexible, it allows users (organisations) to provision and monitor their resources themselves with automated metering service. CtrlS DC infrastructure is fully equipped to handle high volumes of data and perform complex processing on them without affecting efficiency and performance for users.
Redundancy in DC is a measure of fault tolerance and also classifies the data center standard. DC standards are basically classified between Tier 1 to Tier 4 standards depending on their power capacities and their ability to quickly restore operations in the event of outage or in the event of component failure. CtrlS data center operations handle lot of mission critical data used by enterprise organizations. Hence the infrastructure cannot afford to experience any type of systems failure. CtrlS DC is built to fulfill Tier 4 standard where each component in the data center is provided with adequate backup components thus ensuring zero outage. Tier 4 data centers have the ability to respond automatically to any kind of failure or hardware malfunction. Hence failure on any one component does not affect other components in the infrastructure thus ensuring zero data loss and zero downtime. Organisations desiring to adopt cloud computing must check for redundancy in DC which has an effect on cloud service availability. Availability is a critical business need.
Connectivity refers to the network connections on how the components are connected with each other to send and receive data in the DC. DCs are driven by consolidation, virtualization and adaptive architectures that enable flexible visions such as IT as a service, cloud computing and autonomic computing. I/O is a key differentiator because connectivity encompasses many components such as switches, routers, gateways and backbone networks and is measured in terms of throughput and bandwidth. CtrlS cloud models are virtualized to support Ethernet and Fiber channels while each virtual machine (VM) is viewed independently for its configuration. VMs are stored in centralized storage which separates the VM from a single physical server. In order to support multiple VMs in the data center the network infrastructure must provide reliable, flexible and secure data transport. CtrlS data centers are equipped with switching architectures to deliver low latency, throughput and high speed inter connects to support cloud models for efficient transport between servers, storage and end users.
CtrlS DC is built on Tier 4 standards to ensure fault tolerance and provide guaranteed 99.99% data center uptime. This is an important Service Level Agreement (SLA) metric in terms of service availability and quality of service guarantee. SLAs are defined for the services available in cloud computing models. The user (organisation) may choose the right amount of resources in the cloud and adhere to the corresponding SLAs that define with each resource. For example, SLAs are defined specifically for resources such as storage space, backup, network bandwidth, number of VMs used, etc. SLAs that define security, data privacy, firewalls, uptime, etc are common to all users. The organisation must ensure to define SLAs to be specific, measurable, achievable and timely and most importantly there must be no room for any ambiguity for both cloud service provider and users. CtrlS SLAs are defined to revolve around performance metrics that meet business needs for users availing cloud services.
CtrlS DC provide additional services and features that include different levels of security, firewalls and intrusion detection systems to mitigate any types of attacks and intrusions. This ensures the entire cloud model fully secure. Further users availing cloud models from CtrlS benefit from a wide range of services such as automated monitoring, UI for resource provisioning, zero downtime, zero CapEx (capital expenditure), etc. Tier 4 standards provide the much needed fault tolerance to ensure high availability at all times.
Data centers are the foundation for clouds. They provide the underlying infrastructure for clouds to run. Data centers are built with thousands of servers, storage disks, switches, routers and other components to provide security, virtualization and application resilience. In a cloud models users normally look for scalability, reliability and service availability at all times. CtrlS cloud is available for enterprises either big or small. Organisations availing the cloud can benefit immensely in terms of speed and efficiency to generate business value.