Build a Private Cloud with System Center 2012, Server 2012, Hyper-V and Azure

Private CloudI’m a little old-school when it comes to data security & compliance – as such I’ve always been a tad dubious about cloud computing.

Came across this article/tutorial by Keith Mayer on Google+ (links to technet blog) concerning Private Clouds, their advantages and how to go about building/testing one.

I tend not to re-post articles I’ve seen elsewhere on my site, however in this case it’s definitely worth linking to.

Private Cloud

Initially I was intrigued by the following statement:

Private Cloud is not a product, but rather an approach for designing, implementing and managing your servers, applications and data center resources by reducing complexity, increasing standardization and automation, and provide elasticity – the ability to easily scale your data center up, down, in or out – to support evolving business and technical requirements.

Then the following couple of paragraphs (reproduced from original article) struck a chord:

Are you virtualising your servers? Yes, of course!

Are you spending less time managing your servers as a result? Hmm… No!

Server Virtualization is Great, But…
imageServer virtualization has been a great set of technologies to reduce our capital expenses and some operating expenses by consolidating a larger number of virtualized server workloads in a smaller footprint of physical rack space. As a result, we’ve been able to purchase less data center hardware and likely have lower power and cooling costs in running our data center.

However, most IT Pros are not seeing a reduction in the amount of time they spend with day-to-day management of server operating systems and applications. Let face it … whether you have 100 physical servers or 100 virtual servers, you still have 100 server operating system instances to administer, configure, monitor, patch and update.

In fact, because of reduced capital costs when using server virtualization, many IT Pros report that they are now faced with managing a much larger ( and growing ) number of operating system instances and applications – these days, it seems like everyone in the company wants their own VMs! As a result, IT Pros are forced to spend most of their day managing VMs and applications, and often don’t have enough time to spend on improving their IT environments.

Since I started in IT many years ago I’ve always been a leading edge player (albeit tempered with a little restraint – no change just for the sake of change), so I’m embarking on this 7 week tutorial (allegedly) and seeing what I make of it all. At the very least the article is deeply intriguing and I would heartily recommend a read-through. It will be interesting to see if actually getting to grips with the technology will cure my aversion to the Cloud, and whether I decided to embrace it going forwards (at least in some aspects).

The tutorial covers the following key topics, split into 15 modules – culminating in links to certification (I think I’m going to go that route, but let’s see how it goes):

  • Build Your Private Cloud Foundation with Windows Server 2012
  • Building Your Private Cloud Fabric with System Center 2012 SP1
  • Configuring and Optimizing Your Private Cloud with System Center 2012 SP1
  • Deploying and Servicing Applications in Your Private Cloud with System Center 2012 SP1
  • Extending and Protecting Your Private Cloud
  • Managing Hybrid Clouds, What’s New in R2 and Disaster Recovery
  • Study and Get Certified on Private Cloud

I dare say there will be several blog posts from this endeavour – starting to download the required software now & hope to have the Virtual Environment done this week (doing this one at home in my own time, no justifiable business benefit at this time).

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