Expert Analysis

Getting a Cloud Infrastructure Boost from VCE and Puppet Labs

Enterprise IT departments are facing unprecedented challenges to deliver consistent and customized IT services to their end users in a timely and efficient manner.  It can easily take months to provision for servers, networking and storage resources before applications can be deployed. Being able to deploy applications in a predictable and effective manner is a common challenge. If enterprises cannot do this correctly, it translates into potential business and revenue losses.

VCE and Puppet Labs have been working together to alleviate these challenges for customers through VCE’s accelerated path to the cloud and Puppet Labs’ customizable application topology for virtual machines.

Cloud computing makes enterprise IT infrastructure more flexible and ubiquitous. End users request and provision IT resources independently in just a matter of minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. However, building a cloud infrastructure is easier said than done.  It requires bringing together knowledge and expertise across many IT disciplines. Compute, network, virtualization, and storage teams must work together to build the underlying framework, and tie these pieces together to ensure they work in a harmonic, sustainable fashion.  This is normally the most time-consuming part of standing up a cloud infrastructure, but VCE simplifies this process with converged infrastructure systems.

Imagine you’re the CIO of a healthcare organization and you need to rapidly deploy an IT infrastructure to support end users. However, it’s more important to have your IT professionals focus on new IT initiatives, such as electronic health records, instead of building a cloud infrastructure from scratch.

With VCE converged infrastructure, customers like this healthcare provider can outsource this time-consuming work.  VCE provides pre-integrated, pre-tested and pre-validated Vblock Systems with a cloud software stack through the VCE Cloud Accelerator Services to quickly build an operational private cloud environment.  From order to delivery, that healthcare organization can have a new private cloud in 60 days.  It enables the healthcare organization to focus on adding business value through new initiatives, rather than reinventing the wheel over and over.

Having a fully operating cloud infrastructure in which end users can quickly provision virtual machines is not the end of it.  The healthcare CIO also needs to enable their end users to provision not only virtual machines, but virtual machines with different settings such as CPUs, memory size, OS, and storage size based on location and/or specific lifecycle of an application, such as testing/development or staging and production.  More importantly, the ability to provision different applications, such as custom applications, databases and other enterprise applications, such as SAP and Oracle ERP is also strongly required.

Puppet Labs helps VCE address these new challenges by enabling an in-flight customization of virtual machine settings and application topology based on location and the application’s lifecycle.  If the healthcare organization is creating virtual machines in the testing/development stage, their application will be deployed to a location where the cost of running the application is the lowest.

However, when the healthcare provider wants to move the application into production, it may need the most optimized environment, rather than the cheapest. Therefore, VCE’s customized Puppet modules would be able to detect that and determine the virtual machines’ settings and the application’s topology so that the deployed application can meet its corresponding performance and cost criteria. These workloads are optimized across the available infrastructure resources when they are deployed and throughout their lifecycle to provide the most business value without sacrificing service levels.

At VCE, we strongly believe that customers like this healthcare provider would truly benefit from the economies of cloud computing if we are able to reduce their time to provision their applications in a consistent and timely manner.  Providing highly resilient and scalable Vblock Systems as a building block for their private cloud infrastructure is the bread and butter of our business.   Being able to take this further to reduce our customers’ time to provision their mission-critical applications and optimize the operating costs of deploying and running their applications is one of our key missions in the IT world.

VCE recently discussed this topic at the Puppet Conference in San Francisco. Take a look at the full presentation below for more information.

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Dee on

Interesting article. Where can I get more info on this solution?