Cloud computing has come a long way in the past decade. Organizations that are moving their workloads to a cloud computing environment have several choices to make. Perhaps the most important is what kind of cloud best fits their needs. One of these considerations is whether to use a closed and proprietary cloud or a cloud that is open and based on industry standards. Open clouds allow for a wide range of both hardware and software choices compared to clouds that are created and maintained by external organizations.
An open cloud computing environment is possible today and can be constructed to be efficient for various workloads. Also, by implementing an open based cloud environment, applications can return results quickly. Applications that require fast responses and low latencies can take advantage of the latest innovations that can be easily incorporated into an open cloud computing environment. By creating and using a cloud that is based on widely available standards still allows for customization and can reduce costs over time.
There is overwhelming momentum and popularity around the move to the Cloud. Cloud architectures provide tremendous benefits in cost, efficiency, scale, time to market, and innovation. The next question is, “What type of cloud do I need?” The critical distinction here is Open versus Proprietary Cloud, and not the false choice of Public Cloud versus Private Cloud. Cloud computing has become an important topic and area of significant spending in the mind of IT organizations. The relatively inexpensive (historically) availability of computing resources, storage resources, and services has led most IT organizations to move some or all of their workloads to cloud environments. While there are many choices to be made when an organization decides to embrace cloud computing, one of the most important is what kind of cloud environment is the most efficient in terms of servicing their users as well as reducing costs.
Modern and responsive applications require a tuned infrastructure. There are many tuning parameters that, when understood, can lead to a more productive and lowercost cloud computing environment. Servers can be “tuned” with changes to the BIOS based on application signatures. While the absolute performance of a given server based on an offered CPU clock rate may not be exceeded, most applications do not achieve the raw performance rate. System manufacturers provide some tunable parameters to the system administrators, and these parameters can be tuned for the application that is to be executed. Specific parameters can lower energy usage, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs. Networking is another infrastructure component that can be tuned in an open cloud computing system. As mentioned previously, networking can have an enormous impact on the performance that the end consumer will notice. With different networking technologies working in tandem or individually, selecting the appropriate options for a known workload can significantly affect the performance of the entire system. Storage is overlooked in many cases when deciding on a cloud architecture. While the focus for some architects is the servers and CPUs, without choosing the correct and optimal storage service, there can be an undesired effect on all applications. There is a wide range of storage options available today that can satisfy many application requirements. An open computing cloud environment that is servicing the needs of many applications running concurrently may need to use a range of storage options — merely assuming that one size fits all for tens to thousands of applications will ultimately lead to these applications not serving their users effectively.
There are significant benefits when implementing and using an open based cloud environment. More and varied applications can run with a broader range of choices for the underlying hardware and software. Open-source applications can be used and installed easily without paying proprietary providers a fee for using opensource software.
BETTER EFFICIENCY — Infrastructures become more efficient in terms of energy used and tuned more closely to the workloads.
MORE FLEXIBILITY — An open cloud can be adapted quickly to a changing workload.
CUSTOM TUNING — Hardware and software can be tuned so that the applications will run faster, consuming less energy
MODERNIZE AS NEEDED — Operators of open cloud data centers can upgrade to the latest infrastructure as needed, without relying on external schedules
COSTS AT KNOWN — Organizations can budget based on known costs and not be hit with unexpected charges.
INCREASED RETURN ON INVESTMENT — An open based cloud increases the ROI by only acquiring the infrastructure needed and keeping systems busy.