Building an Honest-to-Goodness Private Cloud

imageHow’s that for a loaded title, eh?  Not promising too much there, are we?  I hope not, because it will mean I dreamed the last 6 months of my life without realizing it.  Either way, it’s resulted in a lot of knowledge and content that we are eager to share with our customers.  Welcome to the SCDemo Cloud track.

Who am I?

Like the other folks writing for this blog, I’m a part of the Technical Enablement and Delivery team (TED), part of the Windows Server & System Center org here at Microsoft.  I’m a 15 year veteran of Microsoft, and virtually all of that time has been spent working on and with Windows in various capacities, particularly Windows Server.  Now, Windows is a big piece of technology, so I won’t pretend to be an absolute expert of all of it.  Particular technologies have drawn more of my focus over the years ; most notably hardware, virtualization, and storage.  You’ll likely notice my affinity and enthusiasm for those areas when I write about them…it can be hard to contain sometimes. However, to be a good IT strategist and executor, you need to at least be comfortable with almost all areas of technology…a Jack of all trades. In other words: Buckle up, we’re going to cover a LOT of ground.

What are you writing about?

Simple, Yet Glib Answer: Building a private cloud.

Honest, Yet Still Vague Answer: We’ll be covering pretty much every topic involved in building such a creature.

As you suspect, this is actually a serious undertaking.  While some vendors might have you believe that creating a private cloud is as simple as installing their products, anyone with experience knows creating a real IT service is never that easy. Furthermore, when that “service” is actually offering complex IT infrastructure to different business units and users, it becomes even more complex to create, manage, and maintain.

Instead of writing from an ivory tower, we went through the exercise ourselves; not for some theoretical purpose, but to deliver an actual service to our own internal customers.  After months of designing, testing, and finally deployment, we are taking those hard lessons  and turning them into content you can use as a guide.  That content isn’t just words in a blog post, but also consumable bits of technologyyou can reuse, like scripts and runbooks.

I’m going to start this story at the beginning and build the architecture bit by bit, until we have all the information needed to build a private cloud from almost scratch.  There may be some asides here and there to keep things interesting, but much of the information in this track will build on what came before, and will paint the big picture.  Please join us.