Using private clouds for all the right reasons

Here's why some customers are adopting the technology -- and what they're doing.

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"The challenge for a company like ours is that we have a lot of data internally in place," he says. If it had gone with a public cloud, moving that amount of data to the cloud and back on a regular basis "would have been quite a challenge."

NSN considered sticking with VMware but at the time -- around three years ago -- found that wouldn't allow it to let users instantly spin up new instances.

It looked into Eucalyptus, Nebula and OpenStack and settled on Eucalyptus because it was the only one with a production product at the time. "OpenStack came as a compiler and source code," he says. With Eucalyptus, he figured there'd be someone to call for help if needed.

   Janne Heino
If his firm had gone with a public cloud, moving that amount of data to the cloud and back on a regular basis "would have been quite a challenge," says Janne Heino, product manager of cloud solutions R&D for Nokia Siemens Networks.

NSN is now running a private cloud with 10,000 cores spread across four locations worldwide. Ask tomorrow though, and it might be even bigger. "It's been quite a success. It's scary at times," Heino says.

The cloud, in terms of instance hours used, has been growing 35% month over month for the past 15 months. "I love it and hate it at the same time. Every month I think, 'where do I grow next?' I hope it ends soon otherwise I'll run out of server rooms."

Unlike many of the businesses in the Forrester study, Nokia Research and NSN take full advantage of self-service options.

In fact, that was one of the primary reasons Nokia Research built its private cloud.

"You can call [the private cloud] whatever you want to call it. I'm looking at it as automation of resource provisioning," Bederov explains.

Managing resources for Nokia Research has been an evolution, he says. "First it took six weeks to get a server on the network, then 24 hours. Now it's two minutes," he says.

The quota system

NSN also offers self-service and uses the tools Eucalyptus offers to set quotas for users. Some workers who "will need a lot of resources and are responsible have access to anything," Heino says. Others have limits.

Deciding who needs a quota and what size it should be is a challenge, he warns. "Writing quotas is difficult. We don't want to limit innovation or development," he says. He's currently researching possibilities for implementing more advanced resource management. For instance, he'd like to offer key users a guaranteed amount of capacity but have the ability to offer that capacity to other developers if it's not being used. He's investigating using one of Netflix's open source tools, called Janitor Monkey, to help with that process.

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