I woke up at three o’clock this morning with a thought racing around my brain – am I building a Hosting Cathedral or Cloud Bazaar ?
My data centre is like a cathedral – regimented rows of seats, full of disciplined and controlled resources all looking towards the technical priests for inspiration and direction. Each seat in my cathedral is familiar to me, I know all the servers to nod at, and most of the applications (some less than others). Our hosting cathedral was empty when we started and now its full of services and assets. We built the hosting cathedral big and expensive because that’s the way to accomodate growth.
I was part of the church committee that selected each of the items in my cathedral – and some of them were chosen a long time ago. Our congregation has become ingrained to their routines and we pass on the stories (and myths) to each convert.
The last few months I’ve been building hybrid cloud platform where my applications can burst from the rigid confines of my Vblocks into an external cloud. It took some time but the IT executive have realised that the cathedral is not a very good place for business. What we really need is a space for our divisions to operate and deliver revenue. So we are building a cloud bazaar for them – basically “market stalls” inside the walls of our cloud. We run the bazzar, provide a safe and controlled location for their “market stalls”, offer advice and support if they want it ( and are willing to pay for it ).
I’m building self service portals where the developers can self provision their platforms and development environments. We lay down a solid floor with a VMware’s vCloud system ( and foundations of ESXi/vSphere) or OpenStack on some generic Intel hardware. Then I’m building walls with materials like vFabric / Stackato, in some places I’m using VDI toolsets like Horizon View or Puppet/Chef to deliver pre-packaged desktop applications.
This is my bazaar. Each team is doing business, mostly in their own way. A Stacato/vFabric platform manages the development system and the target platforms for most langugages .NET, Java, Perl, PHP, node.js, Grails or whatever they want. The target environments can include PostGRES, MySql or even MSSQL with a bit of extra work. They even handle the upgrades and automate the app deployment into the production areas.
And you know what ? It’s a lot more fun working in my cloud bazaar with all the different tools and products. I don’t need to force that sales division to use the Oracle database any more and complain about licensing for the next five years. I don’t have to use the MSSQL Cluster that desperately need another patch outage. My cloud bazaar provides the backup & resilience in hypervisor, IT security roams the corridors and mans the doors, and the CIO takes a nice little cut from each of the stall holders.
It’s noisy, busy, fun and stimulating but you are welcome to my cloud bazaar,