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back to article It takes all sorts to build a cloud

The warning came through loud and clear in our recent Regcast, Future-Proofing the Data Centre: if you want to build a private cloud, your teams must work together. That, HP’s David Chalmers told us, means creating a service delivery team: some of you from the server team need to work with a small group from the storage team, …

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Re: Linux is scalable performance wise and also financially

Eadon; I can't say I particularly disagree with your comment...but I wonder at it's applicability? Yes, licensing regarding virtualisation and "cloud" sucks. We could have whole long wankfest about how much we mutually think Microsoft is screwing the pooch on VDI licensing, as one example.

That said, I don't see how "open source' is a solution to "need to form a group of specialists into a team that actually works together instead of trying to shank eachother." Even with open source blue crystals, you need storage admins, VM admins, general OS admins, app admins and so forth. Nobody can know "all of IT." Not proprietary, nor open source.

So is your comment simply a result of "see cloud in article, post licensing rant" – perfectly understandable if so – or are you attempting to say that open source somehow mitigates (or eliminates?) the need for specialists working in a team?

Honestly curious as to your meaning. If the latter intent, do you know of any individuals practicing as "open source cloud generalists" at anything other than hobby scale? Where they do "all the things?" If so, please get them to e-mail me. I want to interview them. And learn. Lots.

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Re: Linux is scalable performance wise and also financially

The types of orgs that this article talks about I don't think will be using much free open source stuff, at the very least they will use something supported like Red Hat.

I actually (shock, horror) advocate the more folks that use & pay for the likes of Red Hat the better off the whole open source community is given how much RH gives back to the community in the form of Open source stuff.

Plus you get the bonus of support, and long term hardware support (sort of dreading here running out of time on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my desktop and laptops, not sure what to do, probably will just continue unsupported as I can't stand the prospect of using Unity). Fancy that - after nearly 3 years Ubuntu still hasn't upgraded the Intel e1000e driver in their supported distribution forcing me to re-compile it every time I upgrade my desktop.

Clouds can very much be proprietary systems, the cost of the operating system is small compared to the rest of the stack. Hopefully your not going around advocating everyone jump on the Openstack bandwagon. I was at a RH conference a few weeks ago where they talked about their productized version of Openstack, and most of what I got out of it was how much of a mess openstack is(duct tape and bailing wire to the extreme), and most folks should steer clear for some time (even RH's product while slightly less messy doesn't sound like it'll be a solid contender at least the first couple iterations). Unless you have significant development resources (like Rackspace) to handle issues that will come up.

Windows 2012 looks to provide quite a value proposition over previous versions (minus the metro UI of course). I'm very impressed with what is included -- note I haven't seriously used windows since NT4. The file system stuff, the integrated hyper-v features are pretty nice. I don't plan to use it, being a Linux person myself, but for existing Windows shops they have a big new reason to stick to windows server. The cost is not that high either (seems to be roughly on par with RH).

And hadoop? ugh, give me Vertica instead thanks.

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Re: Linux is scalable performance wise and also financially

@Nate Amsden

Do you have much experience with open source "clouds?" I have some (limited) experience with KVM, and have been tasked to explore both Openstack and Cloudstack this year. I have never delved into open source virtualisation that wasn't a bought-and-paid-for KVM setup with the RH managment tools. (Almost always managed by Puppet.) Most of my "cloud" experience thus far is Microsoft and VMware, with a smattering of Citrix.

Are there thoughts/experiences/considerations beyond what you've posted already you could share wiht those of us who are taking a nose-first plunge into this in 2013?

Thanks in advance...

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Excellent article

Excellent article, and insightful commentary. Things for us all to chew on, I think. Most importantly the ending comment about specialisation. I have to agree; no one person can know everything about our industry. It isn't possible, there is simply too much to know. If you have enough staff to make "teams," then keep them specialised as individuals! Invest in their knowledge and training; make them experts in their area.

Assuming, of course, you can lick the "team" problem in the first place. As noted, it is more important than ever before that these specialists be able to work together. With software-defined networking leading a new wave of software-defined everything, I suspect that the requirement for cross-disciplinary mind-melds is only going to increase.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent article

Speak for yourself.

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Meh

Yes, but...

Ok, so increased cloud stuff (private cloud, presumably) requires closer working between the people with specialised knowledge, whether of storage, servers, networking, whatever.

Fine. But what does that have to do with them being in the same team? If the people involved can work well together, my experience is that they will do so regardless of whether they happen to be in the same team in some management heirarchy somewhere. Likewise, if they don't/can't work well together, putting them in the same team is unlikely to help and stands some chance of making things worse.

Seems to me that what's needed is good working relationships between people, and the selection of the right people to work on a given project. The somewhat artificial division into teams is a side issue. If those working relationships are there, does it make any difference who approves your holiday?

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Maybe in the early stages you set up a specialist team from all areas and then once its bedded in you send em back let them expand the knowledge and treat it as business as usual.

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