Monday, June 20, 2011

Quickly deploying Private Clouds for Database workloads

While the IT industry at large is flocking towards cloud computing (as is evident from triple digit growth in cloud usage) it is a rarity (at least so far) to see Enterprise IT departments touting cloud usage for workloads such as databases. And there are good reasons for it.

The situation is not much different from early 2000's when I was championing use of Linux for running database servers. While a large number of people I talked to understood the benefits of Linux, and many were starting to use Linux for file and print servers, they were invariably hesitant to use Linux for database workloads.

After all database systems are a backbone of virtually every enterprise application and hold sensitive data that needs to be secured, protected, backed-up reliably, and be available for recovery in the event of a disaster. Almost no enterprise IT decision maker wants to put their job on the line and start deploying leading edge technologies that have not yet been proven for enterprise-class workloads.

This attitude is quite prevalent when I talk to IT managers and DBAs at my company's clients, that tend to be some of the largest companies in banking, insurance, and retail sectors. Most of these folks get Cloud Computing, and understand its advantages but shy from being the trailblazers. So public domain clouds are typically not an option (other than for skills building and experimentation).

But what if the data was on the cloud and yet within the confines of your company's IT security parameter? I'm talking about Private Clouds residing in your company's datacenter, within your firewall where you can enforce your company's IT policies such as access and authentication protocols. The reaction I tend to get to this question is that building Clouds from scrtach is not an easy proposition. "We don't have the skills or the budget to hire cloud consulting services" or "do you know how hard it is to get any budget approved for new hardware these days?"

So what if you could cobble up a private cloud without any special skills and within couple of days or even hours? And what if it could be done by mostly repurposing your existing hardware and only adding one small server that does the cloud automation, virtualization, and provisiong magic right out of the box? By this time in the conversation I can see the interest building up, and thats no surprise because the recently launched Workload Deployer from IBM offers pretty compelling value pretty quickly. This is a follow-on offering to what was previously known as the WebSphere Cloudburst Appliance.

This 2U form-factor appliance comes pre-loaded with enterprise-class middleware packaged as virtual machine images and patterns that can be deployed onto virtualized servers in a private cloud with just a few mouse clicks. Examples of pre-loaded middleware included WebSphere Application Server and DB2 database server.

These pre-bundled DB2 images and patterns are well suited for rapidly provisioning standardized vitual database servers that can be used for development, test and variety of other web and other workloads. Databases can also be deployed in pairs in a high availability (HADR) configuration.

If you want further details about how to build and rapidly deploy databases in a private cloud, be sure to attend this free webinar on June 29.

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The forecast for databases is partly cloudy.

The forecast for databases is partly cloudy.