Transforming your virtualized architecture into a private Cloud is the logical next step. But, it is not simple. It must be done in a staged manner if it ought to be successful. Here is a brief note on how you can orchestrate the transformation.

Stage One:

It must be virtualized before it can be transformed. This stage will be focused on server consolidation through virtualization. There will be a concerted effort to reduce the number of servers in use and transform some of the servers into virtual machines hosted in a single physical server.  IT managers may opt for static management of the VMs.  At this stage, the IT manager will be prompted to understand the consolidation challenges and rise up to meet the demands of the process.  A few tooling changes will be required to ensure that the VMs remain manageable.  The organization may like to start a dialog with customers to sell the concept and highlight the benefits they are likely to derive from the process. Application review for abstraction to Platform as a Service (PaaS) will also begin at this stage.

Stage Two:

This stage will be focused on operational improvements. Flexibility, scalability, high availability and reliability will be the main areas of concern.  Process changes will have to be orchestrated to handle the speeds that are possible with virtualization.  They need to avoid VM sprawl and focus attention on strategies beyond virtualization.

Stage Three:

Potential self service offerings can be examined at this stage. Most organizations start looking at Private Cloud services with a view to harness the power of the Cloud to the ends of the organization.  Often expectations from private Cloud services are limited to specific use cases. But, it is important to understand that the requirements may expand in the future or hybrid Clouds may have to be constructed. These requirements will have to be kept in mind while evaluating or selecting the Cloud vendor.

Stage Four:

The need for hybridization of the Cloud architecture will gain importance at this stage.  It will be seen as a way out for managing peak workloads and reducing expenses. The public/private configuration will help them safeguard against problems with the public Cloud vendor.  Indirectly, attention is drawn to interoperability and standardization of services.

Stage Five:

This is the final stage and ends with the full migration to the Cloud—public, private or hybrid.  There will be new skill set requirements that will have to be met if Cloud sourcing of infrastructure and VMs are to be successful.

How did you implement private virtualization? Did you follow a similar staged process? Do you mind sharing your experience?